Which C words come to mind?

The Language of Leadership

Conversations, Climate, Conflict & Confidence

There are so many C’s in my Leadership Language: conversations, climate, conflict and confidence are at the tip of my tongue!

What are the C’s in your leadership vernacular?

I’m playing a game to facilitate ideas, thoughts and beliefs on leadership. And, I’m curious to hear what people hear themselves saying about leadership or how others describe their leadership.

I’m sure many will say communication – it’s a gorgeous broad term and I carve it into so many components.  To begin with, I believe leadership is all about Conversations.

Conversations bring people together; they formulate relationships and craft futures. Conversations come in various forms; they can be brief (feedback) and endure for hours (meetings, mentoring, coaching).

The more time you spend having conversations with people, the more opportunity you have to gain respect which then creates trust. For some, conversations come naturally whilst others it’s a challenge. My tip do your research on people and be curious to explore what you’ve discovered – ask great questions as the conversation is all about getting to understand the people.

Climate is the vibe I feel when I walk into a workplace. It’s the gut feeling I have when I have conversations with people. It tells me more than the culture as it’s the unspoken words – it’s the litmus test for the words on the wall in the reception area. A mission and vision statement might try and sell me what an organisation does whereas the climate will tell me if the people feel happy and respected where they work. Take the temperature of your office today!

Conflict tells us what is important to people. Leaders need the capability to know when to intervene and help people move out of conflict or better still, know people so well that they know what drives them to conflict – the triggers, the situations and the behaviours.

We all experience threats to our self-worth, it’s characteristic of the cause of conflict. And this threat can be real or perceived. Managing conflict is a critical capability (double C!) to lead teams to success.

Confidence is what I hope all people can grow in their lives. Leaders need confidence to successfully do their role and leaders need to foster confidence in their people. Confidence is like climate – you can’t quite put your finger on it. I am reminded by family friends of how shy I was when I was younger, and it took effort and energy to focus on manipulating this confidence. I still work on it and sometimes I am too confident – so it’s always an area I am shaping and developing.

What C’s have I missed? What C’s are important in your life; in your role of leadership?

Have you read my two recent posts - catch up on the A’'s & B’'s of Leadership? You’ll find these under the THOUGHTS section of my website.

Leading in a Digital World

I liken my Digital World to my kid’s BIG Beach Ball. It has lovely coloured stripes interspersed with clear plastic enabling you to see through to the other side.  The colour represents the visual nature of our world – the ability to see and be connected with anyone or anything instantaneously. The clear plastic is how we are seen – we have never been so visible to our world.

What does your digital world look like? Are you moving in this world, are you being moved or are you immovable? Benjamin Franklin once said that we can be classed into one of these three groups. Which group do you belong to?

If you’re leading today, then I suggest you’d better be moving. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly article “Six Social-Media skills every leader needs”, it succinctly prescribes that leaders who master this new literacy will be more creative, innovative and agile … who will be rewarded with a new type of competitive advantage.

These skills involve being creative, producing your own open raw stories which can be viewed immediately and shared enabling the receiver to co-create and contextualise the information i.e. this is how viral messages begin. Kevin Rudd’s shaving mishap has been a hit with young people – his Instagram photo being retweeted amongst friends quoting 'how cool' he was!

With so much noise going on in the Digital World, the leader must be able to filter the information and understand what to share with whom. The decision making involves tutoring social media literacy with a focus to orchestrate, enable and empower networks.  

Cognisant of the risks of irresponsible use, a social architecture providing meaningful space must be created with the leader’s task to marry vertical accountability with networked horizontal collaboration. For example, matching media-savvy millennials with senior leaders, to discuss the latest tech buzz and practice.

Leading in a Digital World may require cognitive, cultural and climate changes in your space but it’s possible to start immediately. By simply ‘retweeting’ this Blog sends out the message to your people that you agree and possibly intend to follow.