The Heart of Leadership

Our heart is at the centre of our relationships with others; this is the heart of leadership, well, it should be and sometimes it isn’t!

Much has been written about leadership qualities over the years, as managers and executives want to understand how to be a better leader. In short, that description, ‘want to understand’ tells us a lot about where they are leading themselves from. Leadership isn’t a definition; it’s a process called leading.  It is what we feel, what we instinctively understand and what we know, when we are doing the right thing.

Nebulous, you may say and almost deliberately so, for we are conditioned to focus on using our head brains to solve problems, to become inventive and creative in designing, building and marketing new ideas, concepts and products. And for what purpose? What is the right thing?  What number one driving purpose? I am going to suggest that, since Victorian times, the driving purpose has been to generate money. After all, that’s what every business is there for…right? The creation of wealth.

Well, that is the first assumption that sets us off on a path that has it’s own pitfalls and long term consequences for humanity. If the sole purpose (the one that is measured and rewarded) is to make money; all thinking and behaviours align to that goal. We become focused on productivity, market share, growing and expanding continuously and it’s what the investor expects; return on investment, making money. The consequence is an ever-increasing pace of life, pressure, fear of not succeeding, not measuring-up and the concomitant increase in stress, anxiety and burnout.

And what is wealth? There are many definitions, not limited to financial security

  1. an abundance of valuable things or money
  2. a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing

Many years ago, a friend of mine said, if you could bottle contentment, you would have a queue around the block wanting to buy some and that queue would never end.

With increasing evidence, it is becoming more visible that, if done in an uncontrolled way, wealth-creation is unsustainable from a financial perspective. I will cite the recent collapse of Thomas Cook as an example of out-of-balance decision-making by the board of directors; making decisions that increase a debt burden well beyond what could be managed, impairing investment and adaptability.  Ultimately, this led to loss of jobs (both directly and indirectly), customer dissatisfaction and loss, whilst directors took millions in reward payments and salary before the collapse into administration. A new development?  Sadly not; just another example in an ever-growing list of corporate collapses following periods of sustained head- and gut-led leadership.

Let me explain; the multiple brains we have (those defined by science as brains), have different functions. They have been known about for millennia, honoured and used wisely by ancient civilisations. However, as we became more and more focused on the use of our head brains and came to believe it was the most important asset of human sapiens…the very thing that differentiated us from all other species on earth, we became trapped in our own man-made creation. These other brains are the Heart and the Gut brains. You can read far more on the underpinning science in the book by Grant Soosalu & Marvin Oka ‘mBraining: Using Your Multiple Brains To Do Cool Stuff’, which you can buy here https://www.revealsolutions.co.uk/coaching-cards-courses-books-resources/mbraining-using-multiple-brains-cool-stuff/

Our current leadership is a product of that skewed creation. The expression ‘what gets measured gets done’ explains this; leading to the double-bind situation and belief, ‘if you don’t make the money expected by your investors, your investors desert you and your business goes South’. As managers, the organisation expects that you will maintain productivity and increasing performance, but the leadership here is pseudo leadership.  It is driven by unbridled creativity; to find continuously better and cheaper ways of delivering the product or service, and the courage to push on, regardless of feedback…the ‘no-pain-no-gain’ mentality and wrapped up in the message of fear, ‘if we don’t adapt and get better, someone else will take the business’.  This is largely what leads to corporate takeovers, removing the competition, establishing dominance, snuffing out small start-ups that are disrupters by buying them.

So in the short term, the wheel keeps spinning and there is a human cost to all of that. There is a migration to the few in power and holding the financial wealth.  Business gets bigger and bigger, potentially dwarfing the economies of countries and governments. There is disproportionate global population growth, and resources are used in short periods of time, that takes Nature many thousands of years to restock, if ever. Such leadership self-sustaining power base is amplified out of fear and protection of what has been ‘earned’. And all of this is unsustainable, both for the planet and the human species.

