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October 26, 2016

Leaders Are ConnectedLeaders Are Expected To Be Connected

In today’s world, relationships are the currency of leadership. As leaders, one of the values we add to the organizations we lead is being well connected in the community. More than ever, leaders are expected to build safe and transparent work environments.

Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ)

Especially in the work environment, leaders who are successful most generally have high EQ. This is not simply a talking point, or the latest “fad.” If a leader isn’t aware of the human emotions employees experience in the workplace, they will not be able to ensure safety. Without a safe environment, the leader will not hear what needs to be heard such as challenges, innovative ideas, process improvements, etc.

So connected doesn’t only mean the professional network we’ve built in the community or on LinkedIn. Connected means being aware of the workplace experiences our employees are having.

Safe Environments

I’ll say more about “contrarians” and leadership in a future post. For now, suffice it to say that if we want to make sure our organizations continue to survive and thrive, we need honest opinions from our employees. That will only occur in a culture that does not punish honest mistakes, doesn’t shoot the messenger and has leadership that is held accountable. Accountability means we are willing to learn and improve ourselves as leaders. Often, what we need to hear about improving our leadership effectiveness comes from employees as well  as our peers.

Connection then begins with self-awareness and extends to awareness of others. A leader cannot help but to also understand the environment in which she and others perform. This is important in that if we want to change behaviors, we have to change the environment rather than trying to change the people. As Gustavo Grodnitzky says in his book by the same title, “culture trumps everything.” Leaders are responsible for creating and managing the culture of the organization. To do so, they must be connected in all aspects of that word.

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