Are you an Authentic Leader?

Video Transcript

From 1m 10s

Ciara Aspinall:   Eric has extensive experience in leadership development globally. He regularly speaks at international conferences and events on leadership and organizational culture. He has published several papers and is the author of Moving Horizons, which is an exceptional book. If you haven’t read it yet, I would definitely recommend that you get your hands on a copy of it.

Ciara Aspinall:   And for those of you who don’t know me, I am Ciara Aspinall, there’s a summary of my qualifications and experience up on the screen, but in a nutshell, I am qualified in a number of personal and business improvement tools. Most notably, I’m a Genos International emotional intelligence trainer. And that’s really why I am here today to talk about the role that emotional intelligence plays in authentic leadership. So that’s enough about us and without any further ado, I’m going to hand you over to Eric, who is going to take you through the initial part of our presentation today, Eric.

Eric Jenkinson:  Thanks, Ciara. Hello again, folks. Good to see you all here. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to have a look at authentic leadership and we’re gonna keep it pretty short, pretty straight to the point, but just pose a few questions. One of the things we really want do is let you have a couple of takeaways as we call them. So at the end of it, I’m just going to give four or five key takeaway points. So you can take some notes, take away the, takeaway points and then do something with it. We call it critical reflection. And one of the key aspects of being what we see as an authentic leader is being able to critically reflect what on reflect on your leadership style. Over the last six or seven years, I’ve spent a lot of time researching this thing called authentic leadership.

Eric Jenkinson:  And you all know for any of you like me who are addicted to things like LinkedIn, where I read LinkedIn seven days a week, I’m always absorbing the information just to get a feel for who’s saying what out there. Like most people, some of the stuff I I read in here I go, oh, that’s rubbish. Some of the stuff I see. And I go, oh, that’s really interesting. I like that. I take notes and take it away. There are lots of terms being used, particularly in around the last 18 months, since the pandemic really started like agile leadership, the ability to be agile, transformational leadership, the ability to be able to transform that business that you have and do something better with it. A really interesting one is resilient leadership, which makes a lot of sense, given the pandemic and how resilient are you to keep your business going and maybe even come out of the pandemic even better than what you were when you went into to it.

Eric Jenkinson:  And we’ve seen loads of examples of some phenomenal ways local companies have managed to get around the restrictions of the pandemic and lockdown. A friend of mine owns  a restaurant and he was one of the first to actually do the orders and takeaways. And, his business has really just boomed into that. But authenticity, what do we mean by an authentic leader? And if you go to a dictionary definition, authenticity is actually described as being genuine. I bet there is not one of us in the room right now who doesn’t think ourselves as being really genuine. I like to think of genuine everybody else does. So here’s an interesting question. Do the people who turn up for me every morning actually see me as being authentic.

Eric Jenkinson:  And we, we do lots of projects around 360 degree feedback systems. And I was involved in one not long ago and believe it or not 30% of the managers who get feedback, get feedback that don’t actually like, that’s the percentage we’re coming up with time and time again. We do the 360 degree feedback from their peers, their managers and their staff on average, it’s past 30% where they actually don’t like what they’re being told. I had someone recently in the feedback session who sat and cried because they struggled with the reactions they got from the staff. And this is a real shock to the system. And sometimes the reason for that is if you get someone going in to a company where the manager is very much autocratic, they work with that style for many years. What happens is they follow that style and I’ve had to go in and coach individual managers, one on one who after 15 years of following an autocratic leader, all of a sudden you get a new CEO who comes in, who’s a very empowering style, a democratic style or an authentic style. And that person struggles with that manager. And they’re going, hold on that this is not what I’ve been used to. I don’t blame that person. I blame the organisation for letting that person be developed that way. So it’s very important to try and understand how good can I get at asking myself the question, am I being authentic? So we’re going to look at some of the elements of being an authentic manager and does my leadership style indicate that I am? Or would my staff say, oh no, no, no, no, no. He’s not authentic at all. 

Eric Jenkinson:  So in all our businesses, we always have the thing called business critical issues. Um, key performance indicators. You’ve got things like turnover, profitability. You’ve got product quality Graham. You would know that one, you’ve got, operating efficiencies, whatever your KPIs are. They’re always classed as business critical. Many of us as the business owners and the business leaders see the culture of the company also is being business critical. And I find so many managers don’t elevate to that level of, of seniority in terms of strategic way. They run the business. All of a sudden we get hit of the pandemic 15 months ago. And I have to say, I hate the term, the new norm, but this term was thrown out very early days to me And to some degree there is, there is a bit of a new norm, but does it really mean? They make us challenge the way we think and the way we operate. One of the key aspects of being an authentic leader is the ability to continuously challenge the status quo of the way you run your business. And they’re going to refer to certainly at least one leader, everyone will know, had the pleasure working with we did this every day.