In the meantime, more people experience increasing anxiety, depression and stress-related health issues – the World Health Organisation predicts that mental health illness will be the single biggest cause of death in the world by 2025! Why? Because we are not living in balance or harmony with Self, others and Nature.

What is your Purpose? This used to be a question that predominantly popped up in later life, after finding a job, finding a partner, getting married, buying a house, having children, getting promotions to increase your salary, supporting your children’s education until they start their own new cycle of life. Well that is no longer the case.  This Life Question is being asked by many a lot earlier in life. I suspect the time of change in how we are currently living, is going to be more abrupt and quicker than even the biggest of corporations are willing to admit. I suspect the Heart of Leadership is about to announce it’s presence on the world.

Truly successful companies will be those whose DNA is bigger than making a profit. Their owners and employees will then truly be freed to make a difference in peoples lives, not just to say that they do! This is the heart of leadership

 

The heart brain’s prime functions are, Feeling, Valuing and Connecting

 

Just in the last week, I have had discussions with people who are experiencing Gen Z’s and Millennials in the workplace saying ‘no, I am not doing that, is not right, because it goes against my values and what important to me’. So leadership must adapt and businesses can become more sustainable where the focus is on careering, on connecting deeply with what their prospective customer wants and not what suits them to make a profit, on involving their people, acknowledging their needs and desires, on measuring the quality of the relationships, rather than merely the number of relationships, or the £ returned by each account etc.

The Heart of Leadership is at all levels in society; politicians, big business, small business, local government, educational institutions, voluntary organisations and above all else, at leading Self, being in balance with Self, so that you are able to make decisions that are sustainable and where thinking becomes wider than just look after number one. In order for that to happen, people need to feel safe and secure; humans do not thrive while under threat or in fear, they hunker down and survive. Creating a positive, wholesome environment is the role of government and can only be delivered when decisions are made, not for the short term patting of ego or the growth of interest and investments first, but with the heart leading creating a better future for all.

 

 

“A society grows great when old men plant trees under whose shade they know they shall never sit”. An ancient Greek proverb. One of the oldest civilizations in the world.

 

 

The heart of leading is using your multiple intelligences in an aligned way, so that each prime function of each intelligence is utilised.  In doing so, we have access to emergent wisdoming, the synergistic combination of intelligences, the alchemy and fusion of sensing. Then, we make decisions not based out of fear or because we can; we make decisions happy that the outcomes leave a lasting legacy, from which others will also benefit. That what is built, is strong and stable and acts as a marker, an unwritten lesson to future generations.  Generosity, kindness and respect for balance endure…this is the heart of leadership

Pseudo leading results in the majority surviving a trail of ruin and turmoil, disaster and unhappiness.  Pseudo leaders who have little connection to their heart intelligence and hence the reason they demonstrate little personal reflection or remorse for their actions; preferring instead to lay blame at the feet of others.

I read the obituary T Boone Pickens in the Times newspaper yesterday “an oil magnate, whose ruthlessness earned him many enemies”.  His life was littered with many multimillion dollar deals; I will allow you to read about his personal life for yourself; hasten to say, money does not bring you happiness.

There is more to life than surviving; each and every one of us has within us the power to decide what is the right thing to do.  So choose wisely and be aware of the consequences of not engaging all your multiple intelligences.

I wish you a joyous and happy life, in harmony with Self, others and Nature. This is the heart of true leadership.

http://www.mbraining.com/

http://www.mbraining.co.uk/

 

How to develop Emotional Intelligence

Develop Emotional Intelligence with Cards

You can develop your emotional intelligence.

Do you find meaningful conversations difficult?

Maybe you find it more natural to focus on getting the task done than on the people and how they feel in your team.

Do you get frustrated when things don’t go your way? Find yourself resorting to upping the ante?

Have you ever been called heartless or cold hearted?

It may not be your desire to be labelled in this way but you could have traits in your personality that may make the label others have given you fair.

