Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Level 5 Leadership & EQ

Level 5 leadership is a term instilled upon people who can balance two almost contradicting worlds. According to Jim Collins, they make ends meet between shyness and fearlessness, as well as modesty and strong will.

The importance of that kind of leaders lies in their skill to drastically turn companies from a downfall into a success that is maintained after their reign is over. They are more concerned for the goodwill of the company than their own personal fame and fortune. In fact, they dread recognition and tend to grant credits to the organization and the actual employees.
Following a 5-year research, based on the fortune 500 companies, only 11 experienced the exceptional turnaround mentioned above and were able to maintain it. All of which had level 5 leaders on top at the time when the transformation took shape. Quite a remarkable finding.

Could that type of introverted leadership be qualified by a superior EQ level? Think of it this way. If a CEO takes credit for the work of the organization, how would it effect the rest of the staff's motivation? When one person is granted the fruits of their labors, employees feel used. If the level 5 leaders do not take credit for the firm's success, it is probably not because they don't think they deserve it; rather that they understand how people function and know how to behave to gain the respect of their co-workers. This is emotional intelligence by excellence. Do those people lack the critical skill of EQ, as defined by Daniel Goleman, that is "awareness" of their capabilities? I think not. Their modesty is part of their job. This can be attributed to another characteristic that qualify their Emotional intelligence's superiority: "empathy".

I think that it would be interesting if those people were to be interviewed after their term is over; once they're off the job; would they admit, then, their achievements?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inhumanly Bearable

I am no Superwoman. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. However, I just realized, I might have, once, was.
I just got back home around 10 days ago. I knew I'd miss France, but I never thought I would find difficulties to re-adapt to Lebanon. I was seeing this place through French eyes, and the lack of order was driving me crazy!

Let's start with the roads. Nothing wrong with a truck suddenly showing up and blocking the HGHWAY in width as he freely decides to execute a U-turn, right? Or that jeep who gets angry with the traffic (did I forget to mention that? well, it's the holiday season! It comes with special effects.) So, the guy gets impatient and decides to cross from a highway to another by climbing over a 30-cm wall barrier in the middle. No, this does not shock anyone here. I guess, by now, you've figured that running red lights, escaping middle-of-the-road bumps or wholes and driving "in-between" (that's what we call here when a driver zig-zags outside/inside his lane; which if you plan to get somewhere in Lebanon, you need to get the hang of) are all very normal!
Getting ahead is a question of personal skill in disregarding and down-sizing others. PATIENCE my friend, you need to learn how to control your temper when someones steps on your toes. Well I am not as cold as I once was, and those practices get on my nerves! As I waited for hours to talk to an advisor at the bank, a man suddenly shows up, walks right by, straight into the advisor's office, disregards the customer there, and points out that HE is here. Wait a minute now did I just miss something. Well, I felt as though my blood was boiling. The advisor was kind enough to look after my needs first but I really had to bottle up my anger. As I went down to the teller to withdraw some money, an old acquaintance was kind enough to speed up my process.

So networking and building relations become a must in this little country. Which gets us to the importance of social duties, which are suffocating me. I can't stand all the visits you have to conduct just because you just got back from travel, and people actually hold grudges against you if you don't. Did you know that those even have an expiry date? If you've been in town for a while, you'd get reprehended! Moreover, since it's the holiday season, you need to welcome the new comers at the airport; aside from visiting the sick at the hospital, buy the entire family presents, and of course find time for all your friends. You're also expected to check on your old office co-workers; maintain contact with the new ones...

In addition, since I do not have official working hours, people expect me to be completely free, and start asking me for favors... Hold on, please! I do have a thesis to work on; I have a personal plan to develop professionally, can I just lock myself in the room and work on them?! The answer is simply "no", because if you spend more than 10 hours at home, including sleep, people will start wondering whether you're doing ok.

Well, I'm fine! Thank YOU.

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