The Simplicity of Leadership


Many people overlook the Simplicity of Leadership. What is one leadership hack that will get you through an entirely new job market? With globalization, technological innovation and the growing number of connections among people, activities and events, today’s pace of change is relentless.

People mingle like never before, forging new partnerships and creating more culturally diverse workplaces.

Technology brings new surprises every day, some that can shake up entire industries in a matter of months. In these volatile, uncertain and often controversial times, effective leadership is critical. But as the times change, does leadership itself need to change?

The answer to that is a resounding, YES!

The past has shown us that many leaders are you used to dropping the hammer when they need to. If staff aren’t performing, the usually ‘kick’ them into shape by shouting or belittling.

As a result of this aggressive leadership style, a hormone releases in the brains of your employees, that hormone is Cortisol, the Stress Hormone, also known as the Fight, Fright, Flight hormone.

This puts your employees into a state of fear causing key thinking abilities to shut down while in presence of cortisol. This shuts off the executive or thinking part of the brain, that is responsible for all the logical and analytical thinking, creativity and the parts of the brain responsible for building trust and emphasizing with people.

Needless to say this is not a desired outcome. Afterall, who wants an employee who cannot think logically, creatively or analytically?  This is what you do to them everytime you shout or upset them. You essentially shut their thinking down for a period of 13 – 26 hrs?  Through poor management styles you can render your employees useless for up to 26 hours.  Not only that you will also cause your employees to seek out revenge on you or your company.

THIS is a terrible business strategy.

So what is the simplest aspect of leadership to get right? The truth is that this technique is found in companies that truly thrive, and have a happy, engaged workforce. The answer to that question is ‘Praise’.

A good leader looks for reasons to praise his staff when they have done a good job, more so, publicly praise them. What neuroscience has found is that employees who are praised for even the most mundane tasks secrete a different hormone into their brain.

As the world changes, I urge all of you in leadership positions to change your thinking and start finding ways to improve your conversational style instead of looking for reasons to criticize and belittle your employees, proving that you were right and they were wrong. Rather look twice as hard for reasons to praise them. Then watch as they thrive and get better in front of your very eyes.

To learn more about improving your conversational and leadership styles, take a look at our Conversational Intelligence course.