By Kevin Anthony Johnson, PCC.
“Leadership is influencing the thoughts, feelings and actions of others.”
A client recently shared that they’d missed an opportunity. There was a moment in the last quarter where he could’ve said something about the treatment of a colleague — a woman in his industry. He remained silent. Perhaps, he says, out of fear or peer pressure, he held his tongue when he felt the urge to defend her against an accusation he knew to be false. His remorse was tangible and the damage to his own reputation was deep. He’d lost respect from the women on his own leadership team and several men as well. He missed his leadership moment.
There are moments like this — large and small — that accumulate to define our leadership style, philosophy and impact. Our thoughts, feelings and actions become the model for leadership that others downstream from us will emulate — not what we say, but what we do.
We shape the culture of our teams and companies with consistent, clear communication of our why, our reason for coming together and doing the work before us. We share our thoughts on important events both in our company and in the broader community we serve.
Leaders express their feelings to set the tone during the best and worst of times — we cannot phone it in. Our people want to know where we stand, and in times of social upheaval and uncertainty how you feel can shift the mood of your entire network.
Leaders take wise action, not based on outdated patriarchal modes that exclude the voices being impacted, but based on the collective harvest of insight our teams provide — if we only seek their experience.
I recently saw a meme on social media that said, “Stop saying we’re all in the same boat, we’re not — we’re all in different boats, financially, socially, emotionally — but we ARE all in the same storm and we can help each other through it.”
This is the perspective of leadership — seeing the whole system at work, and attuning our thoughts, feelings and actions. This is how we can influence our families, teams and communities in the present moment, to move us forward together.
To learn more about leadership and developing your leadership skills, contact Kevin for a consultation.