POWERPLAY TO THE LEADER‘S CORE
Power play drills down this week to the leader’s core. Previous columns played with the dynamics of power first, as the object and last week, as the agent or leader. Essentially, anyone can choose power (attempting to assert one’s will on another) and no one can choose peace. A manager will be effective when s/he controls personal responses. To have each person encouraged and welcomed as an investor in achievement of the clearly articulated common good forms a group. A leader emerges when the effective manager’s integrity is felt by those who share in the common good.
Here is what Milan found in explaining what he calls “calm-assertive leadership”:
In our own world, human beings have followed leaders who have coerced us, bullied us, acted aggressive toward us, and filled with fear in order to control us. But even among humans, research has shown that calm-assertive leadership – primal leadership – is really a better way to go. “Great leadership works through emotions” (quoting Goleman from Emotional Intelligence and Boyatzis and McKee from Primal Leadership) because the root of our emotions – the limbic system in the brain – is an ‘open-loop’ system; that is, it depends upon sources outside the body to manage itself. ‘In other words, we rely on connections with other people for our own emotional stability…We mirror each other’s emotional signals, ‘whereby one person transmits signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms, and even immune function inside the body of another’. (225) These same authors distinguish dissonant leadership from resonant leadership where groups result as emotionally discordant or groups that vibrate with the leader’s upbeat and enthusiastic energy.
Goleman’s four domains of Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness, self-management, empathy and relationship management give credence to the inadequacy of thinking as a lone element for leading. The person, who balances control-influence-concerns, aligns who s/he is with actions and with possessions, and the person who coordinates emotional domains will be followed. Balance, alignment, and coordination form a powerful gyroscope; the instrument that guides rockets through space and people through chaos.
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