Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Leadership, much like in life or in business, should evolve. It should reflect the times we are living in and the attitudes of the people. So what makes a modern leader today?
The vision of a powerful and commanding figure, set apart from the people they manage does not ring true anymore and IQ is trumped by EQ as the skill set of choice. To make it as a modern leader today demands the ability to recognise and connect to emotions, to use them as a guide and not be controlled or derailed by them. This is the bridge that connects a leader with the people because in this space we are all the same and our experiences are shared. Humbling, yet also very powerful.
A modern leader with the courage and capability to be with and stay connected to their emotions is Jacinda Ardern. She has been all over the news lately, universally lauded for her handling of the devastating events that took place in Christchurch. Her leadership has been hailed as 'strong and decisive' and along side this 'compassionate and empathetic'. The world watched on a she navigated quite possibly the toughest event in her political journey, bringing together a country united in grief and their stance against racism and terror.
It is remarkable and definitely newsworthy, but what else is worth noting here?
Compassion and empathy in leadership is strong and powerful and by the response in the world press - something people are crying out for. Jacinda is very connected to her emotions, to her humanity and this enables her to connect with the broader community on a deep and powerful level.
True leadership comes from the heart and when we are connected to and embracing all aspects of our own 'humanness'. You could feel every bit of Jacinda's concern, grief, empathy, compassion, passion, love, pride, resilience and more. She did not hide away or try to mask what she felt, and this only added to the impact of her leadership and the deep connection she had to her people, to the events and to the path forward. It felt raw, and it felt real.
The sheer magnitude of what was possible with leadership like this. If a leader can unite a country in the face of such adversity, imagine what would be possible in a more micro setting like a company, workplace or team?
The good news is, this type of 'modern' leadership is not unique to Jacinda, it’s available to anyone who is prepared to examine and connect with their own humanness and drop the constructs of ego in order to be in service to themselves and others.
Have you got what it takes to be a modern leader?
Jane Hewett is a purpose driven Executive Coach and Facilitator on a mission to bring the full human experience in to the workplace so that people can be their most authentic selves, leading to greater productivity, engagement and fulfilment. She lives and leads from the heart and believes emotional brilliance resides in all of us.
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