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Leadership is about emotion

Leadership is about emotion | Cultural Trendz |

Make a list of the 5 leaders you most admire. They can be from business, social media, politics, technology, the sciences, any field. Now ask yourself why you admire them. The chances are high that your admiration is based on more than their accomplishments, impressive as those may be. I’ll bet that everyone on your list reaches you on an emotional level.

This ability to reach people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. They all have it. They inspire us. It’s a simple as that. And when we’re inspired we tap into our best selves and deliver amazing work.

So, can this ability to touch and inspire people be learned? No and yes. The truth is that not everyone can lead, and there is no substitute for natural talent. Honestly, I’m more convinced of this now – I’m in reality about the world of work and employee engagement. But for those who fall somewhat short of being a natural born star (which is pretty much MANY of us), leadership skills can be acquired, honed and perfected. And when this happens your chances of engaging your talent increases from the time they walk into your culture.

Let’s Take A Look At Tools That Allow For Talent To Shine:

Emotional intelligence. Great leaders understand empathy, and have the ability to read people’s (sometimes unconscious, often unstated) needs and desires. This allows them to speak to these needs and, when at all possible, to fulfill them. When people feel they are understood and empathized something, they respond PERIOD and a bond is formed.

Continuous learning. Show me a know-it-all and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have a clue about being human. Curiosity and an insatiable desire to always do better is the mark of a great leader. They are rarely satisfied with the status quo, and welcome new knowledge and fresh (even if challenging) input. It’s all about investing in yourself.

Contextualize. Great leaders respond to each challenge with a fresh eye. They know that what worked in one situation may be useless in another. Before you act, make sure you understand the specifics of the situation and tailor your actions accordingly.

Let Go. Too many people think leadership is about control. In fact, great leaders inspire and then get out of the way. They know that talented people don’t need or want hovering managers. Leadership is about influence, guidance, and support, not control. Look for ways to do your job and then get out of the way so that people can do theirs.

Honesty.  Not a week goes by that we don’t hear about a so-called leader losing credibility because he or she was dishonest. Often this is because of pressure to try and “measure up” and it’s not coming from a place of being real – often this relates to fear of not being accepted for your true self. We live in age of extraordinary transparency, which is reason enough to always be true to your core – your mission will be revealed, your motivations will show by your behaviors. But it goes way beyond this. It’s an issue that sets an example and elevates an organization. If you have a reputation for honesty, it will be a lot easier to deliver bad news and face tough challenges. Are you inspiring people from your heart?

Kindness and respect. Nice leaders (people) don’t finish last. They finish first again and again. Ignorance and arrogance are leadership killers. They’re also a mark of insecurity. Treating everyone with a basic level respect is an absolute must trait of leadership. And kindness is the gift that keeps on giving back. Of course, there will be people who prove they don’t deserve respect and they must be dealt with. But that job will be made much easier, and will have far less impact on your organization, if you have a reputation for kindness, honesty and respect.

Collaboration. People’s jobs and careers are integral to their lives. The more your organization can make them a partner, the more they will deliver amazing results. This means, to the greatest extent possible, communicating your organization’s strategies, goals and challenges. This builds buy-in, and again is a mark of respect. People won’t be blindsided (which is a workplace culture killer) by setbacks if they’re in the loop.

Partner with your people. As I said above, people’s careers are a big part of their lives. That seems like a no-brainer, but leaders should have it front and center at all times. Find out what your employees’ career goals are and then do everything you can to help them reach them. Even if it means they will eventually leave your organization. You will gain happy, productive employees who will work with passion and commitment, and tout your company far and wide. This an opportunity to brand your greatness.

Leadership is both an art and a science. These tools are guidelines, not rigid rules. Everyone has to develop his or her own individual leadership style. Make these tools a part of your arsenal and use them well as you strive to reach people on an emotional level. Be Human. This Matters.


Vilma Bonilla's insight:

A brilliant fellow Toastmasters recently said, "The ability to inspire and influence others is a mark of true leadership." All too often, people take leadership positions as a way to elevate themselves and it's all about their accomplishments. This approach does not earn trust or inspire anyone.

True collaboration and partnership happens when you treat people with kindness, respect, and honesty. Be friendly and approachable. Get to know people and their challenges first. Then and only then will people will respond to you.

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Ten tips to develop your leadership inclinations

Ten tips to develop your leadership inclinations | Cultural Trendz |

As the saying goes, great leaders are born, not made. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Nelson Mandela may have had brains that were wired differently, according to a new study. In particular, they had more gray matter in the parts of their minds that control decision making and memory, which could account for their superior leadership skills.

Leadership InclinationsWith that said, there is ample evidence that suggests leadership skills can be learned. Or, at the very least, there are numerous attributes and characteristics that all good leaders have in common. You might not become the next Alexander the Great by following these simple suggestions, but they should help you to run your department more successfully.

1. There’s no “I” in team

Some bosses let leadership go to their heads. They take advantage of the power they have over their subordinates. Good leaders, on the other hand, realize that they are simply part of a team and cannot succeed if they fail to get the most out of each and every one of their team members. There are many ways to motivate your team that does not include bribes or threats. In fact, good leaders get people to follow them simply by being honest.

