A CEO I spoke with about inspirational leadership saw a nexus between inspiration and the connected leader. My research confirmed that the connection between leaders and others is paramount if they are to cultivate inspiring moments. The book titled, The Connected Leader by Emmanuel Gobillot therefore promised insightful reading.
Gobillot indicated there were three characteristics of connected leaders: trust, meaning and dialogue and that these characteristics enable leaders to have an impact on others or what he terms, ‘the people economy’. The three characteristics harmonise to foster reciprocity, and in turn build deep connections with others.
Gobillot unpacked the notion reciprocity throughout his discussion of the three characteristics. Here are a few key points that stood out in the context of inspiring others:
- Trust – leaders need to demonstrate thoughtful influence
- Meaning – leaders have to do the groundwork
- Dialogue – leaders need to put listening first
Inspiring leaders I speak with advocate the need for doing groundwork and listening first as catalysts to cultivating inspiring moments. Inspiring others is the tip of the iceberg … the effort must happen under the water or inspiration will never surface. Gobillot suggests this is not done randomly, because connected leaders tap into thoughtful influence to ensure groundwork is methodical and well organised.
He went on to add that connected leaders understand that reciprocal dialogue is the key to connecting with others and culminates in the co-creation of shared meaning. The value of shared meaning is that an individual’s vision AND the organisation’s objective are aligned. This alignment creates a clarity point that drives individuals to attain their vision whilst simultaneously enabling the achievement of organisational outcomes. If you’re keen to find out more, check out my take on alignment in educational leadership environment.
Gobillot suggests that transformational leaders are often touted as evangelists who believe that dialogue is a one-way exercise. Connected leaders, incorporate what others have to say into their dialogue and seek feedback from others. Gobillot provides interesting and practical perspectives for those of us who strive to be the connected leader.