Emotional intelligence (EI) can be defined as “the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).[1]

So if you find it difficult to understand what others are talking about when a conversation talks about feelings or desires it may just be that there is a disconnect in your heart at those moments and you are trying to answer questions related to values and desires with a cognitive process that happens in your head.

What is well documented and recognised is that Emotional Intelligence EQ or EI is equally and more important in being sustainably more successful at whatever it is that you wish or are employed to do, than your IQ.  Without well-formed and well-functioning relationships we achieve far less and at a higher cost to self and others!

How can you develop emotional intelligence?

Developing emotional intelligence does not have to be hard. All personal development starts with having awareness. How emotionally intelligent are you? Find out now by taking our Emotional Intelligence Quiz.

Having awareness is only the beginning, it’s what you do with that awareness that counts. What ever the score you obtain in the quiz you can always improve it, we are all on a journey and we are never the complete article!

We can begin the journey by getting better acquainted with our emotions, recognising the difference between say frustrated, annoyed and angry or pleased, impressed & gratitude. There are hundreds if not thousands of different emotions and all have ranges, think of it like a paint colour, How many shades of green are there? In Dan Goleman’s 4 quadrant model this is what is known as Self Awareness.

What follows is being able to manage those emotions. In Goleman’s model this is known as Self-Management emotions are powerful, managed well they are exquisite in bringing closer together, they unite us, fuel us and consolidate our efforts. When we have a lack of self-management are emotions rise to fuel our reaction to events and situations, rather than responding flexibly. They can be the source of upset aggravation and can fuel divide and conflict.

Our ability to read situations, understand and be able to empathise with others is what Goleman refers to as social awareness. This requires us to be interested in others, be able to put aside our own beliefs and values for a moment in order to appreciate another’s position and accept that they may not see things quite the way we do. Goleman calls this social awareness.

I bet that you have met and come across people who just seem to have the knack of getting along with others, even in difficult and challenging environments. You know, the people who can bring people along with an idea or encourage them to challenge it and find an even better way. These people will have high levels of emotional intelligence using it to manage relationships for mutual enjoyable benefit. In Goleman’s model this is known as relationship management

The great news is by working on each area our overall Emotional Intelligence gets better

 

The 48 cards in the pack shown above can help you further develop your emotional intelligence, they are based on Dan Golemans work and use the 4 quadrant model, each card contains a question to think about & work with, it also tells why this is important in building your EQ and finally there is a hint or tip pertinent to the EQ quadrant  giving you three opportunities of learning per card

Go to our Shop to get you pack now and check out the rest of the Reveal Solutions products as well.

Personal Resilience

So much has been written about building personal resilience and it seems that it is one of the hottest topics in businesses and organizations as they look to support their people and look after their well being.

Could it be, that in a world of instant gratification, where we are led to believe that there is always a way, that we have built up a reliance on others to come up with solutions?  Could our desire for inclusion, our worry that a child should not experience rejection on the sports field, that ‘taking part is more important than winning’ result in us losing the ability to cope with difficulty and belief in ourselves to overcome adversity?

Human beings are enduring creatures, we have spent thousands of years dealing with challenges, overcoming what the natural world has thrown at us, yet we seem to struggle with the man-made challenges of modern life. Expectation, falsely-created needs and a desire for an easy life.

Life just isn’t like that, there are real challenges and threats, not the sabre tooth tiger that wants to hunt us and eat us, or (for many of us) the need to find food and water daily in order to survive.  No…modern challenges, like adapting to rapidly-changing technology, coping with change, dealing with global competition, remaining relevant in the workplace, managing others’ expectations and self-expectations.

So just how much control do we have in our lives?  The answer is a lot, but only if we take charge, choose a positive outlook, cultivate the motivation and determination to see things through.