Eric Jenkinson:  So have with the ability to go, all right, we’ve done it that way. For years, we’ve been making money for years, but are we prepared to step back and go, why should we keep doing it that way? An authentic leader, what’s their people to physically do that. Other eyes, the company could suffer from a thing called corporate inertia. Now corporate inertia has now become one of those official leadership and business terms. I am going to give you prime example of corporate inertia. Let me just show you a slide here. This is the standard product service life cycle. We go through it as human beings too. Every product, every service in the world goes through this. As human beings, you’re born your emerge into life. You become a teenager. You develop, you hit maturity, you become an adult.

Eric Jenkinson:  You start to get on in years. And eventually you decline every single product and service on this planet has always gone through this life cycle. Interesting. I’m going to use an example from the phone market, the mobile phone market. And I’ll take the example of the Nokia. If any of you’re old enough to remember the Nokia phone. Claire, you’re honest, I’m honest. I remember, but see, I see it there for years. And I actually bought myself a Land Rover  and it was my pride and joy. You know, boys and their toys. As I was getting into the Jeep, I noticed the phone cradle. The only phone that the cradle would take was a NOKIA three 20. I’m thinking now this is phenomenal because here’s a company, a multimillion pound turnover company land over who decide that the only phone that would fit their cradle is a NOKIA three 20.

Eric Jenkinson:  I had not thought that within 18 months, nobody was buying those phones anymore. They were easy to use. You could see the buttons, you could text and all that. And what they did was they hit the maturity stage and they went into mass production. So they invested heavily and all these operating sites to make more because they started to suffer from corporate inertia. They assumed the clients they had today will still be here tomorrow. Then along came Blackberry. I’m sure most of us remember the Blackberry, which became the top business phone in the world. And why did we all buy them? Because like me with any other person who had teenage children, you had BM where you could track them on a Friday night and a Saturday night, and you could keep in touch with your kids.

Eric Jenkinson:  And you would know they were safe, a fantastic, unique selling point for that company. But it was the only one. What happened is Blackberry did the same as Nokia. They got the maturity ramped up production, and soon the customers would be there. Then what happens? Along comes Apple, Apple introduces the iPhone. And by the time iPhone one got to maturity, it had six, seven other iPhones in the pipeline. So they built a business on innovation as opposed to pure sales and one led to the other. And corporate inertia is a typical example of what happened at Nokia. Okay. Here’s the significant factor in terms of thinking strategically and being an authentic leader 25 years ago, the average time to go from introduction to decline for any product was 20 years. Do you know what it is today for the cell phone market? Months, technology has shifted and created the challenge that we didn’t have before.

Eric Jenkinson:  So I think it’s a good example of corporate inertia. What it means, the fact that you must think differently and an authentic leader must think, how do we stop doing what we’re always doing and get better at what we do. And I’m going to tell you a little story about a certain gentleman who was absolutely phenomenal at it to the business leader. What does the business leader do? The business leader, authentic leader creates a culture. The culture can only be dictated by one person. The CEO, the head of the business – managers will only deliver the culture. If the CEO says we are serious about this and the CEO actually walks the talk. And as I say, I’m going to give an example of someone I work with who was brilliant at that. There is a great book by Simon Sinek which is one of the takeaways from today’s session. He wrote a book called “Leaders Eat Last" its a phenomenal book. I know Ciara has the book and will show you the cover at the end. He actually states in the book and he gives examples of fantastic companies that whose culture became toxic and they go into business and he gives examples of toxic cultures who becomes successful because they get authentic leaders.

Eric Jenkinson:  So the authentic leader has got this culture at the forefront of thinking the whole time by saying how does the leader actually be authentic? So we are going to look at some of the elements. Let’s just say there are more, these are just five or six of the key elements, that have been identified by a range of people like myself in studying this subject matter. So one of the things an authentic leader does is they live the values. I walk into companies and one of the jobs I’ve had for many years is to do cultural assessments and go in and assess organisations for their culture. Some companies I have worked with have awards for being the best in the world for what they did with building their business culture. And they got platinum and best small business award in the world, which was a phenomenal measure and a benchmark of just how well they created that, that culture and the authentic leader just doesn’t put the words on the wall.

Eric Jenkinson:  So I walk into these organisations and I’m looking at words on the wall. Things like teamwork, integrity, customer service. And you know what I do, I pick the people I want to interview and I speak to you and I have these confidential conversations and I’d pick someone and I’d say, Hey, Claire, how are you? Tell me a bit about your job. And then I will say, give me two, pick two of the, the core values of this company and tell me how you deliver them at every single day. And so many times people have said, would you repeat the question? What are core values? What are they? And they look at you other, the good companies that people get, oh, that’s easy. Yeah. Customer service. This is what I do every day. I do a face to face interaction with the customer. But what I do is I hand the work to Ciara who deals with a customer directly.

