• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
Thinking Out Loud

Leadership and Attentiveness

by Michael Jinkins | Dec 03, 2013

Over a decade ago, psychologist Daniel Goleman wrote some exceptionally helpful resources on "emotional intelligence." Leaders and students of leadership have learned a great deal especially from the essays on this subject which he contributed to the Harvard Business Review, such as "What Makes a Leader" and "Leadership That Gets Results." When I taught leadership, management and finance in Texas, I found Goleman's approach to flex between different leadership styles helpful for demonstrating to students how effective leaders draw on a variety of models of organizational leadership, shifting from one model to another depending on what is most needed in a particular moment with a particular organization. Goleman understood that the leader's "emotional intelligence" guides him or her to know what sort of personal touch or perspective or response is required at which moment.  

In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, Goleman contributed new insights building on his earlier work in an essay titled, "The Focused Leader." Those responsible for leading organizations will want to read the article for themselves so I will not provide a comprehensive summary of his ideas. But I would like to zero-in on one key idea. You might consider this a follow-up on a theme introduced recently in the blog, "Would Jesus Multitask?" in which I explored attentiveness and mindfulness, subjects Goleman also discusses in his essay.  

The "focused leader," according to Goleman, possesses sufficient self-understanding to be able to focus on the needs of others (within the organization and those served by the organization). People who are self-aware, those who have self-knowledge, are the most capable of relating well to others. As Goleman explains, those who are cognitively and emotionally empathic, those who demonstrate empathetic concern for others, are able to find an appropriate level of distance from the feelings of others (while also understanding those feelings cognitively and emotionally) so that they can respond wisely and well as leaders, and are able to resist merely reacting, i.e. being drawn into emotionally high situations such as conflicts.   

Goleman describes this balance between feeling with others (empathy) and finding the appropriate emotional distance from them as the "intuition-deliberation mix." Those who get this "mix" just right are able to keep an organization moving forward while staying in relationship with the organization's internal and external constituencies. Those who get it wrong either lose touch with constituents or become so distracted by the anxiety or hostility of constituents that they can't lead. He provides a helpfully nuanced way to re-conceptualize some key insights many of us learned from Family Systems Theory. However, it is at the point of his analysis of strategic thinking that his insights really come home for me. 

"Any business school course on strategy will give you the two main elements: exploitation of your current advantage and exploration of new ones," Goleman writes. He uses the terms "exploitation" and "exploration" in a technical sense familiar to those who have done strategic planning. He continues: "Exploitation requires concentration on the job at hand, whereas exploration demands open awareness to recognize new possibilities." 

Both exploitation and exploration are essential to imagine innovative approaches and make them a reality on the ground. But exploitation, focusing as it does on making the most of the immediate situation, "is accompanied by activity in the brain's circuitry for anticipation and reward." As such, exploitation is reinforced by staying in the familiar course. If we did it "this way" last time and the time before that, and it worked well enough and we felt good, then we feel an internal motivation to keep doing it that way over and over in the future. However, in a rapidly changing environment (such as the one in which every organization exists today), exploitation of current advantages may not be what is needed "next," at least not if we want an organization to thrive into the future. 

Exploration is required for successful innovation, but exploration requires a very different mindset from exploitation of current advantages. "When we switch to exploration," Goleman writes, "we have to make a deliberate cognitive effort to disengage from [the routine of exploitation] in order to roam widely and pursue fresh paths." Exploration not only does not feed the anticipation/reward circuitry of the brain that exploitation does, coasting along "in a familiar routine," it even creates some anxiety because it pushes us out into the unknown. And it is precisely here that a really problematic collision occurs that can prevent an organization from moving forward. 

In order for exploration to be stimulated, leaders must be mentally, emotionally and (I would add) spiritually able to reflect creatively. What keeps this from happening? Goleman asks. "Sleep deprivation, drinking, stress, and mental overload all interfere with the executive circuitry used to make the cognitive switch [from exploitation to exploration]. To sustain the outward focus that leads to innovation, we need some uninterrupted time in which to reflect and refresh our focus." However, if the anxiety of an organization's internal or external constituency is sufficiently high and constituents are highly reactive, they may seek to keep the organization in the (relatively-speaking) more comfortable mode of exploitation. They may try to find ways to sabotage their leaders' capacity to explore and innovate by undermining the mental and emotional resilience of leaders. The long-term health and vitality of the organization can be held hostage by those with a strong interest in exploiting the present, unless leaders find ways to claim the time and space to rest and play, and sustain the good health necessary for generative and recreative thought.  

