Have you considered the impact of enthusiastic leadership?
Enthusiasm can be something that is ordinary, pleasant and feels normal or it can be something that is dysfunctional and so over the top. Whether it is over the top, under the middle, or somewhere in between, it is sure to have an effect.
In 2022, Donna Dahl was named in the Top 20 Empowerment Coaches in the world. She is the author of Lessons I Learned from the Tortoise, a five-star rated book designed to challenge people to consider mindful change. When Donna is looking at team development, she enjoys having members of the team inform her as to whether they think their approach to being a team member was more like that of the tortoise, or more like that of the hare.
Donna’s message is that it wouldn’t be effective to only have tortoises on a team because they might never get to the finish line. If there were only hares on the team, they might never stop to think about what the next steps could be. Donna challenges teams to examine their way of being, in relation to the tortoise and the hare and how these two components can complement each other when it comes to getting the job done.
Have you read: Leading Yourself First – Matt Elliot
There are a number of variables that impact performance and decisions that aren’t acknowledged. Donna calls them unquantifiables. We can sense they are present, but we can’t necessarily measure them.
At one point Donna found herself in a work situation where she was actually graded on not smiling enough. “Is a smile an indicator of enthusiasm? Perhaps, but I'd also like to think that my focused attention on you in conversation, maintaining eye contact, hearing your words, being authentic with my response, doesn't necessarily require me to smile, to show my regard,” she says.
It came as no surprise to Donna that two of the factors coming out as being the most prominent in terms of needing attention in 2022 were confidence and communication.
Have you read: How to Be More Bold and Confident - Fred Joyal
What is a leaders role in enthusiastic leadership?
There is a role for leaders to play with respect to monitoring enthusiasm. They also need to consider their own level of enthusiasm. If leaders aren’t enthusiastic about the work they do, is it fair to expect the people working under them to be enthusiastic?
There is another piece in Donna’s puzzle that says it’s okay to treat all the people on the team like human beings. They have varying levels of energy, varying levels of enthusiasm and different things going on during different days. An effective leadership skill is being mindful of what is happening and being able to create an intervention that will have a positive outcome.
One way to improve your leadership is to remember that it doesn't seem appropriate to treat human beings as though they are robots; all you need to do is flick a switch and oil a few joints and away you go. Humans are not like that. Human beings have feelings and things going on outside the company.
So, if enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, enthusiasm becomes the energizer. We all know that every once in a while, the battery in your vehicle needs to be replaced because the energy has drained out of it completely. Let's keep the battery working by regenerating it with enthusiasm.
The complete interview on the impact of enthusiastic leadership can be listened to here, on audio platforms, or watched here, on The Culture of Leadership (TCoL) YouTube channel.