I just returned from a leadership conference that was attended by leaders from around the world. During the session we heard from Dr. Annie McKee who is a best-selling business book author and advisor to top global leaders from CEOs of Fortune 50 companies to government officials. In 2005, BusinessWeek named her in their Top 100 Leaders issue as an Executive Coach. She spoke on the concept of “resonant leadership” and had a message that is profound for leaders everywhere. I am paraphrasing her message here and certainly doing it much dis-service but here are her three components of resonant leadership that you should be aware of.
The first thing to recognize is that resonant leadership is common sense but not common practice. It is essentially recognizing how you impact others and how that either makes them want to do more – or do less – for you. It has three components. First is emotional intelligence. This is your ability to understand yourself and others and your ability to manage relationships effectively with that knowledge. Empathy is critical to emotional intelligence. The second component is power or, more specifically, the responsible use of power. Using power to influence others in a positive direction is powerful. Using power to advance your own self-interests is destructive. An important phrase she shared comes from an African tribe and is simply “I am because you are”. The third and last component is ethics. If your ethics aren’t above reproach your ability to lead others will be severely diminished.
A myth that she dispelled is that superior intellect is enough. Not so. Emotional intelligence makes all the difference. One other popular myth that she dispelled is that your mood doesn’t matter. In fact, moods are contagious and they affect our ability to think and reason. I hope this short story will give you reason to think about your leadership style regardless of the role you play or the title you wear. As a CFO advisor to companies and non-profit organizations it is critical to me to understand these concepts. They make the difference between success and failure.
There is much more to her thoughts than I can possibly capture here but if you want to know more check out her website at: http://teleosleaders.com/whoweare/founders/annie_mckee.php.