The PARADOX of LEADERSHIP and how we can address it

The average life expectancy of the average CEO is now somewhere between 30 and 40 months. There are more challenges than ever facing CEOs and the complexity of business continues to grow. Business is changing rapidly and CEOs need to be ahead of the curve.

Innovation has become a critical goal for many companies. There is however a fundamental dilemma with innovation. Companies want innovation but lack tolerance of mistakes. They can’t have it both ways.

Innovation requires a psychologically safe environment and an exceptional leader who can bring out the best in his/her motivated employees with outstanding skills and diverse perspectives.

When companies put smart people in teams, they are hoping to create synergy by combining their skills, in reality, those differences turn into liability.

On a team level, on average 79% of performance is lost because of the clash of values and personalities combined with poor leadership. All 3 of them stem from the same source…not understanding the blueprint of why people think and behave differently. Once they do, they can focus on what they want to achieve instead of fighting what they don’t want.

If we try to use a tiny piece of map of London to find a place in New York, we will get confused and get lost. That is exactly what happens when we interact with others, we use a tiny piece of our mental map to make sense of other people’s behaviour…this is where common sense fails.

On an individual level, most people use only 10% of their personalities as we are creatures of habit…90% is waiting to be unlocked. Intelligent Global Leadership is about being competent and confident in most situations so having a wide of range perspectives and behavioural styles combined with real self-awareness is the key to upgrading ourselves.

A new era with new challenges

The world has changed more in the last 30-40 years than in the 150 years prior to that, yet most companies use solutions that are not designed for the 21st century. Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies ignored this and as a result of that, they disappeared since the year 2000. In today’s fast-moving, complex organisations, 90% of execution is interaction between people who think and behave differently. The skill to turn those differences into synergy instead of painful liability is the key to remain competitive.

Many leaders are busy, stressed and they have to focus on the bottom-line, they don’t have too much time to care about feelings, well-beings, etc. That is understandable on a personal level. The fact is that concentrating on those seemingly less important and urgent issues would significantly help them with all the above-mentioned issues.

If a boat is taking on water, the solution is not just scooping out water, but filling in the hole. One is not instead of the other one, both of them are needed.

By ignoring the people side of business is like making another hole to drain the water. It is going to amplify the problem, that is guaranteed. Don’t let the short term over-rule the long term. Don’t risk the future of the business to hit this Quarter’s target.

Csaba Toth
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Csaba Toth

Founder at ICQ Global
Developer of the multi award-winning Global DISC framework, co-developer of the Intelligent Global Leadership program.
Csaba Toth
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