On Wednesday 3rd July, we held the third event in our inaugural Emerging Leaders Programme. This event focused on the importance of developing your emotional intelligence in leadership. For the initial part of the session we were delighted to be joined by guest speaker John Henderson, CEO of Staffordshire County Council and former Major-General of the British Army who commanded British Forces in Germany. This was followed by a session led by Roche Martin Consultants specialising in Emotional Intelligence.
John Henderson has held several international positions requiring an understanding and insight to different cultures and ways of working all underpinned by emotional intelligence. John has faced a broad and diverse range of leadership scenarios whilst both in the army and at Staffordshire County Council, which have required him to ‘intellectually stretch’ and ‘push’ himself beyond his norm.
For John, there are two key themes which are core to good leadership; trust and confidence. He strongly believes that both are interlinked, and a leader cannot expect to receive confidence without first giving it. Failure to do so can and often creates a culture of blame and mistrust rather than transparency and openness. He cited several examples including a reference to the unique military model used at Sandhurst which creates trust and confidence from ‘bottom up’ led by the ‘servant leader’ mindset. This requires a balance of approachability, humility and authority from a leader.
The Leadership Journey
As individuals progress through their leadership journey, they will need to continually adapt particularly as they may rise through their peer group to ultimately manage colleagues. This journey will require a shift in leadership behaviours. Good leaders must recognise the need to ‘stop doing and start leading’. John’s experience, observations and self-learnings were well received along with his parting comment ‘leading your fellow human is the greatest privilege you will get!’
The second part of the session was led by the Roche Martin Consultants who held workshops covering a number of key areas including driving cultural change, talent acquisition and leadership performance involving emotional intelligence. Individual sessions were held for the mentees and mentors taking part. We were fortunate to be joined by experts who recognise the value in helping people think about their future development and what is required to develop the skills in the most difficult climate since 2008.