Eric Jenkinson:  So she’s my customer. So the authentic leader walks to talk when it comes to the values, that means their behaviour displays the values. I put a point there, they link their people and management processes, the values, some examples. One of the organisations I worked with, what we did on the road to changing the culture was staff. They had a phenomenal performance management system where staff got rewarded for performance. We wanted to build the values into what I call the DNA of their business. So what I said to them was, well, why don’t we link the performance review process and the reward and recognition reward process to how they deliver the values. So what we did was right across, and this is a company employs 300 – 400 people. They actually had a team of people. And the people from across the company nominated an employee every month to get employee of the month recognition of award for how they deliver the one of the values.

Eric Jenkinson:  So for example, you could have Graham he’s working away. He may not be the highest performer, but a phenomenally good team player. Team player – one of the values, and a lot of people would nominate Graham for the award because he displayed the values in the way he behaved. And that’s just one of the ways that doing it. You can link it to your appraisal system. And sometimes when I see what the leader wants to roll out the values and some of the managers don’t buy into it, one of the things you can do is you can tie values, review into the performance, appraisal, the managers, and why not involve that in the managers appraisal and judge them on how well they display the values. And you can link that to the 360 degree feedback process. Another key process, which is interesting, which normally isn’t referred to, but the induction process, if you want people to buy into your values, share them with the people at the very interview process and make sure it’s incorporated within your induction process.

Eric Jenkinson:  And I’m going to chat now about a company where they really do that extremely well. So if you’ve got values on your reception wall, please let them mean something. The authentic leader will actually make sure people sees that he or she believes in them. One of the people, I had a pleasure working with many years ago, Ingvar Kamprad, unfortunately he’s no longer with us, but he founded that famous company, Ikea, He built it from nothing and they now 445 stores worldwide. He invited me to the company and I was actually one of the first people who was a guest in, they have a culture centre, an actual culture centre in Sweden and every stakeholder employee, new recruit new recruit manager, customer supplier etc. They’re brought into this culture centre and orientated to the values of Ikea. And I love that.

Eric Jenkinson:  Now what’s interesting about what they do as a business. They don’t always stick with the same values over the years. Their values have changed. And I like that because they are adjusting the values in laying with the external factors that are affect their business and from the feedback of their staff. So the current Ikea values are togetherness, teamwork, caring for people and the planet. They’re very much into protecting the planet and being environmentally friendly, being cost, conscious simplicity, keep things really simple, renew and improve. That’s a message to the staff. One of the things that will tell you there is if you have an idea, no one will not listen to you, bring it forward. We’ll listen to it. If you look at a process with 60 stages, you can change it to five. Tell us how. And we do it different with the meaning.

Eric Jenkinson:  What they mean by that is we’re different than everybody else. We want to operate differently and we want to be better than everybody else. Interesting. The last two points give and take responsibility. That’s specifically targeted at the leaders in the business – lead by example, specifically targeted the leaders in the business. They have guiding principles for their leaders, which include empowering, trusting your people, communicating with your people, asking you people for feedback and being very authentic and honest in the way you deal with them. I love that. And I have no doubt that in seven, eight years time, they may have adjusted those again. But what’s interesting is way back then. All those years ago Ingvar Kamprad said to me, Eric I am building the company around our values, and we’re never going to change. We always stick to our values. And I love that.

Eric Jenkinson:  And as I say, one of the most successful companies around the world and they’ve grown phenomenally, 445 stores globally today. And the way they manage their people is just phenomenal. Another aspect of being an authentic leader is being humble. And, and I don’t see anything wrong with being humble and treating people with respect. And by the way I just love engaging with people no matter where I go and Milly will know the, the Western Hotel in Grand Cayman And when I walked to the door, the front door of the Westin Hotel and every one of the guys in the are over shaking my hand saying good morning Eric. And Amaral, Renee, Jordan, all those guys and know them. I know all about their families and I took the time to speak with them.

Eric Jenkinson:  And Amaral actually said to me, one day he said, Hey, you always stop and speak to us. He said, we bring luggage in for everybody and 90% of them just walk on past us and ignore us. And I said, no, because every time I come in here, you guys make me feel welcome. He said, yes, because you take a time to speak to us. You engage with us. And that’s what authentic leader does. There’s an interesting point there. Follow up on agreed actions. One of the things that Ingvar Kamprad and his staff told me this, not him, he used to take time. Once he built the company into a global business, he took time every month and he got on a plane and he flew all around the world to different sites. What he would do is he wouldn’t go to reception and ask for the local directors.

