THE PEOPLE CORNER – Leadership … the Balance

In our business practice, we outline the differences between quantitative and qualitative measurements. It is a bit like comparing what you can get your hands around … compared to what you feel.

We have a concept called the GAPWORX Balance which observes and details what you do (the Metrics) – how well you do it (the Aesthetics.) It is the contrast of the work … and the style.

Leadership requires a wide range of capabilities. Among them are knowledge, experience, dedication, discipline, insight, and decision making. Less easily measured are observable behavioral qualities such as courage, resiliency, and consistency.

Using an analogy, it is one thing to use brute force “to make the trains run on time.” It is quite another matter to win the “hearts and minds” of the people, and to win the war.

Too often leadership emphasizes the metrics of analysis, strategy, and action – at the expense of inspiring people and gaining their trust.

Archimedes said “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.” He was talking about using a lever to force an action. But he also knew that a lever is useless without a fulcrum – the foundation and pivot point which makes leverage work.

The old business ways of “command and control” were about strict organizational structures, and telling employees what to do. Modern leadership emphasizes soft skills, such as emotional and social intelligence, and knowing that people perform best when they have purpose and meaning to their work. Leaders help their employees build strengths through training, and providing effective feedback. Today’s leadership models are better levers and fulcrums to achieve organizational results.

The Peter Principle describes how an employee progresses “up the ladder” until they finally reach the rung of their limits, and they become “incompetent.” Leaders continually climb until they reach the top rung. Whether the leader is successful, or is replaced by another, is achieved by balancing the quantity of capabilities … with the quality of the person.

A good leader must understand that followers might not remember everything you told them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. A good leader must first be a good person.

Fortunately, leaders can improve the balance of what needs to be done … and being a better person. Being a better leader comes through self-awareness, motivation, and feedback from trusted resources.