A Leader’s Roadmap Part 8

(Intro from Part 1: Businesses are becoming more complex. It’s harder to predict outcomes because intricate systems interact in unexpected ways. 

Staying on track is much easier with a guide or checklist. Michael Useem, a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of The Leadership Moment, has published The Leader’s Checklist to create a clear roadmap for navigating any situation. I will present in the blog in condensed form, with sample questions accompanying each principle.)

8. Manage Relations, and Identify Personal Implications: Build enduring personal ties with those team  members, and engage the feelings and passions of the workplace. Help people appreciate the impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have on their own work and the firm’s future.

Emotions are critical to business success because they drive behaviors. Leaders that achieve an emotional buy-in from team members will have a competitive advantage in a world of increasing commoditization.

Emotionally astute leaders leverage feelings to gain employee commitment, engagement and performance, according to Dan Hill, CEO of Sensory Logic and author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (Kogan Page, 2008). Similarly, experts featured in a Time magazine cover story (January 17, 2005) confirmed the link between satisfaction and productivity, citing a 10 percent improvement in job performance among fulfilled employees.

A company’s emotional climate may account for up to 30 percent of job performance, according to case studies that Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee reviewed for their book, Primal Leadership (2002). CEOs, they note, are responsible for creating more than 50 percent of this climate.

a. Is the hierarchy reduced to a minimum, and does bad news travel up?
b. Are managers self-aware and empathetic?
c. Are autocratic, egocentric and irritable behaviors censured?
d. Do employees appreciate how the firm’s vision and strategy affect them individually?
e. What private sacrifices will be necessary for achieving the common cause?
f. How will the plan affect people’s personal livelihood and the quality of their work lives?

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