Eric Jenkinson:  He would go the furthest point in the site to where the guys receive the goods inward section and get the raw materials and he’d start there. And he had the process all mapped out and he would go from one department to the other and he would spend all day just speaking to staff, asking them for their views, asking them how they could improve things. It’s interesting. What they all told me. They said he never wrote too much down, but my God, he used to come back and tell us, thank you for that idea. We’ve actually put it into place. So they wondered how he could remember it all. And somebody would say, I got a great idea. Or he would ask him a, about their families. And he took a personal interest in his staff. And the one thing I remember being told by a very senior person, when I asked this lady why she moved her whole family from from America to Sweden, she said, “Ingvar, he walks on water. We just love him. He’s so good. We would go anywhere around the world to work for him." And I thought that that stage, wow, if only I could be half the manager, he is, I’ll be happy with myself. So the authentic manager looks for the potential on people rather than the problems. And one of the things you can do is, and lots of companies make the mistake. They actually engage with the staff, do a staff engagement surveys. They look at the results. Don’t like them, put them in the drawer and forget about them. Yeah. The Ingvar Kamprads of this world, would’ve taken the results and said, look at what our people are telling us. We need to improve. If enough people are telling us, we need to improve this, we will do it. We always follow up on the actions.

Eric Jenkinson:  And I like that step. And I just love quote, never talk down to anybody unless you’re actually giving them a hand up. Very true saying, I love that giving back to the community. Authentic leaders give back to the community and are very much socially responsible. And as it’s not just, I know what Ciara I know what you and Milly have done for many, many years in Cayman. And one of the things that really blew my mind when I went in to help you with the Investors In People project was just how much you guys did with your staff to help the local community, unbelievable degree of activity. And I give you credit for it. And I still do to this day phenomenal. And that’s what an authentic leader does, they are socially responsible.

Eric Jenkinson:  I’ve been doing it many years.  I’m delighted to say I’m an ambassador for the Amy foundation. And we support disadvantaged children in the townships and slums around Cape Town. I started the project back in 2004 with 20 children. We’ve managed to shift that whole project 17 years later, we feed 3000 children every day and we educate them and we’ve got last year, we put just under 800 into employment. And that to me is about being an authentic leader. And if you have a group of people in your company who lead these projects, they lead the social responsibility activity, the authentic leader, just doesn’t tap the heart and say, well done. He or she gets in and physically helps them. And by their behaviour shows that they completely supported. This is a very important element of being an authentic leader and our mantra is that one, which is a fun and yet a great quote.

Eric Jenkinson:  I think it’s just important. You make a living by what you earn, but you make a life by what you give. Very, very profound quote by Churchill, which is the one we use in the Amy foundation. Next point have a mentor. One of the key elements of being authentic is being prepared to have somebody you can go to for advice. I’m very lucky because I have a guy called Jerry McKinney, who is a phenomenon mentor to me. And make sure it’s somebody, you can trust somebody who’ll be open and honest with you and help you cope with difficult situations. Now, Jerry has taught me lots of techniques over the years. He is the top master trainer for Tony Robbins and he’s the most unassuming person you could meet. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the guy’s just phenomenal.

Eric Jenkinson:  And when I have a problem, when I go to meet Jerry, I tend to meet him in Starbucks Cafe in Belfast. He must be the only person who drinks tea in Starbucks! Everybody else is in drinking Starbucks coffee, Jerry doesn’t drink coffee, he drinks tea! But he does something really unique every time when he is giving me these feedback sessions and asking me questions. What he does is every single time takes an napkin off the table. He takes a pen and I love his technique. As we are chatting about things. He writes it down, when I go to leave every single time for the many years, he’s been my mentor. Jerry will say to me, there’s what you’ve agreed to do. And he give me the, the napkin. It’s an napkin in Starbucks and he’s written four, five points down. Now. I’m sure all of you had somebody in your lives like a, a grandparent, a mother, father, aunt, uncle, who you really loved and you would do anything for.

Eric Jenkinson:  Avoid letting them down. Well, having a good mentor is a bit like that because I would do anything to avoid letting Jerry down. So what Jerry does is he gives me that piece of paper, knowing I’m gonna take it away and I’m gonna do everything that’s on that list. And the last point is something he taught me a while ago, called the five to thrive. Brilliant, brilliant learning point for me, we all have things we must do. We have things we should do. And we have things we could do. Jerry said to me, Eric, write on the top of a sheet of paper, five to thrive, take time to think of the top five things you must do, write them down, leave the sheet of paper on your table. When you get up in the morning, you read it before you go to bed at night, you read it and you only change it.

Eric Jenkinson:  When you do things you change things. You will change it as time goes on, but five to thrive is really good, I stand by it and it really keeps you focused on achieving your ambition. And Jerry taught me that and it all started with the little napkins in Starbucks and him writing down what I was going to do. Another aspect of authentic leadership. Choose your peer group. Very carefully. Folks. Think about who your peer group are within your normal peer group. Pick a small group of very genuine friends. This point was raised in a fantastic book by Bill George called True North. You enter compass where he like, like Simon Sinek, he links authentic leadership to emotional intelligence, which Ciara is going to speak about. But Bill George makes a brilliant point. He says, get a small group of genuine friends. People are true to your friendship, but they’re not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong.

