In this series we have been talking to some of our Partners who have been sharing their Top 5 Leadership Lessons. In this blog, Andrea Cardillo, Managing Partner of our Italian office shares his.
Power is given not taken
Power is given to leaders by others when they act in ways that improve their life. Therefore power is gained and maintained through a focus on others. Your ability to build trust in your aims is key, and being guided by noble purposes is a pre-requisite for authentic leadership.
Watch out for signs of self-importance
Once leaders have power, they may fall prey to their own self-importance, believe they are special, and rationalize unethical or selfish actions with narratives about their intellectual or moral superiority. If this is what you experience, you are entering a danger zone.
Exercise empathy and deep listening as antidotes to self-importance
Self-importance, especially when coupled with hybrid and remote working, can easily lead to loss connection of empathy. When this happens, contributing and creating value for others becomes more difficult, and abuse of power is a risk. Keep on listening to your people, and try to understand how they experience life in your organization from their framework of reference, not yours.
Watch out for signs of disempowerment in your organization
Often, abuses of power (even unwilling) create powerlessness. When people feel disempowered, their brain goes in to a stress response, which leads to loss of engagement, performance, and results. To avoid this, keep on asking yourself: do people in my organization feel their ideas and needs for change are seriously taken into account?
Develop a sense for when it is time to let go of your role
Keeping empathetic and purpose focused is hard, let’s face it. And sometimes, even with the best intentions, our ego, our stress, our limits can make us blind. When people lose trust in your intentions and capacity to serve, sooner or later they will take their power back. There is no shame in letting go of your role when you have a sense you are not the right person anymore to make a difference. It is actually often the last and greatest act of leadership.
Have a leadership challenge? Feel free to contact us, to see how we can support.