Good leadership is felt.
Emotional Currency is a term I've coined that refers to the emotional drivers that influence our decisions and behaviours.
A child's personality is unfiltered - front and centre. As parents, you quickly come to learn their preferences and ways of doing things. Are they confident and bossy, quiet and watchful, outgoing and gregarious, creative or amiable and caring. Based on their personalities, you quickly figure out their emotional currency (based on what they value at the time) and sometimes we apply this when wanting to influence an outcome.
These personality traits are with us for life. And it is our dominant, unique personality traits that offer our greatest value in the workplace. The trick is knowing what they are and finding a career that allows you to lean in to them.
As leaders, when you understand someone's key personality traits you can start to understand their emotional currency.
There has been much written about the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) and the ability to comprehend and manage emotions as a crucial trait of great leadership, and according to Harvard Business School, accounts for 90% of what sets high performers apart.
The shocking reality however, is that the higher you go in an organisation, the lower the level of EQ you find.
Working with Fascination Personality profiling, testing of over a million individuals revealed that only 13% of people have a primary personality advantage of 'Power' (or 'Authority' as depicted in the graph below).
It's probably not a surprise the Power (Authority) Advantage shows up as a key personality trait in a vast majority of senior leadership roles.
However the challenge with this is that two thirds of the leaders I have personally worked with, scored lowest in Passion (Relationships) and Mystique (Observer) personality advantages that represent the two biggest personality groups.
Hence the need to consciously hone in on developing your emotional agility and EQ.
As organisations have moved to ensure we have greater diversity within our organisations and senior leadership positions, there is a worrying trend that while we are ticking diversity boxes such as gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation... we are missing one incredibly important factor of Personality Diversity.
When you have a senior leadership team that is dominated by the Power (Authority) personality Advantage, you are creating a group think culture dominated by what Simon Sinek describes as 'how' type personalities and missing the critical component of the 'why' type personalities that inspires action. In his book “Start With Why”, Sinek shares the concept of why-types as the visionaries and how-types as living in the here and now. The how-types are the ones who get things done, who accomplish the why-types’ dreams.
Take your favourite sports team. Odds are, every position in that team requires someone who excels in different ways. The greatness of the team is that these individual players complement the others and make the whole unit stronger. Let's talk football for a sec, you're not going to be world champions if your whole team are defenders. A striker will have no glory if they don't have their midfield or defenders turning over and distributing the ball with precision.
Again, a diversity of skill is key.
Unfortunately there is an expectation by women that to be respected by their peers, they need to adopt the same Power personality traits. A point which completely defeats the objective of diversity and inclusion and results in leaders and colleagues who are not showing up as their most authentic self.
Worldwide we are starting to see a shift as more and more organisations benefit from truly people-centric and purpose driven leadership which values empathy and making a difference. But we have a long way to go. There are still too many people donning their 'armour' as they head of to work each day. Feeling like they need to fulfill someone else's ideal.
But wearing armour is exhausting. It also means you are not embracing your greatest value and personality strengths.
What if you could be so completely yourself that everyone else felt safe to be themselves too.
If you are interested in learning more about the Fascination Personality Advantages and the emotional currency that drives and influences the behaviours of your team, please contact Viv for a no obligation call today.