Eric Jenkinson:  I’ve got, I have a couple of people are not afraid to do that. You know? Right. You’re talking nonsense, but you know, something? it’s great when people are prepared to tell you. Because you know that they are telling you for the right reason and it’s important. Cause nine times out of ten. When I look at it, I go, I am wrong. They’re right. So people are not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong and don’t leave it and only see them once every four or five years meet with them regularly. What I do with Jerry is my mentor. I will meet Jerry once every lot of months, just for a cup tea, or on the phone. It’s funny how he seems to phone me when things are really concerning me. And it’s as if he’s tapped into my phone, but it’s having those people around you, who you can depend on.

Eric Jenkinson:  And that’s very important as an authentic leader. Last point I want to touch on, on being authentic leader is being, having the ability to constantly want to learn. Now I use four key words when I refer to learning and they’re the four learning outcomes. K – knowledge. How can I shift my knowledge by reading this, attending this webinar, listen to what this guy says with strange accent. How can I shift my knowledge skills, second learning outcome? How can I use that knowledge shift to improve my skills as a leader? Third one attitude. How does this learning shift my attitude about my job, about my business, about the people that actually turn up for me every single morning and the final one. If I use the enhanced knowledge, greater skills, better attitude. How does that affect my performance as a leader for learning outcomes, knowledge, skills, attitude, performance.

Eric Jenkinson:  And I’m hoping today when Ciara is finished you’ll agree that maybe some of those certainly that the knowledge possibly even the attitude may have been shifted by what we’ve said. So an authentic leader always learns. I use LinkedIn, I read books. I constantly do research. I read a book on authentic leadership and it was not scientific. I couldn’t understand it just couldn’t understand it. So I put it on one side and they got a different one and I read it. And Bill George’s book was absolutely phenomenal. So an authentic leader sees learning and development as a must because it helps you do this critical reflection. This is me time. You’re all taking time out to listen to what Ciara and I say – me time is the most important time. I often say to people, I say to family and my friends.

Eric Jenkinson:  Most important thing I can give you is my time above all else. You give yourself time as well. And that this is all about how, where am I of the impact of my leadership style on the people that show up for me and learning and development. Think of those four words and Tony Robbins uses a I’d give quick six quick words. He calls them six human needs and he uses them very regularly. And I’m going focus on one because he says, we all have a need for certainty in our lives. You can write the word certainty down. What does that mean? Then we like to be certain that when we go home tonight, our children are safe. We like to be certain that we are getting a salary at the end of the month. We never all do the same things.

Eric Jenkinson:  You’ll change the model. You’ll change the, the style and colour of your clothes. So we all have a certain degree for, for uncertainty – significance. We all love a certain degree of significance. That could be your, maybe a pastor in the church, a leader in the church, a, a leader in the local football team, a member of the committee that supports local charities, the head of the household that signifies a manager, a CEO in your business. That’s significance. We all need that love and connection. We all need that from our friends, our partner, our family, our team members, and work. We all need have a need for love and connection. Contribution. The fifth one, which I really, really am totally addicted to. Everybody’s a need for contributing to other people who are less well off than them degree or lesser degree. These six words all apply to all of us.

Eric Jenkinson:  The final one is the one, which is the one I’m actually targeting here is growth. Tony Robb says, if you do not grow as an individual, you stagnate like in corporate inertia within a company. If you do not learn, you do not improve and growth is the reason why you’re all taking part in this. This is the reason why I go in LinkedIn. I want to learn. This is why I read books. Because I want to grow. And growth is an essential part of being the authentic leader. And the last point before I head over to Ciara is the authentic leader has a very high level of self-awareness because the first point of emotional intelligence is asking yourself the question higher, where am I of the impact of my leadership style on the people that show up for me every single day. Ciara, I’m gonna hand over to you to take the emotional intelligence and, and look at it in more detail. Fantastic.

Ciara Aspinall:   Thank you so much, Eric. So as Eric just said there, extensive research has really confirmed that emotional intelligence is significantly and positively related to authentic leadership, both emotional intelligence and authentic leadership are based on a solid foundation of self-awareness. In order to effectively manage others, we need to be able to accurately understand our own strengths, our own weaknesses and our own values. And then this helps to create the clarity that Eric was talking around about your purpose and lets us speak candidly about the vision that we have. But why is emotional intelligence so important? Well, I  been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity over the last 12 or 18 months to speak with lots of senior level executives with global HR directives directors, with thought leaders and participate in lots of HR and leadership conferences, webinars, and in every single interaction.

