Transformational leadership: Courage to be kind thru spiritual intelligence

Leaders, do you know that transformational leadership requires the courage to be kind to those who report to you? Yes, courage.

Or – does fear and need to grip onto your role and status uproot any courage, compassion and wisdom in your leadership? What would your employees say? Is your title and power so important that it owns, consumes and uses you?

I have seen this hunger for power and control in seasoned leaders and apprentice leaders and it causes a blindness in people who may otherwise be reasonable. Ego, privilege and appearance of success often deceive people into habits of control and criticism instead of curiosity, collaboration and compassion. That is not transformational leadership nor courage.

The best leaders are those who don’t put themselves at the centre of all things but rather are deep listeners who offer encouragement and use curiosity and connection to awaken the skills and gifts others have to contribute to the work.

Sadly, this is not present many workplaces. Despite all the research on engaged, productive workplaces I still hear so much about toxic, dysfunctional teams, bully bosses, team conflict, lack of clarity, missed goals, dissatisfying outcomes and talented people who are not able to use their skills in a way that gives them satisfaction.

This is expensive.

Leaders, institutions, corporations and organizations often keep doing what they are doing because it’s what has been passed down. “It’s what we’ve always done. That’s how the previous person did it. I don’t know what else to do.”

Sound familiar?

In leadership, we either need to be willing to pay a prevention invoice by investing in inspired leadership and thriving team culture or else we will be forced to pay a healing invoice due to the damage dysfunction causes. The damage is more costly and includes : absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, reputation, productivity, and even lawsuits – all quite measurable.It also includes depleted people who need to recover from emotional a physical effects of toxic workplaces.

Less measurable but equally important are missed opportunity costs because toxic cultures cannot maximize creativity, innovation, effective customer service or a desirable reputation.

The secret to transformational leadership is Spiritual Intelligence.

Businesses that want to prevent problematic workplaces need to take a serious look at cultivating SQ (Spiritual intelligence) in their leaders and across their organizations.

When you saw the word ‘spiritual’ I hope I didn’t lose you. It might not be what you think.

SQ is a set of 21 definable skills that if cultivated in workplaces result in employee engagement, higher quality work, loyalty, a sense of higher purpose, reduced absenteeism and turnover, safety, and more risk-taking for creativity and innovation. SQ has personal benefits also. People who cultivate SQ will develop more ethical transformational leadership, lead successful change management skills, experience personal and workplace wellness, be a purpose-driven leader living in alignment with values.

I have a passion for promoting healthy leadership because it should not be painful to go to work but it shouldn’t be painful to lead either. Yet many people are not given the right tools to be the most effective.

I work with leaders who know there is “something more” and want to go deeper and higher leading self and team. I help leaders explore their higher self, higher purpose and higher power so they can be wise and effective change agents in business and life. SQ leaders are a calm and healing presence, even in chaos, make better decisions and move from just influencing to inspiring others. SQ leaders create an environment of trust and respect, essential ingredients for successful teams.

If this resonates with you I would love to consult with you and your teams. Reach out to me here to request a conversation.

I am often inspired by the words of John O’Donahue and I share a few lines here:

“Remember to be kind
To those who work for you.
Endeavor to remain aware
Of the quiet world
That lives behind each face.

Be fair in your expectations,
Compassionate in your criticism
May you have the grace of encouragement
To awaken the gift in the others’ heart
Building in them the confidence
To follow the call of the gift.”

Meaning and significance

Most people want to have meaning and significance in their work and make a difference as well as a living. EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and IQ (Cognitive Intelligence) are important but SQ Is a transformational leadership approach that amplifies our other intelligences. If you want that transformational difference, check out my website and blogs, and request a conversation to discuss how I can help.

In the meantime, check out my free resources here. I recommend choosing – The three things people need at work.

O’Donohue, J. (2008). To bless the space between us: A book of blessings (1st ed). Doubleday, p.21

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