Leadership

Hello Friends!

What does leadership of the future actually look like?? We can’t predict the future with 100% accuracy of course – the events of the last two years have most definitely taught us that! – but we can certainly take an educated guess. 
 
And no matter what source one looks to, they all seem unanimous that the leader of the future will need to have what we up to now somewhat dismissively labelled “soft skills”. It turns out that the skills of empathy, authenticity, team-building, interpersonal relationship building, self-awareness, and vision are the skills that most significantly correlate with effective leadership.
 
That means that “with globalization and the significant changes taking place in the workforce with the largest fraction being millennials, leaders need to move beyond goal-achievement and task functioning (competence, assertiveness, decisiveness) and give more attention to their capacity in maintaining relationships and social functioning (benevolence, trustworthiness, morality).” Forbes
 
So what does that mean for us as leaders?

MASTERING LEADERSHIP…

Well for starters, it means being aware of where we are now in our leadership, and what skills we need to acquire and/or improve!
  

“Most people allow their lives to simply happen to them. They float along. They wait. They react. And by the time a large portion of their life is behind them, they realize they should have been more proactive and strategic.”  
~ John C. Maxwell 


And so, in search of being able to not only do just that, but to also be able to guide and support my executive coaching clients in that direction, at the beginning of March, I spent an incredible week learning all about the Leadership Circle Profile 360° and practicing its implementation. I love learning new things but this learning experience was exceptional!! 

Diving into the competencies and behaviours that correlate to leadership effectiveness was eye-opening, enriching, motivating, and so interesting. And the principles and concepts of Leadership Effectiveness are deeply researched and laid out in the brilliant Mastering Leadership by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams. 

I read a lot of books in this genre, and to be honest, I find a lot of them prohibitively dry. This book however really exceeded my expectations (which were admittedly low!). I think I highlighted something on every other page! The book goes into really fascinating depth around what characteristics and behaviours are most closely tied to leadership effectiveness and business performance, and which of our characteristics can get in our way. It’s neuroscience, developmental psychology, business administration, and management training all rolled into one. It should be required reading for all leaders!

THE AUTHORITY GAP…

I am a staunch believer in Diversity and Inclusion. As both a woman and an immigrant, DEI is something that affects me personally, but also very much aligns with my core value of Fairness and Justice. 
 
In this vein, I recently discovered a fascinating new podcast that marries two of my passions: books and female equality! The Story of Woman is “dedicated to elevating ‘woman’ from the footnotes of our story to a lead character, one book at a time. Through author-led interviews, each episode explores a different book that illuminates our world through her lens, providing the context needed to see the full picture and improve the next chapter for everyone.
 
BOOSTE DEINE first episode, interviewing Mary Ann Sieghart on the Authority Gap was brilliant. Confidence ≠competence!! I am definitely adding Sieghart’s book to my TBR pile.

AUTHENTICITY…

We often conflate leadership with outgoing, extroverted, authoritative characters. But there is increasing research showing that introverts make excellent leaders. They often already possess some of the key strategic abilities of a leader: excellent listening skills, the ability to think deeply, and letting other shine.
 
One of the key facets of authenticity is learning to be the leader *because of* your unique personality, not despite it. Which sometimes begs the question: Is it the corporate culture that doesn’t fit you, not the role? 
 
I very much enjoyed this episode of Coaching Real Leaders on this topic. The coach host gave some excellent insight into the preconceived notions and limiting beliefs that some leaders fall prey to, and also had helpful guidance on how to navigate that.

WHAT I’M READING…

Despite being a voracious reader, and a lover of a good whodunnit, I can’t recall ever having read anything by Agatha Christie. {For shame!} I’m not sure how that happened?! I do have vague recollections of maybe once reading Murder on the Orient Express decades ago, but somehow the best-selling novelist of all time [she has only been outsold by The Bible and Shakespeare] passed me by.

I also knew next to nothing about Christie, other than that she was a writer in the earlier part of the 20th century. I did not know, for example, that she disappeared for 11 days in the winter of 1926 and that a nationwide hunt for her all over England ensued! No one ever knew where Christie was during these 11 days, and the author herself professed for the entirety of her life that she “didn’t remember”!

So it has been an unsolved mystery for almost a century: where did Christie go during those 11 days? In The Christie Affair, Nina de Gramont has written a brilliant, clever, and plausible story about this mystery about the mystery author. 

I loved this review: “The Christie Affair tells a fictionalized version of what happens in the infamous 11 days but it’s really about the artifice and power of storytelling as well as class, gender dynamics, religion and the lasting traumas of war.”

It was a really intriguing story, and a great read!

As this newsletter has evolved and grown over the 1 ½ years since I started writing it, it feels more and more like it needs a real name. 😊 Let’s face it, “JNH Coaching Newsletter” sounds a bit more like an email sales blast and less like the rich and interesting treasure-trove of resources I hope you think it is! 😂 
So this week, I’d love to hear from you! What name would most accurately reflect the newsletter’s vision of providing readers with interesting resources on leadership, personal growth, and professional development?  

I would also love more people to read this newsletter. (Please DO feel free to share with all your friends and colleagues!) What name would catch their interest and attention the most?

Wishing you a very healthy, happy and safe weekend!

Hugs,

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P.S.      The newsletter has a guest contributor this week! She wasn’t particularly helpful but she was highly interested in the making-of!! 😂

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