Influential leaders use the leadership formula

The leadership formula actually involves a number of fairly simple concepts.  Yet, despite the simplicity of such concepts there still appears to be a dearth of great leadership at a business, political and world level.   Even though there seem to be some “modest” improvements on employee engagement reported by the Hay Group 2013.  Global Employee Engagement and Enablement Trends Report there is still much to be done.

Leaders can improve on three levels

In their most recent research, “Building the New Leader – Leadership 2030 report”, Hays have concluded leaders need to improve on three levels, cognitive, emotional and behavioural as follows:

Cognitive Leaders need new forms of contextual awareness, based on strong conceptual and strategic thinking capabilities.  They need to be able to conceptualize change in an unprecedented way, again based on conceptual and strategic thinking.  Leaders need to exhibit new forms of intellectual openness and curiosity.

Emotional Overall, leaders will need to be much more sensitive to different cultures, generations and genders. They will need to demonstrate higher levels of integrity and sincerity and adopt a more ethical approach to doing business. They must also tolerate far higher levels of ambiguity.

Behavioural Leaders must create a culture of trust and openness. As post-heroic leaders they must rethink old concepts such as loyalty and retention and personally create loyalty.  Collaboration – cross-generational, cross-functional and cross-company – will be their watchword. They must lead increasingly diverse teams.

While the research shows a marked progression and depth to the skill set required of a leader, and are vital components of the leadership formula, they miss out essential components of the formula.  The change needed to develop our leaders for the future may well be slow and fraught with difficulties without these components.

Expectations of our leaders are increasing

The emerging priority across the globe is ethical and value centred leadership.  The world needs leaders who can pull it from the current state of chaos.   Certainly enhanced cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills and competencies will help to make that change.

According to Mike Myatt In the USA alone, it is estimated that some 0 billion has been spent on leadership development.  The danger is though,  we approach the problem and waste many more billions in misguided leadership programmes which miss important components of the leadership formula.

Further Components for a successful leadership formula

The missing parts in the leadership formula are the filters which our thinking, emotions and behaviours are sieved through.  These are our beliefs, and our ability to envision a future.

Cognitive, emotional and behavioural excellence is to no avail and the leadership formula is incomplete when the belief system those skills are filtered through is somewhat blinkered, limiting or biased.  Without vision, then no-one is going anywhere, and we remain on Groundhog Day.   Repeating the same mistakes, making the same future from yesterday and remain in our respective comfort zones.


What I have seen from people who have inspired and influenced the world, such as Gandhi, Luther King JR and Mandela, for example, have been some basic beliefs and a clear vision which have freeing and unifying beliefs.   These are similar to:

    • We are all equally as valuable
    • There is only love or fear of love
    • We can create our reality


Such leaders and truly successful business leaders, also have a capacity to envision a future and enable great loyalty and enthusiasm from teams and the public when their vision includes the precepts of:

    • Anything is possible
    • Our vision is for the greater good of all
    • What we can imagine we can create

If you add these two elements to cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills, then you have the ingredients for all possibilities, and a chance to shape the world; the organisation or the team any way you want.  They are the 5 components of a successful leadership formula, which, if done well could change the world for the better.

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