Ciara Aspinall:   The feedback and thought process is that emotional and intelligence is more important than ever. People are really now being put at the heart of the organisation and given that support that they need to, to be able to survive and to thrive in this current pandemic environment. As Eric mentioned at the beginning of our session, people are being more human, we’re being more empathetic, more authentic and more resilient. We’ve been pushed as leaders to be more empowering as our teams aren’t working beside us anymore. We’ve had to put trust in our people to do their roles from home. We get to see inside people’s homes. So we’ve all become that little bit more vulnerable and authentic over the last 25 years or so. Research on emotional intelligence has really accumulated and it’s become a hallmark of highly acclaimed, highly successful organisations globally, suddenly within the last number of years with the advent of artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence has become way more important and it’s become very, very high profile.

Ciara Aspinall:   Indeed. The world economic forum has identified intelligence as a key skill for success. And even LinkedIn have identified it as one of the top five skills that employers that are looking for when they hire. And one of the most significant research papers that’s been done on this was done by Cap Gemini  which we can see on the screen here. And it says that the demand for emotion intelligence skills is going to increase by six times on average, within the next three to five years, with all that being said, what is emotional intelligence? And how does that impact us in the real world? One of the biggest challenges that we have with emotional intelligence is that it can be really difficult to define. And we want to give you a sense today, a of what it is and why it’s such an important part of authentic leadership.

Ciara Aspinall:   So what I’m going to ask you to do is to grab that old fashioned pen and piece of paper that we asked you to have to hand at the beginning of the session. And we’re going to get started here with a short exercise. And what I would like for you to do is to think back in time, or maybe it’s current time to the best boss you have ever worked for. So I’m not going to ask you to share their details with us. But what I would love for you to do is to write that person’s name at the top of your piece of paper, because when you write their name down, it becomes more real and you start to bring that person back to mind again. So when you have that person to mind, what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at how they showed up.

Ciara Aspinall:   And we’re going to start thinking about how they interacted with you and to do that, I’m going to share six behaviours. And I’m going to ask you to rate how often that person demonstrated those behaviours. So if they demonstrated the behaviours all the time, then would give them a five. If they demonstrated the behaviour significantly less than others, we’d give them a one. And then somewhere in between it, they might be a two, three or a four. So we’re going to allocate a number for each of the six behaviours. You’ll have six numbers at the end and then we’re gonna add them together. Okay. So thinking about that best boss ever, when you think about them demonstrating an awareness of their mood and emotions, were they a five? Were they acutely aware of their mood and emotions? Did they know whenever they were coming into work in a bad or an angry mood or did they not?

Ciara Aspinall:   Were they completely oblivious? So give them a score between a one and a five. Our second one here is, makes others feel appreciated. It can be as simple as a thank you a please. Nice to see you, whatever they did to make others feel appreciated. Did they do it all the time? You give them a five and if they never made anyone feel appreciated, you’d give them a one somewhere in between a two, three or four. Our third one here is open and honest about mistakes. So were they the kind of person that went? Ugh, it was me. I made a mistake. Let’s learn from it. Let’s fix it. Let’s move on. Then you probably give them a five. If they were the kind of person that went wasn’t me, I wasn’t there. I think it was actually Eric. Then you’d probably give them a one.

Ciara Aspinall:   So give them a score and write them down. Makes ethical decisions. So doing the honest thing, did they choose what was right over? What was fun? Fast or easy. If they did that all the time, you would give them a five, no matter what the circumstances, if they chose what was fun, fast or easy, then you’d probably give them a one or a two. Then for our fifth one, we’ve got manages their emotions effectively in difficult situations. So if they were the complete Zen master, anything could happen and people could be good, bad or mad. And we’ve got this we’re in this together. Um, or were they one, were they the kind of person that you stood outside the door and went, what kind of mood is he in before I go into them, then you probably give them a one. So five is high.

Ciara Aspinall:   One is low. And then the last one that we’re going to look at here is recognises others, hard work and achievements. So again, were they somebody that just said, well, you got, you get your pay cheque at the end of the month. So that’s enough. Then you probably give them a one. But if they recognised everyone all the time, then you give them a five. So you should have six separate numbers here. And what we’re going to do is just add that total together. So you should have a score there of somewhere between six and 30. And we’re going to come back to that in a minute. So write your score down and we’ll come right back to it. Now, what I want you to do is to think about how best boss ever made you feel. How did you feel whenever you went into work in the morning, think about that.

Ciara Aspinall:   What are the first three words that come to your head? We all know those people that when they walk into the room, the room gets a little bit warmer. It gets a little bit brighter, a little bit more pleasant. We like to see those people coming. We like to be around them. We enjoy when they walk into the room. On the other side, we know people that when they walk into the room, they suck the energy out of the room. The temperature drops and everyone starts walking on eggshells. We call them mood Hoovers. We all know them. We don’t want to be them. It’s called emotional contagion. The way that everyone shows up to turn as how people feel. So write your three words down.

