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Anyone looking to be extraordinary in this changing world can no longer afford the tough, angry, brittle facade of fear-based leadership.
Gone are the days when the metric for success is based on the dollar amount in your bank, the achievements won or the accolades collected. While these are fabulous measures of performance and results, for longer-term sustainability, the foundation of success is built on character. As leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners, learning to lead with character is imperative.
Establishing your essence in developing characteristics grounded in emotional intelligence is drastically shaping the way we look at the new era of success. It begins with self-awareness, the ability to grow and understand how you operate in the given context of the workplace, your team, or more simply your strengths and shortcomings. When you are more aware and accept the variations and uniqueness, your navigation through problem-solving and making better decisions comes with ease. You are readily able to understand perspectives and appreciate the ones you may not typically jibe with.
Lastly, you can commit to taking action: Whether it's expanding your ideas, innovating the company or planning the next step in your career trajectory, this falls into place with profound focus and clarity.
Here are seven essential traits that shape sound emotional leadership:
1. Vulnerability and Transparency
When you are able to be vulnerable and showcase a more "human" and relatable side, often hard-won humility, trust and respect is gained. Champion some aspects that make you human, offering more collaboration and more cohesion with families, businesses and communities.
Leaders often fall into a pattern of emulating other leaders' styles. Unfortunately, that's an old paradigm—and a losing formula. Next-generation leadership has roots in how YOU are specifically unique, and for this it will require consistently showing up as yourself—with levels of transparency that have been discouraged in the past.
The traditional model of "fear-based" leadership requires a fortress of walls built around the leader—but tension is the result that often ensues. A little more compassion goes a long way for the relationships you wish to build to create the impact you want to make in the world.
If there's one thing that's constant, it's constant change. Technology is constantly advancing, workplace culture is evolving, and there are so many things that happen in a day, sometimes it's hard to keep up with. Next-gen leaders need to embrace flexibility and work on detaching from the results. Focus on your openness problem-solving: This will help you grow on a personal and professional level. This is the juiciness of you as a leader, opening up exponential possibilities when you change your perspective from a different lens.
Embrace what you are building and for whom you are building by being sensitive and open to the feelings of others. Understanding the perception and the perspective of the other person is an art, and it changes depending on whom you're speaking with. With kindness and warmth, this is the new era of leadership.
There is never any judgment in curiosity. This is a deep understanding and inquisition to know more. Curiosity will help you understand why, and to pursue the unknown will help you gain a different perspective, experience a different thought process, and encourage openness and expansion.
This is the understanding that adversity is a part of life. Embrace the tenacity and fierce capacity to rise up again and again in the face of life's natural ebb and flow. In every single life there will be dark times, and it's not about avoiding them altogether; it's about understanding how to navigate challenges and embrace the toughest parts along the road. Everyone will have them to some degree or another. It is not about being the victim but rather opening oneself to life's valuable lessons that strengthen your core as a human as a result.
Fundamentally leading with a greater capacity for understanding and strengthening your emotional leadership prepares you and steers you forth in the right direction that will not only empower and affect those around you, but make you a more distinguished human being with boundless success that spills over into different aspects of your life.