Leadership practices

The real meaning of CEO – Chief Emotion Officer

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Executive coaching, Leadership Development, Leadership practices | 0 comments

The Summer 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review OnPoint features a selection of their best articles on “Emotional Intelligence: The Essential Ingredient to Success.” Given that this issue is on news stands now, this is a good time to remind ourselves that emotional intelligence is the pathway to success in relationships and results.   We typically think of the CEO as Chief Executive Officer. “Executive”, used in this case as an adjective meaning “having the power to put plans, actions, or laws into effect.” What is the source of power that ignites people to positive action? Because as we’ve seen in more case studies than Harvard Business Review could cover in a year’s worth of issues, not all people in positions of power are able to achieve positive results or impact through the plans they enact or the actions they take.   What is the source of power that connects people’s strengths to business purpose, inspires them to choose excellence, and sees them living out core values? Time and again we see the evidence, in our businesses, communities, and in the research that emotional intelligence is the source of that positive power. Be Chief Emotion Officer first and you have the presence that powers engagement, action, resilience, and collaboration to achieve what matters most. To be effective with execution, we must first be effective with emotion. The good news is that emotional intelligence is a practice that anyone with a brain can develop. Hmmm, that line sounds sarcastic doesn’t it? Really though, our brains have the ability to develop and grow in emotional intelligence. As an executive coach working with individuals and teams, I find that when we get started most people believe their emotional intelligence is fixed. What we discover is that individually and collectively, everyone can grow and develop their emotional intelligence. Whether you choose to engage a coach or not, this is a practice that’s worth every leader and aspiring leader’s attention. One of the excerpts in this issue of HBR OnPoint is Primal Leadership: the Hidden Driver of Great Performance by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. McKee is co-founder of the Teleos Leadership Insitute with Frances Johnston. Between them they have co-authored 2 other great books on Emotional Intelligence, Renewal, and Sustaining One’s Self, Relationships, and Effectiveness over time. I recommend these books to people I work with and mentor: Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion and Becoming a Resonant Leader:Develop Your Emotional Intelligence Renew Your Relationships, Sustain Your...

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Questions: the ultimate creative tool for leaders

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Appreciative Inquiry, Executive coaching, Leadership Development, Leadership practices, Team Building, Transforming conflict and adversity | 0 comments

Questions: the ultimate creative tool for leaders

“I’m not creative, haven’t got a creative bone in my body” said a business leader participating in a session I was leading. Then he turned and asked the group a question that started a most creative conversation. It was like witnessing a group of kids with a fresh set of finger-paints. This leader’s question opened a creative space his colleagues couldn’t fill fast enough with insights, adding color and details to each other’s ideas, alternately jumping in with excitement and pausing to see what was taking shape before adding more. When we hear “creative” we often think paintbrushes or clay. Certainly artistic endeavors are forms of creative expression but all creativity is not limited to making art. Effective leaders use questions as their preferred creative tool. Their questions evoke, stimulate, and engage. The key is to choose creative over destructive questions. Questions that move people in the direction of possibility versus impossibility.  Imagine questions that invite people to turn to each other to create, instead of turning on each other in blame or fear. Try this exercise. Read the question below and envision the thoughts and feelings this question would bring about: What do we do if this thing goes south? When we ask people to envision things going wrong, they feel the emotions associated with or at least the fear of things going wrong. Those images and emotions create a downward energy spiral in which imagination, empowerment, and confidence shut down. Read the next two questions and envision the thoughts and feelings these questions would create: What if we were on the other side of this challenge looking back at ourselves with pride about what we did and how we did it? How can we bring out the best in ourselves as we figure this thing out? When people envision themselves responding successfully, they free up positive energy and mental capacity to innovate, collaborate, and act. Most importantly, these questions help build relationships because people are invited to turn to each other. And that matters because relationships among people are the pathway to creating the results we need most for our...

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