[Video] Emotionally intelligent leadership in challenging and volatile times
In the second of the series James Wildman, CRO of Trinity Group, discusses leadership during difficult times. What traits do emotionally intelligent leaders demonstrate during such periods?
AW: One of the dimensions of emotional intelligence is almost the attitude that we hold about ourselves and therefore the attitude that we hold about others.
What underpins that attitude is our own self-belief, self-esteem or self-regard so when we think about that, that’s an absolute pre-requisite to effective leadership and therefore to emotional intelligence (EI).
The question I want to ask you is:
How do you maintain your level of self-esteem and self-regard even in the most volatile and challenging times?
JW: I focus on what I can make a difference to, and I worry less about what I can’t affect. I think you would perhaps run the risk of losing self-esteem or confidence if you felt that everything in front of you was possible and you fell short.
I think you would perhaps run the risk of losing self-esteem or confidence if you felt that everything in front of you was possible and you fell short. I think that would undermine your self-belief. But actually if you really focus on what it is that you can make a difference to, and that's what I tend to think about, is how do I improve situations or what can I change, what can I affect, and worry less about what is out of my control.
How do you make the decision on what you can control and what you can't?
JW: I think it’s really important to set out your objectives, personal objectives, for both yourself and the business you’re leading and then that's always a reference point that you can constantly go back to if it proves tricky.
When self-doubt has arisen during your career, what did you do to overcome that?
AW: So how did you maintain, so it’s a similar question to the one that I’ve asked you in terms of focusing on what your vision was. But can you think of a time specifically that you did question actually what you were doing?
Can you think of a time specifically that you did question actually what you were doing?
JW: I actually can't, and honestly I can't. That’s not to say that I’m supremely arrogant or anything like that. But I don’t remember. Maybe I’ve been very, very fortunate I’ve had lots of challenges in my career, bumps in the road and things that have needed sorting out. Some highly stressful situations etc. I don’t think I’ve ever equated those to a lack of self-belief or self-doubt.
What would you have equated them to?
JW: Well again, it's around what can you affect and what can’t you? I’ve been involved in closing down businesses that I've been very instrumental in building up. So really sad, emotional events. But I don’t relate that for example to any personal failing and therefore doubting myself. I've been through legal reviews which have been extremely stressful and governance-type reviews, all of which of course were fine but at the time very stressful. Again, I didn’t feel that was reflection on my failure in any sense. It was just one of those things one has to go through.
I feel I’m confident, I don’t feel I’m arrogant. But I don’t feel that I’ve ever really beaten myself and worried about failing or not achieving what I needed to do.
AW: It’s interesting because if you look at it from a context of EI, the attitudes that we hold about ourselves are really important. And therefore that attitude that we hold about others, and you mentioned the word that you’re not arrogant, actually that ability to connect with people just as they are and you are is a very important part.
I think arrogance is a really unattractive trait.
JW: I think so. I think arrogance is a really unattractive trait. I think if I was I would have been called up on it. I would trust my colleagues to say.
AW: And it would probably limit your potential...
JW: It’s important to be modest, to champion others and I feel that’s very much my role as a leader is to push others and celebrate their successes. It's interesting; almost your questions pre-supposes that you have self-doubt at times in your career. I can’t honestly think of any occasions where I have really.