TWO SIDES OF THE LEADERSHIP COIN: MASTERING HUMAN AND BUSINESS DYNAMICS
When you toss a coin into the air, you call one side. Yet regardless of how it lands, you still have the whole coin. In life—and in business—we often call on only one side of our leadership skills. But we are all capable of bringing our whole selves to the challenges we face. This is where Human and Business Dynamics come in. These two domains—these proverbial “sides of the leadership coin”—are what underpin the Whole Leader.
The problem is that a lot of leadership development programs are lopsided. They are teaching people to be ‘half leaders’ and that’s how they end up seeing themselves. “I’m good at the business side of things,” or “I’m more of a people person.” We are so ready to limit ourselves because we continue to find ourselves in spaces that present limited definitions of leadership.
By breaking Human and Business Dynamics down into their component skill sets, we give people the opportunity to recognize their wholeness.
Social skills and personal skills are the two skills categories within Human Dynamics. These skills are often referred to as “soft,” but don’t let that fool you—these skills are in high demand for the future. To refine Human Dynamics skills and effect organizational change, individuals need to cultivate personal skills such as mindfulness, resilience, and stress management. These are what create a foundation for working in relationship to others.
Social skills extend outward, influencing the people you interact with on a daily basis. In the digital age, we find ourselves interacting more and more with technology but maintaining the ability to navigate relationships with our peers is crucial to becoming an effective Whole Leader. These skills include empathy, communication, motivation, and team building.
The two skill categories on the business side of the Whole Leader are technical skills and strategic skills. The first comprises what we think of as content knowledge. These are the skills associated with our areas of study, practice, and apprenticeship. Everyone is an expert at something and reframing our expertise, however trivial they might seem, as technical skills is a powerful reminder that we can all master this part of Business Dynamics.
Strategic skills are critical to creating a thriving business. At their core, they are the ability to think ahead of the present and anticipate potential outcomes of decisions or changing market trends. We all know we need these types of skills, yet many leadership development programs don’t provide effective tools for us to practice and refine them.
These crucial components of effective leadership are best developed in tandem. A Leadership Development program that addresses just one of these domains in isolation will fail to make a lasting impression when the leader is tested in the real world, where far greater complexity exists than in the learning environment. To learn more about Human and Business Dynamics and to find out how to spot leadership development programs that can provide an effective balance of both, download our free eBook.
Luke Colaciello uses storytelling to support The Regis Company's endeavors in marketing and sales, building brand awareness around human-centered programs that help organizations and their people find their leading edge.