Every four years, we see athletes from around the globe come together to compete, to win and for more to go away empty-handed. The common themes are stories of clear goals, dedication and sacrifice on the way to success and for those who were unable to claim a medal, defiance in defeat, a commitment to work harder, to find new ways to train, to up skill, bank the experience and return stronger. This is resilience in action.

We have worked hard over the last few months to bring to you a set of Building Personal Resilience Coaching Cards, a grouped resource that can be used by individuals, organizations and teams to understand what makes up resilience.  There are challenges and questions to self-coach and develop those skills, thinking and mind-sets needed in order to be successful.

Follow the link to find out more goo.gl/KHZkic

 

Thomas Edison made 1000 experimental light bulbs, all of which failed before he succeeded on his 1001st attempt.

Albert Einstein said ‘failure is success in progress’.

17 Days and counting

mBraining Training. Just 17 days before we go back to school!

Did you know that we have multiple brains? the one we all know about our head brain, the second we may have heard about our Heart brain and the third our Gut brain.

Most of us will have been aware at some time of feelings or feedback from our heart and guts, you know when our heart has been telling us one thing and our head something else! Ye there you go, communication from two of our multiple brains.

I bet you will have said at some point in your life ‘ i have a gut feeling about this…..’ Another brain at work!

But what if you could be more effective at communicating with these other brains? Why not use multiple intelligence’s? It seems rude not too. After all if there there it would be a bit daft not too wouldn’t it?

Wisdom as they say comes from multiple perspectives, so if you would like a bit of that get yourself back to school in 17 days time.

mBIT (multiple brain integration technique) i know a bit of a handful but we won’t kill you, we will just help you to open up your world amazingly, change your life, teach you how to make better decisions for yourself and well, as they say ‘the world really will be your oyster’

To Book now and discover what discount level remains go to

See you there for 4 days of amazing fun or as we say awesoming cos it’s always happening

goo.gl/6P2LMY

Dynamic Learning At Work

With Pokémon Go becoming such an overnight success around the world, the thought crossed my mind as to the use of this technology in training. I was reading an article the other week that mentioned “touch points” According to Wikipedia, the definition of a touchpoint is: Touchpoint (also touch point, contact point, point of contact) is business jargon for any encounter where customers and business engage to exchange information, provide service, or handle transactions. The importance of an effective touch point cannot be underestimated; it drives engagement, stimulates motivation and holds interest. Just what we want to happen, too make a training intervention work well.

For those who have yet to come this blend of real world and virtual world this is how the technology works  “In simple terms, Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear’ around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them,” writes German Lopez of Vox,

Pokémon Go is essentially a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt game. Instructional designers have used scavenger hunt activities and exercises for years. Now they can create a scavenger hunt within an augmented reality game based on the business environment. writes Franz Villa https://www.linkedin.com/in/franzvilla

By using smart phone or tablets to detect tokens that are positioned in the real business world where learning, training or raising of awareness are required or desired, these tokens are linked to the business LMS allowing different types of training and learning to take place and be accessed, the gaming aspect can be incorporated to earn additional tools or collect awards etc.

There is potentially no limit to what can be achieved using this technology and certainly moves online learning into a new, dynamic and exciting era.

So don’t we need to change the way we are doing things?

Which ever way you look at it we are facing the most challenging time of our lives. VUCA times. We are over using our head brains with  massive consequences building for us all. We have created exponential change!

We are seeing it in the way our economies are performing, we are seeing it in the ecology of our planet, we are seeing it in ourselves. Stress, burnout, low levels of satisfaction in life, and all these when we have the largest leaps forward in technology.

People suffering from a meaningful lack of connection yet spending more time with their heads in devices!

Its time to change, to do things differently.

