The Power of the Engaged and Curious Leader
Monday, November 7, 2016
The Power of the Engaged and Curious Leader
“No one is an expert in leadership. Like, no one’s an expert parent. It’s a process and it’s a constant education.” Simon Sinek, bestselling-author and speaker
The Power of the Engaged and Curious Leader, by Lisa Zangari, Director of Learning, Leadership Louisville Center
Curiosity. Resilience. Energy Management. These leadership attributes and other ‘soft skills’ have evolved from nice-to-haves into imperatives for today’s senior executives.
Leaders that are curious and adopt an inquisitive mindset are better equipped to address the disruptive forces affecting their industries and find new paths for growth versus forging ahead with a business-as-usual blueprint. Asking the right questions not only opens a world of new possibilities for your business, but on a more personal level, can inspire those you lead to think more creatively when fresh solutions are needed. At the end of the day, inspired and effective leadership from the top is more about asking “what could we do?” than “what should we do?” The humble, yet confident leader that asks questions as often as they impart their expertise will not only inspire, but also engage their people in a whole new way...
And engagement is directly linked to the culture and the tone set at the very top more than any other factor. At its most fundamental, it’s about energy. Peter Drucker said it best, “Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy, and then to orchestrate the energy of those around you.” By expanding your personal energy levels, you become a more engaged and resilient leader. By putting structures into place for your employees to manage their energy – you reap the benefits of higher productivity, better teamwork and peak performance across your organization.
But what does managing energy look like?
In 2014 alone, executives from 25 of the Fortune 100 companies participated in Corporate Athlete®, the Human Performance Institute’s transformational course on energy management. This is why the Leadership Louisville Center has partnered with HPI to bring this groundbreaking course to our region. Unlike many other executive training programs, Corporate Athlete® is a science-based energy management course designed to strategically help participants become more productive and effective under pressure by managing their energy more effectively.
And what if you’re not hard-wired for curiosity? Can these things be learned?
Absolutely. The better question to ask is whether you’re making time for continuous learning and investing in your own development. Today, more than ever before, continuous development at the C-suite and senior executive level is critical. Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company, challenges leaders to be insatiable about learning if they wish to make a difference and be effective. He says, “It takes a real sense of personal commitment, especially after you’ve arrived at a position of power and responsibility, to push yourself to grow and challenge conventional wisdom.”
To this end, Leadership Louisville has recently launched the Executive Green Room – a dynamic and innovative suite of development experiences – that provides a forum for senior executives to continue to master the art of the leadership trade. The curriculum and overall design was inspired by series of focus groups with HR leaders from a variety of industries and sectors from around the region. Two of the highest-ranked ‘topics’ coming out of these sessions were ‘energy management’ and ‘leading through times of chaos and change’. The need for further development of these leadership skills mirror the rapid pace of change that exists in the world today and we need our executives to inspire more than ever before.
Are your leaders ready to lead for the future?
Learn more, www.leadershiplouisville.org.
About This Author
Lisa Buckley Zangari
Director of Learning
Leadership Louisville Center
Having spent more than twelve years on the front lines of innovation, Lisa Buckley Zangari brings a unique blend of business savvy and human-driven change-management.
Before joining Leadership Louisville, Lisa spent nine years at ?What If! Innovation Partners in New York City. While there, she partnered with Fortune 500 executives and their teams to build innovation capability, develop new products/services, launch internal start-ups and nurture more creative corporate cultures. As the global account leader for several clients, Lisa worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and across North America.
She designed and led numerous leadership development programs for companies such as AARP, American Express, AT&T, Citibank, Hasbro, Independence Blue Cross, Pfizer, The Hershey Company and more. This included taking leaders behind the scenes of some of the world’s most innovative organizations – Facebook, Google, Southwest Airlines, etc. – and helping them apply what they learned back in their own organizations. Lisa also spearheaded What If NYC’s social innovation practice with clients such as Acumen, Future Generation Foundation of Egypt and (RED)™.
Lisa’s innovation career started at Saatchi & Saatchi where she worked with iconic brands and retailers, such as P&G and Walmart, to reinvent the shopping experience. She has an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University and degrees in Psychology and Theatre.
Since moving to Louisville last summer, Lisa has been doing pro-bono consulting for New Roots (a local food access non-profit) and the Louisville Downtown Residents Association and was a 2015 volunteer camp counselor for the Earth and Spirit Center’s ‘Camp Nature Odyssey for Kids’. Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn and Twitter.