For some time I have had the privilege of taking part in the Leaders in Residenceprogramme. Around twice a year, chief exec’s, managing directors, entrepreneurs and early career professionals from a range of sectors meet with students at The Leeds University Business School to take part in round table discussions. These discussions are part of the core curriculum for 1st and 2nd year undergraduates, and topics tackled include ‘leadership’ and ‘commercial awareness’. Leaders share business expertise and insights to connect theory with real-world practice in the hopes of better preparing students for future careers.
One could easily assume that it is the students who benefit most from these events, but that’s not a full picture. Spending time with a next generation of business leaders, who bring fresh perspective and awareness, is immensely valuable. Here are a few key points that I wanted to share from our last event.
1. Integrity is integral
· Having defined values and living up to them is really important.
· Integrity (mentioned in various guises), needs to run through everything we do.
2. Embrace culture
· Cultural differences can positively impact business.
· There is a real respect for different behaviours, and a commitment to understanding them better at work.
3. Invest in Emotional Bank Accounts (EBAs)
· Emotional bank accounts exist between leaders and teams.
· Invest in them and respect them.
It is so important to invest in the emotional bank accounts that we hold with ourselves and with others. The currency of EBAs is trust. When you have a made a lot of deposits into your EBAs, trust levels are high and you can be yourself. Others tend to understand and appreciate you, and communication is often easy. When you trip up, which we will all do from time to time, a trust ‘reserve’ is still in place, which carries you through. Practical ways to invest in these accounts include keeping commitments, clarifying expectations and attending to the little things, like offering a kind word or leaving a note. Seeking to understand before being understood is also a good way to build these trust accounts. Too often we’re already completing the sentence in our minds before it has actually been spoken.
If we all added value to others by investing in their emotional bank accounts, imagine what we could achieve?
Waq’e Consultants are specialists in leadership development programmes for leaders in the recruitment agency sector. Contact us.