Friday, August 8, 2008

Leadership that resonates, captures passion

Last week, a colleague gave me a brochure for the upcoming 10th annual Forbes Executive Women's Forum, Building Bridges. Quite a few great speakers on the line up, including Shelley Lazarus, whom I had the pleasure of hearing speak at the DMA last year.

But I enjoyed reading the agenda details for speaker Annie McKee, co-author of Resonant Leadership: Renewing yourself and connecting with others through mindfulness, hope and compassion. The blurb to describe her talk says "What distinguishes great leaders? Exceptional leaders capture passion. Through resonance, leaders become attuned to the needs and dreams of people they lead. They create conditions where people can excel and are able to sustain their effectiveness through renewal..."

There are some great insights to ponder here. Connecting through mindfulness. Capturing passion. Becoming attuned to needs and dreams (which reminds me of the book, The Dream Manager). Sustain effectiveness through renewal not just of others, but ourselves.

Sounds great conceptually. But in our day-to-day world, how often are we as leaders truly connecting with people? How many of us take a moment to find out what drives an individual team member? Or to make "renewal" a part of the team or company's culture? I believe it happens, sure. But most often we're so busy getting work out the door that we're not keenly attuned to people's needs.

There's a lesson here for all of us. That today, we can make an effort to genuinely connect with someone and build a bridge between who they are and the job we're asking them to do. That's how we capture passion and bring it to life. How we resonate with others. Agree?
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