Essential Leadership Competencies

Essential Leadership Competencies
Essential Leadership Competencies
These characteristics, when taken together, are all about creating a safe and trustworthy environment.
A leader with high ethical standards communicates a commitment to fairness, giving others confidence that they and their employees will play by the rules.
Similarly, clear communication of expectations prevents people from being surprised and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Employees can relax in a safe environment, which activates the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.
This is supported by neuroscience.
When the amygdala detects a threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken in preparation for a fight-or-flight response.
We lose access to the limbic brain’s social engagement system and the prefrontal cortex’s executive function in this state, which inhibits creativity and the drive for excellence.
From a neuroscience standpoint, leaders should prioritize ensuring that people feel safe on a deep level.
But how do you do it?
Behaving in a way that is consistent with your values is the focus of this competency.
You probably need to reconnect with your core values if you find yourself making decisions that go against your principles or justifying actions despite a nagging sense of discomfort.
To help with this, I lead a simple exercise called “Deep Fast Forwarding” with my clients.
Consider your funeral and what a eulogy will say about you.
Is this what you were hoping to hear?
This exercise will help you gain a better understanding of what’s important to you, which will help you make better decisions on a daily basis.
Work on speaking with the purpose of making people feel safe to boost feelings of safety.
One method to do this is to recognize and counteract feared outcomes or repercussions right away.
This is what I refer to as “clearing the air.”
“I’m not trying to blame you,” you may remark in response to a chat about a project gone awry.
“All I want to know is what happened.”
According to global leaders, ten attributes are required for leadership.
Allows others to organize themselves.
The third most significant leadership competency was recognized as providing clear direction but allowing individuals to plan their own time and work.
No leader can do everything on their own.
As a result, it’s vital to disperse power throughout the business and rely on individuals closest to the action to make decisions.
Empowered teams are more productive and proactive, deliver better customer service, and have higher levels of work satisfaction and dedication to their team and business, according to research.
Despite this, many leaders have difficulty allowing individuals to self-organize.
They resist because they feel power is a zero-sum game, they don’t want others to make mistakes, and they are afraid of the consequences of subordinates’ decisions.
To overcome your fear of losing power, start by being more aware of the bodily tension that emerges when you believe your position is under threat.
As previously stated, perceived dangers trigger the amygdala’s fight, flight, or freeze response.
When stress levels are high, the good news is that we may instruct our bodies to experience calm rather than defensiveness.
Try to keep the current situation apart from the past, share the outcome you’re most afraid of with others rather than trying to keep control, and remember that giving up power is a fantastic way to gain influence, which leads to more power over time.
Encourages a sense of belonging and connection.
Leaders who “communicate frequently and honestly” (competency #6) and “create a sense of succeeding and failing together as a pack” (competency #8) lay the groundwork for strong connections.
We are a social species that seeks to connect with others and to experience a feeling of belonging.
Attachment is crucial from an evolutionary standpoint because it increases our chances of surviving in a world full with predators.
According to research, a sense of connectedness might affect productivity and emotional well-being.
Scientists have discovered, for example, that emotions are contagious in the workplace: employees become emotionally depleted simply by seeing bad interactions among coworkers.
Creating connection is a leader’s second most essential duty, according to neuroscience.
In order to fully utilize the potential of our higher functioning prefrontal cortex, we must first feel protected (which activates the reptile brain) and then cared for (which activates the limbic brain).
There are a few basic techniques to encourage employees to feel like they belong:
Smile at them, address them by their first names, and remember their hobbies and family names.
When conversing with them, pay close attention and establish the tone that your team members have each other’s backs.
Using a song, slogan, symbol, chant, or ritual that is unique to your team can also help to deepen this bond.
Demonstrates receptivity to new ideas and promotes organizational learning.
“Flexibility to modify viewpoints” (competency #4), “being open to new ideas and approaches” (competency #7), and “providing safety for trial and error” (competency #10) all have something in common.
If a leader possesses these qualities, they will promote learning; if they do not, they risk suffocating it.
It’s not simple to admit when we’re incorrect.
The detrimental effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame once again – in this case, they obstruct learning.
Researchers discovered that when our brains are under attack, blood flow to our peripheral vision is lowered, ostensibly so we can deal with the immediate danger.
They’ve noticed a considerable loss in athletes’ peripheral vision before competition, for example.
While tunnel vision aids athletes’ concentration, it blocks the door to new ideas and techniques for the rest of us.
Even when confronted with contradictory evidence, our ideas become increasingly rigid, making learning nearly difficult.
To inspire staff to learn, leaders must first demonstrate that they are willing to learn (and change course) themselves.
Approach problem-solving dialogues with an open mind and no preconceived notions about the outcome.
Hold off on making any decisions until everyone has spoken, and make people know that all opinions will be taken into consideration.
There will be a larger range of ideas.
Essential Leadership Competencies
While failure is necessary for learning, our persistent pursuit of success might deter employees from taking risks.
Leaders must develop a culture that encourages risk-taking in order to reconcile this issue.
Controlled experiments (think A/B testing) that allow for tiny failures and require rapid feedback and adjustment are one approach to accomplish this.
This creates a framework for collective intelligence to be built, allowing employees to learn from one other’s failures.

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