I believe all people seek connection and purpose. It shocked me that the highest score was about sitting alone at the computer. But that's the reality. Think of all the people at Starbucks, or on a plane or at an airport with their laptops open surrounded by many people and totally alone. I am a person that needs my alone time, however, I need to be with others as much, a critical balance. The question is, how do we feed the need to connect as leaders in today's work environment?
I recommend a book I read years ago. Clearly you do not have time to read this book. I challenge you to make time to read a chapter a week- how hard can that be? I also challenge you to buy a PAPER used copy to make it really tactile. And I challenge you to challenge your staff to do the same, which will help you identify your high potential leaders: Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership, James A. Autry.
Here are a few other provocative ideas:
Head, Heart & Gutsby David L. Dotlich, Petere C. Cairo and Stephen H. Rhinesmith. In this provocative book, the authors discuss how to move to Whole Leadership. A sample of the book is here. Here's what they describe:
Among the qualities that distinguish the best leaders from others are emotional maturity, the capacity to create trust and the flexibility to work with a range of different types of people. In other words, the best leaders have heart, in addition to their other strengths. Effective leaders show tenacity, persistence and the ability to overcome obstacles that get in their way- what is referred to as guts. Of course, a leader who relies primarily on heart or guts is equally ineffective. Most people who achieve senior-level leadership positions in business today, however, are head-oriented individuals; the heart- or guts oriented managers tend to be stigmatized or eliminated before they make it to a top position, or they are relegated to a function best suited to their orientation.
The domain of emotional intelligence is one where we can grow our strength through practice any time we want. It is not hard wired. Gratefulness is a practice that moves us to see, connect and have empathy for others which also draws us out of self. Consider some of these thoughts brought to me today by my trusted friend Carroll Nelligan who shared a post with me from DK Brainard titled "Gratitude and Belonging." I've selected some of the nuggets about gratitude:
The world is changing, much faster than our ego/personality selves are prepared to deal with. Living creative, connected lives where we get to do more of what we enjoy with more people we enjoy doing it with is the desired outcome now. The challenge, for many of us, is that we are so habituated to choosing duty, frustration, and self-abandonment over joy that we find it very hard to believe the Universe will support us if we insist on choosing joy.There’s a leap of faith that must be taken. Soft landings are not guaranteed.
Part of the challenge for those of us who are being pinned down by this transformational accelerator beam is that we don’t have a road map. I know I’ve received a stream of assurances from my guides that it’s safe to let go and trust. That not only will I be OK, this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. The Universe is answering my prayers, manifesting my vision of an abundant life, setting me free. I don’t have the map. Sorry. I believe what my guides are telling me. Partly because I’ve been here before and it does seem true that after each breakdown, break-up, or breakthrough episode, I always find myself in a better life. Belatedly grateful for the experience
...it's the egoic mind’s reaction to contemplating finally letting go of the habitual guilt and shame that motivate most of our choices and daily actions. To the egoic mind, spiritual freedom is tantamount to death. We no longer need those old voices of judgment and shame... realized later, is another form of the perspective I’ve been writing and talking about recently: Forgiveness is imagination in action. Gratitude is actually a form of forgiveness – of self, of others, of the world – because it changes the images in our mind… Standing in the light takes some resolve...What I’m hearing, when I remember to be still and listen, is that we don’t need a map. We just need to be quiet and listen. And remember to be grateful for the light that is always here, in every moment.