Ciara Aspinall:   And then the third part in this exercise, how well did they engage you? And I don’t mean how hard did they make you work? There are lots of reasons that we work hard. We have a good work ethic. We enjoy the work that we do. We feel like we’re part of a team and we don’t want to let our colleagues down. What I mean is to what extent did that person make you want to bring your best game to work every day. So if you want to give them a 1, 2, 3, you did it because it’s what you do. And they had no significant positive influence, a four or five, six, and seven is average. And an eight, nine or 10, you would’ve run through a brick wall for them. You did some of the best work that you ever did when you worked with them.

Ciara Aspinall:   And you did work that you possibly thought that you couldn’t even do. So again, give them one number there. So we’ve got three separate sections of this. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to go to the dark side. So we’re going to think of the worst boss that you’ve ever worked for. And we’re going again to write down that person’s name or their initials at the top of the page. We’re not going to ask you to share it with us. It’s to help you to bring that person back into your mind and notice any reaction in your body. When you think about this person, notice if your shoulders start to go up, notice if your jaw starts to clench. So we’re going to do exactly the same exercise. We’re going to do it a little bit faster now that we know what we’re doing.

Ciara Aspinall:   So for the first one, give your worst boss ever a score between one and five in how well they demonstrated an awareness of their mood and emotions. Give them a score for how much they’ve made others. Feel appreciated. Give them a score in there about how open they were and how honest they were about mistakes. So somewhere between a one and a five, give them a score for makes ethical decisions. Again, somewhere between a one and a five. How well do they manage their emotions effectively in difficult situations. Again, give them or one to five and finally recognises other hard working achievements somewhere between a one and a five. And again, I’ll just give you a quick second to add up the scores, draw a line under those. And you should again, hopefully, hopefully you don’t have any, any minus numbers in there, but hopefully you’ll have a score somewhere between six and 30 for your worst boss. And we’re going to collect those again in a minute.

Ciara Aspinall:   So now I want you to think about what are the three words that come to your mind whenever you think about how that person made you feel, do they make you feel angry or anxious or sad? Whenever they are write them down. And we’ll give you a few seconds, just write them down. Can’t think of any words off the top of your head. Think about Sunday night and how you felt, knowing that you were going into the office the next day and you were going to be with that person on Monday morning and beyond. How did they make you feel? Write your three words down. We’re gonna ask you to share those with us in a minute.

Ciara Aspinall:   And then the last part of the exercise is how well did your worst person, your worst ever boss engage you again? 1, 2, 3. They had no effect on me whatsoever. So I was utterly disengaged, 4, 5, 6, and seven, just absolutely average or eight, nine and 10. I worked hard because they brought the best out of me. So give your worst boss ever a score between one and 10 of high, well or not. They engaged you. So what I’m gonna ask you to do now is to look at our results as a group. What did we say as a group? So what I’m going to do is ask you just to grab your telephone. And if you scan this QR, it will take you to a website called Poll Everywhere. If this is the first time that you’ve used Poll Everywhere, then it might ask you for some personal details, but you can skip past all of that.

Ciara Aspinall:   And it will take you to our first question. And what I would like you to do is when you go to the page on your phone, then input your data into it and we should start seeing the scores coming up here. So if everyone scanned it, then they’re gonna move it forward. So we should start seeing the responses here. So putting your numbers up. So what was that number for your best, your best boss ever. Fantastic. brilliant. 30 is pretty good. 25, 26, 27. Brilliant. Fantastic. So I’m just going to let that go there. We have done this through Genos in multiple different companies. And regardless of whether the company is a large company, a medium company, a small company, regardless of whether it’s in England or the UK or Cayman or wherever it is, what we find and whether its online or in person, what we typically find is that score for your best boss. Typically it’s higher than 20, but normally it’s higher than 25, 25 is the biggest one there. Whenever the figure’s big like that, it means we’ve had the most responses. And I think about your worst boss ever. What was your score there for your worst boss? Just plug it in six, eight. Brilliant. What else? Fantastic. 14, 13, not too bad.

Ciara Aspinall:   Seven six is the, the biggest response. So again, look at the difference between your best boss and your worst boss. Look at the difference in scores. What we typically find for this one is that your scores are normally below 10, but certainly below 15 for your worst boss ever. So if you look at those compared to the other, you’ll see, it’s quite low. It’s close to two to one. So moving on to the next one, then let’s write in here, your three words for your best boss ever. When you think about them, what were the three words that you have pop them in? Oh, we’ve got a number happy, grateful, excited, appreciated, happy, grateful, valued, brilliant love, respected, excited, happy, empowered. Look at all these amazing words and think about, you know, how you would want people to feel, think about what an impact.

Ciara Aspinall:   Those kinds of words would make you feel if you were that person. So Stephen Covey, you might have heard of him wrote about the seven habits of highly effective people. And he did an exercise where you think about you when you’ve just passed away and you’re lying in a box and the people who used to be around you, your loved ones are looking at it. And these are the types of things that you want people to say about you. It’s the way that you want to show up to people. We want to make people feel valued and motivated and empowered and respected. So notice the way that these words make you feel, and then let’s take it. Let’s take you to the dark side. Let’s look at this and see, what are the three words you put in there for your worst ever boss? How did they make you feel jaded?

