Perceptions of leadership have long been rooted in public personas and an inadequate understanding of strength and confidence. In this series, senior executives open up about some trials and tribulations they have faced, and how these experiences shaped them as individuals and business leaders today. Their stories are sources of nourishment and courage, and inspire us to build supportive communities that allow leaders to embrace their vulnerability and develop it as a source of strength.
Last year, my EMC peers and I delivered two sessions for our INSEAD alumni community where we explored the concept of negative capability. This idea was introduced by John Keats in 1817. He described it as a state in which a person is ‘capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason’. It is a relevant and powerful skill - especially in a current context.
Is it time to reassess what good leadership means, and to redefine a few of its attributes? Leadership is an intangible. It is therefore hardly surprising there is a multitude of opinions and views on what attributes make a good leader, and various facets of leadership. There have been several conversations around vulnerability in leadership, and whether it is a sign of weakness or of strength and confidence.
Our COVID-19 world is full of complex economic realities and a drastic switch to primarily remote workforces. Leaders had to transition to new methods of guidance and accountability, with unexpected situations at hand. But even when the pandemic is over, technological communication will remain a key business tool, and your leadership style will need to evolve accordingly to rely less on in-person oversight and more on trust, objective evaluations, and strong communication.
Mental health awareness is something that many executives overlook, but it’s actually a vital leadership skill that is necessary for the long-term success of any organisation. As a leader, it’s critical that you have an intimate understanding of your team and an overall sensitivity to their well-being. A team cannot work together effectively if any of the team members are struggling with personal challenges that seep into their work-life without receiving any support.
You’ve heard the saying that money can’t buy happiness? Well, that’s not exactly true. Money can buy happiness—but only to a certain point. Once you make enough to support yourself without feeling anxious about paying for essential needs (groceries, housing, medical bills), then the positive effects start to taper off. “In spite of all their accomplishments and material possessions, [the super-rich] remain bored and deeply unfulfilled,” says Manfred Kets De Vries, a Professor at INSEAD business school.
Our prehistoric ancestors shared the planet with at least three species of early humans. Over time, as modern humans spread around the world, the other three species became extinct. We became the sole survivors in the human family tree. The key that led to our success was our ability to adapt to the changes and challenges presented in our daily life.
What motivates beyond money? When it comes to engaging people at the workplace, a simple “thank you” might prove to be more effective. Based on articles by Professor Manfred Kets de Vries and Professor Schon Beechler, this slideshare presentation shows us the benefits of gratitude, and how it can boost morale and positivity at work.
Who are the millennials and why are they mocked and scorned? Do they even deserve all the hate they're getting from other generations and fellow millennials? This millennial manual by INSEAD breaks down five truths about the demographic and offers five tips to organisations and managers for enabling this diverse group of individuals to excel and make invaluable contributions at work.
Despite spending much time and resources developing ambitious strategies, why do some leaders still fail to execute them? Based on articles and research by INSEAD faculty, this slideshare explores how managers can boost that one vital – but often neglected – element within the organisation: emotional capital.