Enjoying the Holidays with Head and Heart
With the busy holiday season upon us, it is easy to get caught up in the long list of things that must be accomplished in order to make your celebration a success. Amidst the hustle-and-bustle of the season, it can be hard to step out of all that needs to be done and capture the magic of the season—to find a moment to truly connect and be present with friends and family.
This ability to accomplish, to be competent, while balancing the desire to connect with others in meaningful ways repeats itself in the daily challenges of leaders. The reminder for us to balance both “getting it done” with “finding the magic” during the holiday season is something good leaders strive for every day of the year.
Competence and Connection – Leading with Head and Heart
Leaders not only need to get work done, but they also need to get work done through others. This is not a new challenge. In today’s ever-changing, global, virtual, and increasingly diverse world, however, it’s more important than ever for leaders to balance both emotional intelligence and effective leadership.
At BlessingWhite we believe strong leaders are able to successfully balance two essential qualities – competence and connection . This perspective is based on 40+ years of experience in leadership and employee engagement, proprietary research, and extensive work with hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders. It is also informed by our partnerships with industry thought leaders like Terry Pearce, Rob Goffee, and Gareth Jones.
Competent leaders understand what is expected of them, know themselves, and understand the business . Critical to their role is ensuring alignment of their team’s day-to-day activities with organizational goals.
When leaders exhibit competence, they send the message that they know what needs to be done to help the organization – and those around them – achieve the desired outcomes or strategic priorities of the business. Job-related expertise is key, as is the ability to juggle priorities and manage tasks.
Competent leaders are adept at delegating, communicating clearly, and managing change . All of these skills are necessary to deliver results through others – they are foundational to a strong leadership style. Leaders who have competence are also able to engage the minds of their employees in setting expectations, providing feedback, and accomplishing results .
Competence is a necessary foundation to leadership excellence, but it’s not enough . Because leaders need to get work done through individuals, the need for connection is also essential.
Strong leaders do more than help employees understand what is expected. They connect with people in meaningful ways. They understand the importance of establishing relationships, valuing individual differences, and appreciating the diversity of today’s workplace and world. Leader must achieve results – the way in which leaders work with, inspire, and engage others is what truly distinguishes leadership excellence.
Leaders who are able to connect with others exhibit emotional intelligence. They are able to build trust through emotional intelligence and effective leadership in order to influence effectively. They send the message that they care about more than accomplishments, they care about their people – what makes them unique, what’s important to them (values), and what they want to get out of their lives and their career. When leaders are connected, they lead with their heart and create meaning and value in the relationships with those they lead.
Leaders who connect also do more than just help their people get the work done – they help their people thrive . When leaders exhibit both competence and connection, the result is that individuals don’t just follow those leaders, they rally around them. They send the message that they trust and value their leader and, in return, will go-the-extra-mile to help them accomplish organizational goals and achieve business results.
At BlessingWhite, we understand the importance of balancing emotional intelligence and effective leadership skills. Our unique strength is our focus on helping leaders access the more elusive, heart-based factors that distinguish those who are merely good, from those who are inspiring.
Professionally, our wish for this holiday season is that each and every individual contributor, front line leader, leader of leaders and executive finds a way to strike the balance between getting-it-done and savoring the moment. Our hope is that everyone’s most important holiday to-do includes focusing on the people in our lives that matter most and the meaningful connections we make with them.