Ciara Aspinall:   Stressed? Yeah, absolutely anxious. So a lot of people have put anxious and pressured disheartened stressed. Absolutely. So again, there’s a dramatic difference between the way that your first boss behaved and how they made you feel and the second boss and how they made you feel, what this shows is that the way that they showed up made you feel a certain way, the way that you show up, determines how people feel. I’m quite sure that that worst boss ever didn’t waken up in the morning and think, you know what? I am going to make my employees today feel jaded and ashamed and angry and disheartened. They’re more likely to be completely unaware of themselves and of the people around them. The key into this is knowing that we have a choice. We have a choice to show up how our best boss showed up. We have a choice to show up how our worst boss showed up and you can choose whichever one you like.

Ciara Aspinall:   So just in the interest of time, I’m going to skip on past those ones. But what we’ve gone through that simple exercise is the way that you show up, determines the way people feel. It’s really that simple. It’s called emotional contagion. The way they feel determines the extent to which they can engage. And that pretty much impacts everything about that relationship. And we’re talking about our co-workers and the people that work for us and the people that we work for, but also with our kids, with our partners, with our friends, with our clients, with our neighbours, the simplest description of emotional intelligence that you’ve ever heard is knowing that the way you show up really matters and being intelligent enough to choose how the way you show up is so emotional intelligence is really a set of skills that help us act intelligently with our emotions, enhancing our decisions, our behaviour, and our performance.

Ciara Aspinall:   These are the six competencies in the Genos International emotional intelligence model. And we’ve just used the behaviours in each one of these to assess your best. boss and your worst boss. Emotional intelligence is based upon and has a foundation in self-awareness and awareness of others. We also have authenticity, emotional reasoning self-management and inspiring performance. In this model, when we have high levels of these core emotional intelligence competencies, we’re considered to be empathy and genuine and expansive and resilient and all these incredible traits that are really important. But particularly in this current environment, the reality is, is that most of us are on a continuum between that best boss and the worst boss. There are some days that we show up like the worst boss, and there are others that we show up like the best boss people remember the aggregate. So how often do you demonstrate those behaviours that were typical of our best boss?

Ciara Aspinall:   And what I’d like for you to think is you’re leaving here is where am I now? I, what do I need to change? And how do I do that? But the first element of that is self-awareness. So whilst authentic leadership is often categorised by transparency. It’s important to balance openness with self-control when stressful situations, as they inevitably arise, the ability remain calm and clearheaded is so critical. When you think about it, everybody looks to the leader in a crisis to see how worried they need to be like emotional intelligence, authentic leadership has been shown to improve team effectiveness and to build organisational trust. It’s no surprise that people enjoy working for leaders who take responsibility for their actions and treat everyone fairly. In addition to liking their leaders, which itself reduces turnover, employees of authentic leaders feel heard, they feel inspired. They’re comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions, even if they differ from the leaders.

Ciara Aspinall:   And they find meaning in their work beyond the day to day, us driving that engagement above all the similarities between emotional intelligence and authentic leadership, make it easier to develop both of these abilities by strengthening your own emotional intelligence. You can increase your authenticity as a leader. So we hope that through our session today, we were able to introduce the concept of authentic leadership to you and highlight the importance of emotional intelligence within authentic leadership. Nobody can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else you can learn from others’ experiences, but people really trust you when you are being authentic and genuine, not a replica of someone else. So just to finish us off, Eric, do you to chat through the takeaways before we go to the questions?

Eric Jenkinson:  Thanks Ciara. Just some of the takeaways, guys, five to thrive, little discipline. If you do go by that one, write down the five. There have to be the must dos, not the should dos, not the good dos, the must dos, write the five down the sheet of paper, keep it on your a table. Whether it be your kitchen or whatever. Look at it every morning. Look at it every evening that will help you achieve your goals. Culture – everything about authentic leadership is where the authentic leader considers the culture. A CEO or the leader of a business can be an authentic leader, but they’ll work in a vacuum unless a culture in their business actually is one that’s positive to support that. And I know from experience to get that, that way, you’ve got to make sure your managers and the leaders that you have in your business, who manage other people have got to buy into the culture.

Eric Jenkinson:  Some of the key attributes of being authentic leader, living your values. Walk the talk, be humble. Give back to the community, have a mentor, choose your peer group carefully and constantly learn. Emotional intelligence is essential. There’s such a strong alignment between the aspects of emotional intelligence and being authentic leader. I think it’s impossible to separate them. And the last takeaway point that recommended reading Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. That’s it. There, here, you’ve got the hardback version and True North by Bill George. Fantastic book on authentic leadership. I learned so much reading that book and, and he’s very big on, on emotional intelligence as is Simon Sinek. Brilliant.