There is no doubt that leadership is extremely important for the success of any organisation. With the advancement of technological changes, information and fast communication which is available to everyone nowadays, management as a method is not enough on its own to bring success to teams, companies and organisations.
Achieving high quality and profitable products is possible with good management methods however it is not enough to cope with the current ever changing interlinked global markets. Managing change requires managing individuals who are living the change. Managing individuals who are dealing with the change requires a whole new set of leadership skills which are crucial for having innovative, creative and proactive workforce. It is the workforce motivated in this way that will be able to cope with global competition and long term productivity.
As the world changes, the businesses are evolving as well. Because of the advancements in the way we communicate, it seems the future of doing business will be relationship-based. This means as transparency of knowledge increases; the individuals will be able to challenge each other more and seek for the truth in decisions and actions of others. So what competencies a leader needs in order to attract talent who is already able to think and act very quickly and lead them without losing their attention and belief in him / her?
During my Talent Management and Executive Resources work in the corporate world, I had the opportunity to observe and work very closely with top talent and leadership teams of big organisations. In my experience of supporting 600 individuals, with talent management strategies, I started noticing common competencies for those who were the most popular, the most followed and the most trusted leaders. When I summarise and formulate these competencies in a formula; what I have is my perception of a wise leader, who could turn knowledge into wisdom and become a very attractive individual as a leader as I witnessed. The formula is;
( Integrity + Fairness ) x Intelligence = Wise Leader
Integrity and Fairness are two qualities of a leader that go hand in hand who wants to gain trust and rapport of his followers. In this context, Integrity is defined as “the quality of having enough honesty and openness to be able to share your beliefs so you can negotiate with others” and Fairness is defined as “the quality of treating people equally or in a way that is right or reasonable”.
These two qualities are not enough on their own to gain trust and be positively influential, a Wise Leader has to always use his intelligence whilst being fair and honest to others; otherwise he / she might lose his / her strategic position. Intelligence includes both IQ and EQ measures such as strategic and multi-dimensional thinking where one collects all the facts and assesses them, makes judgements based on reason. It is also about awareness of others feelings, needs and concerns. When all these three qualities (integrity, fairness, intelligence) are merged together, I observed that balanced relationships are maintained and there is always room for mutual understanding, negotiation and discussion which brings structure, openness, curiosity and collaboration to conversations.
For example, if a leader wants to be open to his/her employees about a sensitive subject for the organisation he/she is leading; but does not pick the right time to share the information, then he/she is neglecting his/her responsibility for the organisation. He/she must use his intelligence to raise his/her concerns for his employees with his management team and negotiate the best possible timing for sharing the information.
The formula also works two ways. As much as The Wise Leader has to keep his Integrity and Fairness to others by taking intelligent measures, he/she has to apply the same logic to himself or herself as well. In other words, he/ she should be honest and fair with himself and use his intelligence at the same time to cope with his internal states, impulses and resources (Goleman).
In my experience the individuals I supported in corporate leadership positions who displayed these qualities moved up in the organisation quicker than others and also had a richer work experience on a human level.
As the Turkish Leadership Academy, we would like to build a foundation on this real life (tested/tried) formula and use it as a starting point to guide individuals create their own leadership formulas by helping them assess their own environment and values as individuals. We think that it is not possible to create an absolute solution to leadership moments, but it is possible to empower individuals to create their own leadership toolboxes which can be adapted to different situations by them in this ever changing world. We are here exactly to guide and support you to achieve that!
Founder of TLA Turkish Leadership Academy