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.
"Most people are strangers to themselves", said Manfred Kets de Vries, Programme Founder of the INSEAD Executive Master in Change and Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change in a 2020 webinar. "Many of them resort to the manic defence – filling their calendar with a flurry of activities meant to prevent them from having any time to re
A friend’s daughter was getting moved into a more prominent role in the crisis at her accounting firm. In her early 20s, a bit nervous about the new role, I wrote her an email with five concepts she could be mindful of to make an impact as a newly minted leader. These tips are from the email that I’m sharing here after removing the personal details. If you are moving from manager to leadership, let me know if these tips resonate. If you are already a leader, what would you add to this list for a newbie? Be Worldly
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung
The benefits of executive group coaching are economies of scale, diversity of perspectives and behavioural changes. If we add to this mix a coach trained in psychodynamics, he or she can bring out the unconscious patterns that play out in organisational life. Psychodynamic coaching interventions give the executives a transitional space to explore and reflect on aspects of inner theater such as defenses, primary relationships and their impact on the workplace.
At a networking event in Hong Kong, I was asked what I do. My answer instinctively was, “Not much.” “Not much” is far from the truth.
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.
“The game had just started! A game of patience and strategy with the highest mountain in the world. We had already reached Camp 2, (6400m), and in the following days we would climb Lhotse Face, touch Camp 3 (7300m), and then descend. We were so close to concluding our third and last acclimatisation rotation, when we received a radio call by dinnertime. Our expedition leader, Mike Hamill, informed us that the forecast had changed dramatically and strong winds were expected for the following days.