3 Rare Qualities of Highly Effective Bottom Line Leaders

We want leaders to be inspirational. We expect them to move (work) mountains. We need them to be strong, even superhuman (given their objectives). Some could probably get you to achieve the impossible. Some may have actually inspired you to achieve very little – except maybe plan a change of career.

However we imagine great leaders – they all tend to pivot around the person in a cape that either commands or motivates – finding strength where we thought impossible. Ultimately, whether they wear a cape, a suit or a baseball cap we expect this visionary to positively impact business bottom lines. And, in our inter-connected world and climate of cities that never sleep, we don’t expect this process to be easy – at most gruelling, at least, tiring. We expect our bottom line leaders to applaud us for staying late. To encourage us to “do what it takes” to reach objectives. Why? Because this is strong leadership. Isn’t it?

However, new research from the O.C Tanner Institute shows that what actually makes a strong leader and how we vision them, are two very different things. The strongest leaders i.e those that have the biggest impact on business bottom lines have three particular strengths that they promote amongst each employee in their team, department and organisation.

  1. Physical wellness
  2. Emotional wellness and
  3. Social wellness

Notice the trend? Wellbeing. Not the first thing that comes into our mind when we define the strengths of a good leader. The thing is, whilst burning the midnight oil, may help with a few initial deadlines, its unsustainable in the long term. Employee burnout is a real problem. The leaders that focus on employee wellbeing see long sustainable growth on business bottom lines. They are the real leaders. These leaders actually impact business bottom lines. In fact, the figures speak for themselves. When leaders practice all three wellbeing strengths, they see huge returns, that supersede any other process of leadership:

  • 157% increase in employee engagement.
  • 30% increase in output and productivity
  • 120% increase in innovation
  • the intention to stay at least two years longer with the company

These statistics are impressive. The problem is, they are very rare in modern business leaders. This is because many leaders miss the opportunity to provide the holistic package. Some may be good at offering physical wellness but not so good at emotional. Or, some leaders may be good at fostering social wellbeing (building friendships and teams) but many are missing out on emotional wellbeing. This could be because wellbeing is a relativly new concept in the corporate world. It could be because wellbeing is undervalued, or quite simply misunderstood. Whatever the reason, the facts are glaringly obvious, if leaders want to impact business bottom lines they needs to promote all three hallmarks of wellbeing amongst employees.

Image curtesy of Sunny Studio.


How to Gain Career Clarity and Unlock Your Intuition

In my most recent blog, The Logical Reasons To Trust Your Gut Feeling, I discussed how intuition can often beat analytical thinking, especially when we are deliberating crucial career decisions. This is because intuition comes from our subconscious mind. The part of the brain that works simultaneously (or often in competition) with our conscious thought processes, acting as a parallel intelligence system. Intuition is our internal “hard-drive”, because it collects patterns of our previous first-hand experiences.

At its simplest, an example of our intuition guiding us, would be our inclination to not, touch boiling water. Notably, if we are faced with boiling water, we don’t make a conscious decision to not touch it. We just naturally refrain from doing so. This is because we have a stored memory in our intuition (either of a parent warning us, or of us actually getting burnt) enabling us to make a decision without logically thinking about it. The whole “not-thinking” but “feeling” part of intuition scares many people. However, as shown above we make numerous decisions, on a daily basis, without applying our logical minds. So, we should learn to have a little more faith in “feeling” and trust our intuition.

Draw backs of intuition

There are two key draw backs you should be aware of when using your intuition to make career decisions.

  1. If you lack substantial experience within your particular field, it is unlikely you will own the intuitive resources, yet, to guide you. The only remedy for this is to be diligent and collect those experiences.
  2. If you lack clarity on your career goals your intuition can’t, subconsciously, make decisions inline with your goals. The good news is that this drawback can be fixed, relatively, quickly.

How to Get Career Clarity and Unlock Your intuition

If you feel totally lost about your career

See a career coach. At this stage, its probable, you can’t see, the wood for the trees. You would benefit, greatly, by having an objective (trained) mind guide you through your muddled thoughts. If you invest in other aspects of your wellbeing such as, fitness, health or hair, then investing in your career should be a no-brainer. For everyone else, trust me its well worth it.

If you feel a little lost about your career

Write a list of the pro’s and con’s of each career path. Sounds simple but it really helps. It gets you to think about what career path makes you happiest and why.

If you’re not lost about your career field but lost on how to progress

Re-focus, your work day by targeting your to-do list. Feel like there’s not enough hours in the day? Stop doing things that don’t matter. Put your to-do list on a diet. We all have extensive to-do lists. In reality, they are burdened with trivial, irrelevant tasks. To refine your to-do list you need to identify what your goals are. Write your career objectives at the top of your to-do list. Delete all of the tasks on your to-do list that do not support these objectives. Voila!


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