Leaders engage active follower-ship by vitalizing attention through bringing life to the collective imagination.
We do not lead from the head – trying to engage others solely through intellect is like trying to light a piece of paper with the picture of a candle. It is the tone and quality of our hearts speaking to, engaging the hearts of others that determines the passion and quality of how others follow.
The failure to close the feedback loop so that the communication can flow into meaningful directions and actions, leaves those asked for input out in the cold. The result of this leadership failure is either anxiety or cynicism leading to a decreased state of motivational readiness as well as less overall employee engagement.
To increase accountability and performance levels requires taking a systematic approach. “Systemic Accountability” as I have termed it consists of 4 broad aspects or drivers. The essence of accountability is not to be found in “controlling” others or in trying to coerce behavior from them. In fact, coercion and force drive a higher level of CYA (cover your ass-ets) and minimize accountability.
Leadership focuses minds by engaging hearts by challenging old limitations in thinking, in perceiving, in working and relating. Leaders are dealers in the currency of possibility.
Essential behaviors are the actions we take as well as the practices we engage in that connect most powerfully with others and make the greatest positive difference in the results we get in life, whether at home or at work.
Listening to Learn is informed by the simple observation that we have two ears and one mouth. If we can learn to listen at least twice as much as we talk, we have automatically increased out effectiveness. Yet, the process of actively listening to learn has a few more skills associated with it.
To the extend there is fear around being shamed or blamed for undesired outcomes, we will create cultures in our organization and behavior in individuals of denial, finger-pointing to deflect the blame, defensiveness to corrective feedback, sweeping things under the carpet and a lot of CYA.
The Courage to Be Vulnerable means that you let people know that you need them, that you need their inputs, ideas, insights and concerns. Vulnerability means that you have the strength to ask for help, to admit you don’t know and that you can’t do it all by yourself.
Tough-Love is the capacity to have the courageous, difficult conversations, to hold self and others to account, while doing it in a respectful, caring and engaging tone and manner.