2. Inspire your employees

One of the most magnetic qualities about all great leaders is that they have the rare ability to empower others through the strength of their character. They need not cajole or inveigle their employees to get them to do their bidding. Rather, they simply inspire them by setting a good example.

3. Actions speak louder than words

The most common concern of any employee who is suddenly thrust into a leadership position is that they won’t be able to rally the troops when they need to. Many of them have less than Kennedyesque public speaking abilities, which means they often avoid big speeches. But more often than not in a business setting, words are a bit overrated. Most employees get inspired by bosses that demonstrate commitment to their workers and the company through actions, not bravura speeches.

4. Give respect to get respect

Numerous studies have found the best bosses are the ones that do not play favorites. They treat all of their employees with respect, from the top executives to interns to temporary workers. As a result, their staff is far more likely to come to them with new ideas, inquires, or concerns. Being a leader absolutely necessitates that you stay in the loop and have your finger on the pulse of your business.

5. Don’t be afraid to fail

Nobody can make the right decision all the time. Politicians, scientists, doctors, and other leaders stumble about as often as they succeed. But what separates them from others is that they never stop trying based on past missteps. Because they believe in their vision, they keep plugging away. That kind of dedication is infectious.

6. Image is important

In addition to giving respect, you must also have respect for yourself, or what the French call amour propre. This feeling of personal worth is reflected in everything you say and do and even how you dress, which brings us to our next tip.

7. Dress the part

In an age of internet billionaires that wear hoodies and flip flops to work, there is something to be said for a nice suit, both for men and women. Sure, the 20-year old tech wizard can get away with wearing whatever he wants, but most employees must dress for success if they want to get ahead.

8. Be a great mentor

As we mentioned earlier, leaders are only as good as the teams they lead. All great bosses leave something to posterity, i.e., they help develop the next generation of leaders. They do this by never saying no to any employee’s request for guidance, help, or support.

9. Always be honest

One of the many differences between a boss and a leader is that leaders don’t sugarcoat the truth. They are frank and honest with their employees, but never petty or mean. They will tell them exactly what they need to know to help their workers learn and grow.

10. Vision is everything

No, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs. But you must articulate an unambiguous vision for the future of your company. It could be something as simple as selling one million units of product or doubling revenues within five years…but it has to be clear and concise and every employee must understand it.

What additional characteristics would you add to develop your leadership inclinations?

See more at:

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

"What is your leadership inclination? Ample evidence suggests leadership skills can be learned, and there are attributes all good leaders have in common."


In my opinion, a good leader is always attuned to the needs of others; has a vision; is honest and supportive; and leads by example. ~ V.B.

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How to lead when employees don't want to follow

How to lead when employees don't want to follow | Cultural Trendz |

Employees aren't going to like every decision you make. Strong leaders, though, know how to rally the troops, even around an initially unpopular idea.

John Maxwell, a prolific author who's written more than 60 books, says whatever you do, you can't buckle under unpopularity: "Sooner or later you encounter fierce resistance. Leadership feels a lot like peddling uphill, swimming upstream, or running into a stiff headwind. The challenge is to overcome the resistance instead of being overwhelmed by it," Maxwell writes on his blog.

Read below for Maxwell's suggestions on how to overcome stubborn employees unwilling to change.

Know that change creates friction.

Humans are creatures of habit, and changes in the day-to-day may upset their routines. So don't take opposition personal--it's bigger than you and your idea. "Leaders launch forward motion, but people stubbornly resist change because they dislike uncertainty. Most people would rather have familiar problems than unfamiliar solutions," Maxwell writes. "For this reason, you can anticipate having a tough time bringing about substantial transformations in your organization."

Don't forget the 20-50-30 principle.

"As a rule of thumb, 20 percent of your people will support your efforts to initiate change, 50 percent will be undecided, and the remaining 30 percent will resist you," he writes. He suggests not wasting your time trying to convert non-believers--it'll only backfire and make them resist you even more. Instead, court the 50 percent who are undecided and use the 20 percent to help convince them that your effort to drive change is positive.

Make a clear target.

Maxwell says that everyone needs an end goal to get through challenging, tough times. An employee needs to know his or her hard work will result in something beneficial. "As a leader, it's your duty to remind people of the benefits that lie just around the bend," he writes. "Without a sense of purpose, people quickly tire and lose heart."

Promise problems from the start.

Once you announce your campaign of change, be honest about the hardships ahead. If your staff doesn't anticipate problems, they're going to complain and you'll lose support. "Remind people of the rewards of change, but don't gloss over the difficulties," he says. "The nature of change is that things get worse before they get better."

Via Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Leading change is difficult. Friction is often inevitable. However, resistance may be overcome by addressing employee needs. I have been deployed to help employees in the field to manage change. Difficult situations  call for direct assistance in the field where face-to-face guidance and support is needed to meet objectives.

When the stakes are high and the change is major, resistance is inevitable. That is precisely when employees need to feel the company is supportive, listening, and guiding them though a major transition. Once the initial difficult situation has been overcome, there should be a stronger and more supportive team working together towards common goals.


Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors's curator insight, November 19, 2013 5:12 AM

Change always creates friction.  Learning how to properly manage and guide change in your company is essential to success.