Leadership Excellence - March 2012 - page 11

himself, he desired to inspire others to
achieve new heights of success. This
marked a big change in how he viewed
himself, his work, and his contributions.
The new ideas that came to Jim were
provoked by a coaching approach that
new ideas and perceptions. Jim’s
coach was
coaching with compassion,
ing to bring Jim into a state called the
Positive Emotional Attractor
where he was
more likely to be open to new ideas and
Coaching with compassion
stimulates dramatic improvements in
the emotional, social, and cognitive
intelligence competencies related to
leadership effectiveness. This approach
is a marked contrast to
coaching for com-
where the coach feeds back
assessment data or summarizes results
from performance reviews, and asks
the person what he or she could do to
change. This creates a
Negative Emotional
by invoking what others
(bosses, spouses, even coaches) think
the person should do, and change.
The compassionate approach worked.
Jim became
in his work. His
relationships with people became more
open, transparent, and trusting. Nine
months later, he received his best per-
formance review. As one peer said,
“Today, I see a different
man—a real leader and col-
league who listens to the
views of others. I admired his
vision statement
and found it
humbling. It made me re-
visit my vision.”
Change is stressful. Such
stress leads to
in relation-
ships. By coaching people toward their
dreams, values, and passion, we
engage their feeling of being cared for
and understood. It arouses compassion
in the person being coached—and in
the coach. Arousing
renewal processes
vital to sustainability.
But this is
. When we
try to help someone, we tend to tell the
person what to do. We don’t pay atten-
tion to the person; rather, we impose
our will and goals on them. The result
is acquiescence, coping, or passive
resistance. Hearing advice delivered in
this fashion engenders a defensiveness
or guilt about how the listener
act. This is
coaching for compliance
When we encourage people to dream
of possibilities, to reflect on their values,
passion, and desired legacy, we arouse
the Positive Emotional Attractor.
Melvin Smith, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Ellen Van Oosten are
colleagues in OB, Weatherhead EE. Visit
ACTION: Coach people with compassion.
Coach with Compassion
. Y
think you’ve mastered it until your
nine-year-old nephew explains that
there’s a
whole other level
that you did-
n’t know about. At this level, you need
to be faster, more agile, more aggres-
sive. At first, it kicks your butt. But
with patience and effort, you crack it.
Success! Then you go online and find
that there’s yet another, hidden level
that only the real geeks know about,
and so the process continues.
In this article we explore the
levels of leadership
: self, others, organi-
zation, and society. Successful leaders
need to know how to navigate from
one level to another, leveraging what
they’ve learned at one level to be suc-
cessful at the next. We’ll identify the
perspective and the core competencies
that leaders have to take as they
progress through these levels.
Like realizing that Ezio has to re-
encounter Altair in the game
, you see that the challenges and
opportunities at the various levels of
leadership are all connected. You need
techniques and insights gained in one
level to be successful in another. In
leadership, you cannot sustain a
desired change unless you
work at
multiple levels at the same time
Level 1: Self
First, leaders need to recognize that
all leadership starts from within. Not
that it is innate or pre-determined—in
fact, we strongly believe that the oppo-
site is true: we contend that effective
leadership can be taught and learned,
that everyone’s leadership capability
can be improved through the applica-
tion of a strengths-based approach to
personal change. The method we find
most effective is the
Intentional Change
developed by Richard Boyatzis.
In the application of this model,
leaders come to realize that true self-
awareness is an essential element of
effective leadership. They grasp the
importance of understanding their
strengths and weaknesses, but also rec-
development results JimMcFarlane
was achieving. Through his efforts,
major investment and job creation
were taking place in Scotland. He was
regarded as one of Scotland’s fore-
most economic development practi-
tioners. As managing director of
Scottish Enterprise
—the national eco-
nomic development agency—Jim
worked day and night. Stimulating
entrepreneurship and investment in a
country besieged by economic chal-
lenges changes people’s lives—but
Jim felt he was working harder than
ever, and enjoying it less.
Scottish Enterprise
, Jim
participated in Weatherhead’s
Leadership Deep Dive
which includes individual
coaching. But Jim was having
difficulty opening up in his
early conversations with his
coach. His coach asked him to
describe his
core values
, to envision
himself five years in the
future, and to consider what he want-
ed to do in his work and in his life.
Although Jim regularly asked his
direct reports to do something like
this, he had not done it for himself. He
was clearly uncomfortable sharing his
feelings and emotions in this way, but
as he reflected more, an old flame that
had burned inside him was rekindled.
His coach asked Jim to put his ideas
in writing
. He drafted a four-page
sonal vision statement
that included an
that he needed to be more of
a leader and less of a manager.
Jim had demonstrated he could
lead complex economic development
projects; he had established a track
record of being a high achiever who
always delivered. He was rewarded
repeatedly for these accomplishments.
But for the first time in his career, he
began to see his primary role not as
managing projects, but as teaching
and coaching others to be that project
manager. Instead of doing the work
1 0
M a r c h 2 0 1 2
w w w . L e a d e r E x c e l . c o m
Levels of Leadership
by Michael Devlin and Melvin Smith
Work at the four simultaneously.
by Melvin Smith, Richard E.
Boyatzis, and Ellen Van Oosten
It’s the best way tomotivate others.
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