Why the best leaders are the most human
-Bill Marklein, Founder Employ Humanity
Leadership at its core is the awareness of our own emotions and the emotions of others and the ability to manage these emotions in a positive, productive style. Leaders embrace the full wheel of emotion from joy to anger, trust to fear and adapt to make those in their presence better versions of themselves. The workplace, and any social setting for that matter, is full of changing emotions. In order to successfully lead and inspire people, we must be boldly human with awareness, adaptability and empathy.
So why are the best leaders the most human leaders? The most human leaders have the following in their leadership DNA:
Vulnerability: Leadership is not about being always right but about being always authentic. To be real we have to be vulnerable letting our guard down to let those we lead see our weaknesses. It is in being vulnerable and showing our own weaknesses with humility that makes us authentic, relatable and most human.
Self-Awareness: Leadership is about being present to those immediately in front of us to truly connect and serve. Mindfulness allows us to connect with and lead ourselves first so we are able to better lead others. One of the biggest challenges to leadership is having the vulnerability to have an accurate self-assessment for this is the starting point to grow into a leader of greatness.
Empathy: No two humans share the same experiences, the same stories. Empathy is the most human we can be in our leadership to listen with curiosity and put ourselves in others’ shoes to better communicate, especially during challenging conversations. Having difficult conversations with confidence and composure is part of human leadership and we must have Emotional Intelligence and empathy to do so effectively.
Humor: Being human is being messy and making mistakes. The most human leaders laugh at their mistakes, fail forward and invite their team to do the same to play big, build trust and liberate creativity. They also make sure people are having fun because the most successful teams have fun, laugh and are not too serious.
Passion: The most successful teams are passionate about a common goal. Emotions drive passion in a positive way and is at the core of humanity.
Adaptability: With the rapidly changing personalities and personal stories around us, we must adapt to those around us to truly listen, engage, inspire and ignite real human-connection heart-to-heart.
Heart: With the acceleration of Artificial Intelligence and automation, leaders must become more human to do things technology cannot do which is to have authentic human connection with compassion.
Technology is saving humanity the mental bandwidth to not have to do so much hard thinking (data, logic, analytics) and this is certainly moving the needle to liberate humanity to be more human to connect heart-to-heart.
Integrity: One of the most unique qualities of humanity is the ability to choose and to do what is right for our organizations, our community and the common good. Most importantly, to do what is right when no one is looking. Be the same person privately, publically and personally to be more human and gain confidence in your leadership.
Employ Humanity Leadership Training asks participants to think of the individual in their life who has made the most positive impact on their life and then to list the attributes/qualities of this individual (see below word cloud from Employ Humanity recent training session). 95% of attributes listed are related to boldly human leadership.