On why and how true leaders truly connect

Posted on 06.03.2018
The future belongs to those who are capable of connecting with others on a deeper level. Enduring CEOs and top managers are those who know how to connect with their employees; winning politicians are those who know how to connect with the public; successful sales representatives are those who know how to connect with their prospective customers.

In short, regardless of one's role or position, connection is key!

Slowly but surely, we are leaving the era in which technology and the purely analytical and rational way of functioning has always taken centre stage. And we are moving on to a new era: the era of "emotion". As such, it will be the companies in which that "emotion" plays a pivotal role that will become the protagonists of the success-stories of the future. It will be those companies that promote "feel good" concepts and/or help people fulfil their dreams that will be the ones to make the cut.

At Arteel, experience has taught us that there are 3 guiding principles that lead to the path of booking results and being successful in this new era.

Here, I'll happily share them with you!

1. GenerosityJust to be perfectly clear from the outset: "generosity" does not mean giving away or endlessly doing good by financially supporting charitable organisations.

"Generosity" does mean developing the skills and ability to give yourself. How?
By fully embracing vulnerability - it will be the leaders that summon up the courage to show their vulnerability that will be tomorrow's successful leadersBy showing your engagement, basing it on your own personal storyBy acknowledging the essential importance of recognition and giving twice as much as you receive. Once you have mastered the art of truly recognising the people that cross your path, these people will open up to what you have to say. By expressing your appreciation and giving people a good feeling after meeting you, you secure yourself a position on the winning team!Now, how many leaders of this kind do you know? I think you will find that most leaders still position themselves to function from the "I"-perspective and from a purely rational point of view, instead of from their heart, bringing "emotion" into the equation.

2. First lead yourselfThe media is swamped with theories, lectures and workshops on "leadership".

But how many people in leadership positions, functioning on the highest level, are equally truly capable of being a good leader to their very own body and mind? How many leaders of this kind do you know? My guess is: not many.

Yet how can someone be a true top performer, or fulfil a top executive function, if he or she is not capable of performing the physical tasks of running 10 km at a nice speed or making it up the hill without the need for an electric bike? How can someone supposedly be in "top condition", yet at the same time only be able to function on pills and energy drinks? Body and mind go hand in hand, and the expression "a healthy mind in a healthy body" is a truism.

Still, most of us are not aware enough of the fact that investing in both our physical and mental health is essential to be able to function optimally; and in order to be successful in our modern-day economy, functioning optimally is exactly what one needs to do.

And this is even more true for those in leadership positions: if you cannot manage to be a good leader to your own body and mind, how can you be a role model for others? Al Pacino once said: "I wish the stage was a tightrope where only the brave could enter". How many leaders, consultants, top managers and role models do you think would meet that benchmark?

3. Be Passionate and love what you doThe successful companies of the future are those companies that have the know-how of aligning their own mission and values with the mission and values of their employees, so as to create a healthy company culture.

Only if employees genuinely can't wait to walk through their office door and "breathe" the company culture, are they able to connect with customers. Yet how many people truly feel connected with the mission and values of the organisation they work for? How many people truly feel passionate to pull their weight?

Only with enough oxygen can you keep a fire going. And the same applies to a company: only when the company's employees receive enough oxygen, can they keep the company's fire going - come rain or come shine. That is why every person in a leadership position needs to be like a top playing captain of a sports team: well-trained, strong and with a healthy balance in both body and mind. Then, from this position of strength, he or she can create a solid mission and contribute in a positive way to the vision of the team he plays with - pushing his team all the way to the top.

And, in the light of the above, it goes unspoken that such a top playing captain is made out of far more than a mere check-list of job-related competencies.

How about you?

Are you a top playing captain?

Nathalie Arteel
Leading Angel Arteel Group
Recognition and Motivation Expert