What Kind of Leader Am I?

All humans experience chaos at some time in their lives. Many humans experience chaos in the workplace due to the lack of leadership. The current worldwide Corona Virus pandemic seems to heighten our awareness of the chaos surrounding our daily lives at home and at work.

Leaders who lead with fear thrive on chaos. Fear leaders gain their power through poverty, starvation, lies, manipulation and blocked communications which can be summed up into one word – division (divisiveness).

Leaders who lead with love thrive on community, generosity, humility compassion and empathy. Which can be summed up into one word - unity.

We ARE CURRENTLY surrounded with chaos from the election and insurrection in the United States of America (USA), the military coup in Myanmar and the expose on the barbaric treatment and incarceration of the Uighurs in China, just to name a few of the world events leaving us feeling helpless, and yes, full of fear. Many people are asking themselves, “Can this happen to me and my loved ones?”

But, EVEN with the severity and immediacy of these turmoiled events, it seems like these catastrophic human experiences have taken a back seat to the Corona Virus (COVID 1) pandemic.

Humans go to great lengths to reduce stress and find security and safety in their lives. They strive to have harmonious and love-filled families, friends and communities. Humans will even abandon their homes and countries in pursuit of happiness, security, safety, with the dream of finding ultimately a better future for their children. Humans intuitively move or run away from fear.

Now, at the beginning of 2021, the pendulum is swinging towards unity. Leading with Love, not Fear.

It seems that the world is experiencing a pendulum swing (yet again) after the last 5 years of the worldwide chaotic leadership especially in the United States for world events and managing the COVID 19 pandemic. The pandemic has us full of fear, BUT – it has also taught us a lot about how we want to live our lives in the future. How do we want to be led? How do we want our leaders to behave? How do we want our leaders to show us the way out of this chaotic turmoil?

How do WE want to lead?

Socioeconomic statistics indicate that leading with love is far more effective for societies in achieving the greatest good for the highest number of people than leading with fear.

With a shift in world politics, the discovery and manufacturing of several vaccines to fight off the Corona virus, and the peaceful protests in Myanmar, the United States and Russia, it seems like the world is turning again towards leading with love and unity. Worldwide, humans are crying out for equality, justice, equity, and just plain love.

Let’s focus on the future, our future and the future of the world LEADING with Love, not fear.

Let’s set a universal goal to lead with LOVE in 2021 and for at least the next decade.

One of my favorite lists of exemplary leadership practices is from research conducted by Jim Houzed and Barry Posner who collected thoughts and stories of peak leadership experience in their book, “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” (February 2011). Their research shows that these persons’ best leadership experiences share similar patterns of behaviour. With the heightened awareness of the current economic conditions generated by the pandemic, which has brought to the forefront the need for each of us to take care of our fellow human beings, this is the time to focus our politics, businesses, schools, communities, religion all on the ability to grow ALL human beings equally. WE can DO IT if we lead with love, not fear.

Houzed and Posner’s research identify five common behaviours leading to best experiences in leadership. They are:

Model the Way – leaders establish principles concerning the way people should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. Standards of excellence are created and used as the example for others to follow.

Inspire a Shared Vision – Leaders passionately believe in the difference they can make with their vision and inspire others to embrace that vision to see the possibilities for the future.

Challenge the Process - Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organization with experimenting and risking failure, and using disappointment as learning opportunities.

Enable Others to Act - Leaders foster collaboration and build teams of people who are smarter, faster and better than they are.

Encourage the Heart - Leaders reward individuals’ and teams’ accomplishments. They encourage people by recognizing their heroism.

If you had to guess, would you say that these leaders lead with love, not fear?

If you want to lead with love - I’m recommending FIVE SIMPLE STEPS for you to follow:

1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter, faster and better than you are.

2. Let others take the lead.

3. Recognize the accomplishments of others by: calling out their success in meetings, giving annual individual AND peer group rewards, and/or showing appreciation for hard work with a simple in person pat on the back (OR if required for safe distancing an elbow bump or air H I- 5s).

4. Take responsibility and reward those who accept responsibility to resolve problems with honors.

5. Share your experience and wisdom with others through mentoring talent in your organization.

Many FAMOUS leaders are well known for leading with love. Here are some of their quotes that inspire me to lead with love.

“Power should be reserved for weightlifting and boats, and leadership really involves responsibility”. Herb Kelleher, Co-Founder, Southwest Airlines.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group.

“It’s OK to admit what you don’t know. It’s OK to ask for help. And, it’s more than OK to listen to the people you lead. In fact, it’s essential”.

Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”.

Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft

“Ultimately, it’s on the company leaders to set the tone. Not only the CEO, but the leaders across the company”.

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

Don’t forget to share your views below. Let’s have a great discussion on the type of leader you are and the leaders you emulate.

Next Blot Topic: Stay Tuned and we’ll answer the query:

It seems that leaders who lead with love have less stress in their lives, or good stress instead of bad stress. So, why then, do organizations and companies choose to lead with fear?

There are 3 emotions that rule human beings – greed, love, and fear.

Love conquers fear most of the time, but can love conquer greed?

Until next time, I’m Nevine Neill and this is the NBPeople blog.

Take our quiz and get a glimpse into the kind of leader you are.