So if this has perked your interest or maybe your already  interested in neuroscience and the impact the latest discoveries have on learning, decision making, leadership and living your life, have a look at www.mbraining.com

Why every leader should know about Modelling

Leaders must influence; they have the opportunity to make change happen, they often have both connection and power but must be careful on how they use it.
I guess your interest has been captured by the title!
We are all expert modellers, or at least we were! We are born with the innate ability to copy; it’s one of the ways in which we learn as a child. We see those who are around us the most, do things and we copy it, this extends to the way in which we learn language and one reason why a child can learn multiple languages at an early age simultaneously and easily.
I was reading an article on CEO strategy the other day by Roger Martin, a professor at the University of Toronto. In it, a small sentence caught my eye; “everybody watches the leader of his or her organisation. If the leader is successful, everyone will attempt to mimic them”. Never has a truer statement been made and this is where the importance of understanding modelling comes in.

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Leadership of a Country

Whilst many of us have wrestled and struggled with the intricacies of leading teams through change, there surely can be no greater challenge than to lead a country. Whilst government is generally elected by the people on a mandate usually laid out in an election manifesto, the complexity of turning those visions and commitments into action and delivering them before the electoral cycle starts again has been the Achilles heel of many an elected government.
So refreshing it is to see a different approach being taken by Wales. In April 2016 The Wellbeing Of Future Generations Act 2015 is enacted and I thought it would be useful to look at what this act is designed to do, how it will affect every public body in Wales in the way that they work and how the citizens of Wales will benefit.
Leadership is never easy, it requires many skills and has many attributes, most have been written about by a great number of people, yet it is in the mechanics of organisations, the behaviours, the culture started and maintained by those in it that provide the biggest challenge to change. When we look at leading a country there are so many public services and bodies, partners and stakeholders that make up the infrastructure to a country, to influence and direct cultural change becomes more challenging.

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Putting the Customer at the centre of everything we do

In a week that has again seen VW in the news for further irregularities with its cars’ emissions and Thomas Cook coming under heavy criticism for their handling of the deaths of two young children from carbon monoxide poisoning while on a Thomas Cook holiday, this is a good time to think about the focus of our businesses.
No one is denying that a business should make a profit, in fact without sustainable profitability; there can be no long term security of employment, confidence from potential customers that the business is strong enough to deliver goods and services, conduct research and development, honour warranties and long term commitments to contracts. However, if the primary purpose is making money and the focus of the business is solely directed towards achieving management targets and goals, there are likely to be problems ahead.
Having worked in the retail industry for a number of years, I can’t help bringing another example into the debate, that of Tesco. For well over a decade, the march of this retail giant seemed unstoppable. First they developed the very large out of town sites with thousands of additional lines, bigger pack sizes & expanded non-food sales, then came the in-fill stores, lots of them mainly on former petrol stations and then closed pubs, efficient merchandising and self-serve checkouts. The foreign operations were expanded and eventually the lure of the US became a jewel to have in the crown. All good, I hear many saying, but then why did the customer leave them in droves, why did they become a ‘Marmite’ company? Like the two other examples earlier, could it be because they became too wrapped up in what was best for them and that their focus had been on the achievement of the goals which they had set themselves and not serving the customer! They stopped putting the customer at the centre of everything that they do? The desire to be bigger better, more successful became the culture.

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Doing The Right Thing

How refreshing it is to be around people who do the right thing!
I have experienced several instances of this lately and seen some reported, so thought it would be a good subject both to challenge ourselves, our businesses and the organisations for whom we may work.
Last week the BBC screened the second of two DIY S.O.S television programmes where they had undertaken to not just to improve one home for a single family, but a whole street in Manchester to turn run-down properties into homes for ex-service personnel. Tradesman, suppliers, and individuals arrived on site in order to make it happen, willing simply to do what they could do and even whole families; because it was the right thing to do. As businesses, we have the opportunity to become involved in projects where there is no financial incentive, where our efforts will be hugely beneficial to the project and where the visibility of our efforts will or may never really be seen by a broader audience. We have the opportunity to do things because it’s the right thing to do. We know when it’s right, not because we have to think it through; we just instinctively know, we feel something that chimes with our values, it makes a connection with our heart and our gut feeling commits us to take some action.

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