3 Leadership Tenets for the 21st Century

21st century leadership

Being an effective leader of people in today’s world seems to be much more complicated than in years past. In the previous century, for the vast majority, work was approached as a means for survival. That’s different today. People are always on the look out for more stimulating and rewarding work, as well as inspiring work environments where they can make a difference and grow themselves.

People are always on the look out for more stimulating and rewarding work, as well as inspiring… Click To Tweet

Leaders today face unprecedented challenges. They must be able to lead three completely different generations of people, all with different operating contexts and outlooks on what work is all about.

21st century leaders must be able to lead three completely different generations of people Click To Tweet

Today’s leaders must have well-honed human awareness acumen and call on it moment-by-moment to inspire, enroll, and engage their teams. These leaders must understand the systemic impacts of their organization’s “climate” and be willing to look deeper to understand cultural norms. They must have the finesse to weave the day-to-day task work into the big picture and inspire their people to give it their all for the sake of the mission. Today’s leaders need to understand people at their core like never before.

Today’s leaders need to understand people at their core like never before. Click To Tweet

Leadership Intelligence relies on your ability to grow, learn, and master new ways to lead people. There are three tenets to consider when boosting it: Self-awareness, Executive Brain Function, and Response Agility.

1. Self–awareness

Self-awareness begins with the curiosity and courage to hear what works and does not work about your leadership and the culture that exists in the organization. Once you become aware of your competitive advantages and your limits, you are equipped to take powerful action. Self-awareness allows you to leverage your talent and intervene when and where necessary to remove those personality ticks that are in the way of your true leadership potential.

Self-Awareness is the doorway to emotional intelligence and it gives you access to real… Click To Tweet

Self-Awareness is the doorway to emotional intelligence and it gives you access to real improvement, in personal as well as professional development. Self-Awareness is not always easy. In almost every case with every human being there are aspects of personality or behavior that have a negative impact on others. With an authentic look in the mirror, an aware leader can begin to take responsibility for that negative impact. Being aware of our negative behaviors, alone, is insufficient; taking responsibility for the impact of those behaviors, asking for forgiveness, and working to shift those limiting ways of being is where Leadership Intelligence begins.

2. Executive Brain Function

Optimizing your Executive Brain function is a secret weapon of Leadership Intelligence. The PFC, prefrontal cortex, is where the executive brain operates; it is like the controls in a cockpit. This is the part of our brain where strategic thinking, collaboration, reasoning, and creativity come from. The problem is, most leaders learn over time to depend and lean on one hemisphere and become complacent in allowing that hemisphere to run the show. This limits the airplane’s ability to navigate through storms and soar to new heights.

The left hemisphere of our brain is where our organization, categorizing, reasoning, and strategizing come from. It is in the right hemisphere where brainstorming, innovation, collaboration, and relationship abilities are housed. When leaders are aware of their goals and visions, as well as in control (conscious) of their thoughts, responses, and well-being—and the leader leverages both hemispheres of their executive brain through right/left hemisphere integration—their leadership intelligence and effectiveness skyrockets.

When a leader is utilizing all their capacities, they see things they might not see and are more equipped to respond to climate and culture barriers and infringements.

When a leader is utilizing all of their capacities, they see things they might not see… Click To Tweet

3. Response Agility

Response Agility is the ability to respond in an appropriate, controlled manner—regardless of the current stress or breakdown the leader is facing. Being agile with response and reaction is key to effective leadership. Flat line reaction is not appropriate for all situations. Screaming and yelling is not appropriate for any situation. Anger and frustration might be needed at times, and curiosity and collaboration may be needed at other times.

Agility in your response means that you have trained yourself to think before reacting. Effective leaders ask themselves, “What is needed now?” This has everything to do with situational awareness and appropriate reaction. When stress hits the fan, a leader who has a handle on how they respond, and can coach others in this manner, is a leader who is positively contributing to a healthy climate and culture. Response Agility takes discipline, awareness, new habit formation and commitment—and is a core component of Leadership Intelligence.

When stress hits the fan, a leader who has a handle on how to respond, and can coach others, is… Click To Tweet

Being a mission-driven leader who inspires people to give their best in service of a compelling vision is a key element of today’s most successful leaders.  Today’s highly effective leaders understand how to inspire spirit de corps and leverage their communications with people to do so.

Learning the fundamentals of how people operate and how to inspire them is the easy part. Mastering those skills is Leadership Intelligence. Turning your leadership intelligence into your competitive talent advantage is the number one way to impact recruitment and retention of the best people.

 

magi grazianoMagi Graziano is a speaker, recruitment and engagement expert, and author of The Wealth of Talent. Through her expansive knowledge and captivating presentations, Magi provides her customers with actionable, practical ideas to maximize their effectiveness and ability to create high-performing teams. With more than 20 years’ experience as a top producer in the Recruitment and Search industry, she empowers and enables leaders to bring transformational thinking to the day-to-day operation. 

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