Are Your Leaders Human?

By JoAnn Corley

Silly question right?…read on…

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I and my strategic partners have been completely immersed over the past several years helping clients improve their bottom line. We’ve successfully helped the companies we’ve served realize millions of dollars, buried under ineffective leadership.

In the course of our work, I’ve come to a striking realization. Our work has evolved from promoting and fostering traditional managment principles and practices to almost exclusively helping leaders become more relational — helping them be more relatable, learn to connect to those they lead and influence-motivate their teams toward needed outcomes…and more importantly come to believe these capabilties as a leader are no longer an option –considering the make-up of today’s workforce.

We in fact have been helping them become more human, that is helping them recapture and reconnect to their humanity in a business context. Many are left in the wake of uncaring, to some degree inhumane, command and control, transactional management practices from the past.

In the world of leadership development much of my work now falls under the heading of social-emotional intelligence and neuro-leadership popularized by Dr. Daniel Goleman, David Rock and others over the past 20 years.

The truth is some past more traditional management practices are just not as effective anymore. Employees want more. Gone are the days when leadership effectiveness was represented by putting on a certain leadership “persona”, exercising power exclusively from a title or position.

Leadership effectiveness today is primarily sourced from personal and relational power — in essence who you are as a person and how you relate to others vs. the title or position that is held.

And this pretty much describes the evolution of my leadership development work — stripping away the contrived personas and allowing the authentic self to emerge. The challenge is many leaders are not comfortable with this.

Employees today want real people as leaders. They want and are very willing to follow leaders who are vunerable, transparent, honest, authentic, humble, collaborative, empathetic, compassionate, “have a heart” — who lead from their humanity, not from a title or position.

I’ve termed it “human-focused” or human-centered leadership and fits perfectly with our view and approach of holistic talent management– working with the whole of a person and seeing an organization as an organism.

If you take a moment to consider any employee, leadership or managemnt issue, I suspect that many will be related to “in-humane” treatment of an employee. Now, when most people hear this, they think of something very dramatic. But its the subtle actions, building up over time that become real issues and subsequently eat away at organizational strength, leadership effectiveness, talent retention and ultimately profits.

For example: not showing appreciation, disrepect, bullying, humiliation and shaming, ignoring, not listening, not being available, a lack of caring or support, being non-responsive, little connection or communication …just to name a few. These leadership and management behaviors relay a message — one that, for many, demotivates and undermines successful “human resource” management.

I conduct leadership/peer group coaching as a part of our consulting practice (one of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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