Feb 02 2020| Leadership

Bringing Back the Human Factor

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

by Phil Eyre Founder

In February’s edition of Business Brief, I began a new series of leadership insights by focusing on the “human factors”, and how they contribute to our success.

‘Drive your people’, ‘dominate everyone’, ‘win at all costs’: these and similar phrases characterise much of what constituted leadership ‘wisdom’ throughout the 1980s and 1990s. 

Back then, people became little more than a means to a usually financial end, whether employees or customers. Whilst we still live with the legacy of some of this thinking, thankfully leadership is increasingly understood as a much more nuanced talent. 

Success requires a sophisticated approach

The ability to rapidly draw on a multitude of strengths to tackle particular scenarios, to recognise individual and team talent and motivate accordingly, and to serve (rather than starve) customers, requires a sophisticated approach.

Today’s exceptional leaders recognise that it is the human factors that contribute significantly to success. Examples of what great leaders do include

  • Building brilliant teams, 
  • Harnessing the unique talents of the people they serve
  • Being keenly sensitive to the mood and tone within their organisations
  • Being open to criticism
  • Valuing their employees for the creative people that they are (rather than mere cogs in a machine) 
  • Having a keen desire to enhance other people’s lives.  

As golfer Paul McGinley rightly says in his interview, successful leaders don’t ‘over-captain’ their teams, preferring instead to understand and develop the unique talent that each person brings to the overall benefit of the company. 

What is an emotionally intelligent leader?

In our work with leadership teams across the Channel Islands, those high in self-awareness and people skills achieve phenomenal outcomes. Emotionally intelligent leaders share the following: 

  • A genuine care for their people;

  • An openness to critique, recognising that they do not have a monopoly on good ideas;

  • Excellent listening skills; they pay careful attention to what people say; 

  • A conscious understanding of their own strengths and liabilities, and their impact on others; 

  • An ability to draw out the best from their people.

As has been the case for centuries, but is sometimes forgotten, it is the human factors that make for leadership success. As we start a new year, it’s a good time to ask: what will help you to increase your own people skills?

Give us a call to find out more about how you can bring back the human factor and keep an eye out for similar upcoming articles from us in Business Brief throughout the year.

About The Author | Phil Eyre

Phil is Leaders’ founder. He has an enthusiastic and inspiring style, drawing on his experience in business, academia and social sectors to help any leadership team to achieve phenomenal performance. Phil has sophisticated expertise in psychometrics and in the application of human data for individual, team and organisational success. He has trained with, and been mentored by, global leaders in this field, notably Dr Chuck Coker in the US. Phil began his career in the UK offshore finance industry in 1994, working for a wealth management company in Guernsey, Collins Stewart (CI) Limited, now Canaccord Genuity Wealth International. Phil was head of the company's Guernsey division, with a staff of 120 and assets under management of £4.5billion before resigning from executive responsibilities in 2008. Phil has served on the boards of three charities, including BMS World Mission, a UK charity with over 80 employees and a global reach. Phil also ran the Guernsey hub of a national theology college, received accreditation as a pastor in the Baptist Union of Great Britain and served as a non-executive director for Canaccord Genuity Wealth International. Phil is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Next Article