Leaders looking to increase the engagement and performance of their teams need to understand the contextual determinants impacting the wellbeing of their people. This requires a level of social intelligence that goes way beyond just managing the tasks and performance of their people. It requires self-reflection and a critical analysis of what their truth is, so that they can be an authentic person who earns the right of leadership, rather than simply having positional leadership.
If you’re a leader, or aspiring to become a leader, let me take you on a thought experiment to help widen your lens of just one element of what transformational leadership requires.
Researchers conducting the World Values Survey (87,000 respondents across 40 countries) are now suggesting there are eight key contextual determinants that have the highest association with a person’s well-being. They are:
1. Your family relationships
2. Your financial situation
3. Your work
4. Your relationship with your community
5. Your relationship with friends
6. Your overall physical and psychological health
7. Your sense of freedom
8. Your values
If you’re a leader, how would you rate each of these contextual determinants of your life? And to what extent do you understand how these contextual determinants for each of your team members are impacting their life.
This is not suggesting that you need to pry or get overly inquisitive about the people in your team’s personal lives. It does however strongly suggest that you need to be considering how these contextual determinants may be impacting their well-being, which research validates has an impact on their work performance.
For leaders especially, the ageless adage of ‘know thyself’ is such a powerful guiding principle of life. If we haven’t taken stock of our truth, who we are, how we’re living our life, and how we feel about who we are and how we’re living our life, we will lack clarity and have a subconscious sense and feeling that something is just not right in our lives… without really being able to put our finger on just what that is.
As I’ve been reviewing the research, it became apparent to me there is a connecting thread among all eight of these contextual determinants of well-being… and that is, your relationships. The reality is it is your relationship with yourself and each of these contextual determinants that impact your overall well-being. Your relationship with your family; your relationship with money and your financial situation;, your relationship with your work and those you work with; your relationship with your community and your friends; your relationship with your own physical and mental health; and your relationship with your values.
For leaders, self-knowledge is the foundation for a broader level of social intelligence, and if leaders lack self-knowledge, and therefore social intelligence, the research clearly demonstrates they are very unlikely to have high performance teams.
Transformational leaders are focused on the development of their people, not just on the management of their performance, and not just on their development in job skills – personal development across a range of life domains.
While it’s easier for leaders to say “it’s not my role to develop my team beyond being competent to do their job” the reality is, just being competent to do a job will not lead to a high performance team.
A great place for leaders to develop themselves into transformational leaders, is to start by answering the following self-reflection questions:
1. Who am I and what kind of person do I want to be? (Character)
2. How do I relate to others and the world around me? (Relationships)
3. How proud am I, and would others be, of my past and current decisions, actions and results? (Ethics & Integrity)
When leaders start on themselves and take action to earn the right of leadership, they move closer to being able to be a transformational leader, and in so doing, will reap all the benefits of a higher performance team.
PS… don’t forget, I always welcome your feedback and if you’d like to have me present at your next conference on how to build more intentional trust in your life, or would like to explore how we can work together to boost your team’s success, call me at my Sydney office on 02 9546 2492.