In America today we are facing unprecedented crises in government, business and non-profit sectors. Aside from the “people” issues, leaders must meet economic crunches, changes in technology, global competition and the need for creativity and innovation. Due to these demands, organizations with power-driven and hierarchical leadership styles will most likely struggle to be successful. Why is resonant leadership so important?
To me, leadership trends in the past were more about aggressive strengths when leaders held the ideals of power, control, innovation, resilience, courage and effectiveness as the most positive attributes. While a leader’s tool belt could contain these ideals, the research about emotional intelligence and resonant leadership acknowledges a leader’s compassion. For some, compassion’s subjective nature makes it difficult to grasp. Yet, leaders, particularly in nonprofit environments, really should set compassion as a key goal.
I have been discussing characteristics of emotionally and relationally healthy leadership using Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee. The authors have described hopefulness, a key quality to leadership, as significant for anyone who attempts to grow, achieve or even heal. Without hope there is little capacity for positive emotions in any life role.
In recent decades the research on emotional intelligence has been prominent regarding leadership. Authors like Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee have provided excellent information about resonant leadership in practice.
I have been writing about leadership, focusing on leadership for nonprofits. While leaders of all organizations face challenges, leaders of nonprofits face some specific ones. Like leaders in other organizations, we deal with the same economic conditions, but because we rely on outside funding, we also succumb to trends that may reduce or even eliminate our capacity to exist.