What does it mean to lead truly effectively and why is it so important for today’s leaders to switch their leadership style to a so-called “whole-brained” approach? Due to employees expecting their jobs to provide them with a sense of mastery and purpose, to have them continually learn new skills and give them the opportunity to contribute and secure personal recognition, it becomes more and more important for today’s leaders and organizations to create a culture that contributes positively to their worker’s lives. Instead of spreading fear or forcing people to do what they want, great leaders focus on motivating their teams in engaging ways, which requires a different kind of leadership than widely known: Effective leadership that values people over profit and impact over income.
Psychologists state that there are two parts of the brain that are usually not equally used. The left brain is the clever part. The left brain is so clever it’s taken us to the moon and developed our wonderful technologies. The right brain, on the other hand, has no need to be in control. It is an image processor, it deals with pictures and emotions, feelings and relationships. It is creative, intuitive, trusting. Leaders and people, in general, tend to use one side of the brain over the other which leaves major gaps in the potential and possibilities of individuals and their organizations. The typical analytical “left-brained” leader deals well with logical thinking, languages, science, number, and reasoning which undoubtedly brings them to a certain level of success. Yet, in order to sustain that success and/or progress and take it to the next level of leadership, it is necessary to also develop right-brain skills that have been undervalued, neglected or avoided. The “right-brained” approach relies far more on giving value to personal connectivity, intuition, insight, holistic thought and emotional intelligence.
By identifying your leaders’ capabilities, blind spots and potential through tools such as assessments, and coaching allows you and your organization to reveal strengths and develop the following areas:
- Team Leadership;
- Build relationships with skills such as coaching, delegation, problem-solving, and resolving conflict;
- Manager of Manager Leadership;
- Develop others by negotiating, effecting change, thinking globally, and taking risks;
- Department Leadership;
- Drive results by engagement, interdepartmental cooperation, identifying opportunities, and strategy;
- Organizational Leadership;
- Create a culture by innovating, leading, leadership strategy, developing vision, an executive image.
In the end, we must recognize that dominance is probably not all that important because both sides are functioning at all times. We are not one or the other, explaining why a scientist can be very analytical and mathematical in the lab, but at the same time can be extremely creative and innovative when designing experiments that will evaluate or test facts. A good leader must still think rationally and make sound financial decisions, and that same leader must be emotionally intelligent. In order to become a great leader of not just teams, but initiatives it’s vital that leaders today are multi-skilled and use both sides of their brains. A “whole-brained” approach enables leaders to proactively manage projects as well as groups of productive employees to create vibrant teams of motivated and engaged go-getters. What you want to focus on is total brain health. Use your brain in as many ways possible, challenging it creatively and analytically.