A Balancing Act – Leading with hearts and minds

You might have heard this popular organisational management lesson that “great talents do not leave great organisations, they leave bad leaders.” If we really sit down to analyse this sentence, we would see that no matter how well a company flourishes and what number they maintain at the “best company” table, if the leader of that employee is one who doesn’t pay attention to the needs of his or her employee, such leader should be prepared for a constant employee turnover.Indeed, the workplace is not for fun and games and employees are brought on board to be productive, but while driving this point, leaders tend to forget that employees are human beings and in order to be productive, they need to have the emotional care and support of their bosses; something as tiny as a whisper saying “I am proud of you,” “I would support you,” “You can get through this.”When a leader is passionate about a cause, he gives his resources to move it forward. However, compassion takes it a step further. A compassionate leader would invest not only his or her resources but also him or herself into the cause. Compassion cannot be faked. A leader must connect with people emotionally and logically.In essence, the leader must be aware of EBA (Emotional Bank Account). The Emotional Bank Account derives its meaning from the concept of banking. As a leader, you must recognise that you already have an account in the emotional banks of your followers. When you criticise them wrongfully or deal with them unfairly, you are making withdrawals from that account. However, anytime you appreciate them, affirm them, praise them or love them, you are making deposits into their emotional bank. It is just like the regular banking system. If the amount of deposit you have is less than your withdrawal, what happens to your cheque? It bounces.Despite the theory of EBA, a leader cannot treat his followers the same way because every single person is different and they require different approaches to situations. As a leader, when you know your people, you should take their temperaments, experiences and expectations into account.If you lead with compassion, keeping the circumstances of the situation and your team in mind, you will endear yourself to them. Our world is in dire need of selfless heroes, leaders who know, like Henry Ford said, that “if everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself.”If you want to be a leader, you must show your followers that you are passionate about them and passionate about the cause you are leading. It is when we stop thinking about ourselves that we undergo a true transformation as leaders. A leader that is concerned only about is position can never really make it in the rung of leadership and is more likely to experience a high rate of employee turnover.Start the appeal for the hearts of your followers, show care, understanding and concern and watch transformation occur in your organisation.

Culled from “The Leadership Quadrant” authored by Niyi Adesanya, Leadership Expert and CEO, FifthGear Plus Consulting.
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