Strategic thinking is a lot closer to surfing - sensing how and when and where to position yourself on the surfboard to ride a promising wave while staying aware of what is going on in the larger environment - than it is to producing a massively footnoted volume on the nature and destiny of your organization. Goleman helps us figure out at least a few of the most important things to pay attention to while we're paddling out to catch the next big one. The most important factor for good strategic thinking, however, according to Goleman, may simply be keeping our balance!  

The essay to which I refer in this blog is, Daniel Goleman, "The Focused Leader," HBR (Dec. 2013), 50-60. Goleman's new book is Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (HarperCollins, 2013).

 

9 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Kyra Malhotra | Aug 10, 2016

    Appreciating blog, I love this stuff.

    Escorts in Dehradun

  2. lzm | Jul 20, 2016

    Burberry Outlet

    nike free run

    landinggear

    Chanel Outlet

    abercrombie and fitch

    michael kors tote

    burberry wallet

    Hermes Outlet

    coach outlet

    prada handbags sale

    prada messenger bag

    prada outlet

    longchamp bag

    asics shoes

    pandora charms

    Coach Outlet

    TRX Training

    Polo Ralph Lauren

    michael kors outlet

    yeezy boost 350

    ugg australia

    burberry outlet online

    nike norway

    Coach outlet online

    michael kors crossbody

    pandora rings

    Cheap Ray Ban

    longchamp outlet

    louis vuitton perfect

    led lights

    christian louboutin shoes

    prada loafers

    longchamp bags

    burberry purse

    cheap louis vuitton purses

    Salomon Shoes

    louis vuitton uk

    burberry outlet online

    yeezy boost 350

    tiffany co

    hermes purses

    tiffany outlet

    asics gel kayano

    jimmy choo australia

    michael kors outlet

    louis vuitton uk

    sheepskin boots

    Ralph Lauren Shirts

    michael kors purses outlet

    louis vuitton shoulder bag

    burberry

    mcm bags

    oakley sunglasses

    TRX Straps

    outlet michael kors

    louis vuitton artsy

    louis vuitton duffle bag

    burberry perfume

    louboutin shoes

    longchamp backpack

    true religion uk

    christian louboutin shoes

    trx straps

    mens sunglasses

    yeezy shoes

    burberry scarf outlet

    longchamp le pliage medium

    burberry outlet

    oakley sunglasses

    nike air

    michael kors canada

    louis vuitton outlet

    michael kors outlet

    nike shoes

    gucci handbags

    louis vuitton eva clutch

    gucci online

    tiffany co

    prada purses

    michael kors satchel

    trx

    burberry outlet

    ralph lauren uk

    burberry outlet

    hermes bag

    basketball shoes

    canada goose outlet

    christian louboutin shop

    Burberry Factory Outlet

    michael kors black handbags

    nike jordan shoes

    nike free danmark

    michael kors handbags on sale

    louis vuitton messenger bag

    Michael Kors Outlet

    louboutin shoes

    michael kors canada

    Michael Kors Outlet

    Michael Kors Outlet

    sunglasses hut

    louis vuitton neverfull

    gucci backpack

    gucci bags

    louis vuitton australia

    michael kors factory outlet

    longchamp sale

    coach australia

    louis vuitton belt

    burberry britain

    nike sweden

    pandora ring

    coach online

    air jordan retro

    burberry uk

    salomon shoes

    coach purses

    sac longchamp

    louis vuitotn speedy

    hugo boss uk

    nike all

    ray-ban sunglasses

    burberry scarf

    cheap gucci belts

    trx workouts

    coach handbags

    nike shopping

    hugo boss

    longchamp tote

    louis vuitton belts

    nike australia

    michael kors outlet

    prada-crossbody

    nike jordan

    timberland boots uk

    louis vuitton diaper bag

    michael kors purses

    louis vuitton australia

    louis vuitton handbags on sale

    prada shoes

    lebron james shoes

    oakley sunglasses

    TRX Exercises

    burberry outlet

    TRX Bands

    louis vuitton outlet

    Pandora Charm

    top sunglasses

    true religion jeans

    ray-ban sunglasses

    burberry online

    chanel australia

    michael kors outlet store

    jordan retro

    trx suspension

    mcm tote bag

    Ralph Lauren

    prada crossbody bags

    flash sunglasses

    louis vuitton tote bag

    nike air

    sunglasses outlet

    Sunglasses site

    trx workouts

    air jordan nike

    gucci sunglasses

    ugg boots

    Pandora bracelet

    nike air shoes

    louis vuitton shoes men

    coach usa

    trx exercise

    Nike Hyperdunk 2015

    michael kors purses

    michael kors hamilton tote

    michael kors outlet

    longchamp le pliage large tote

    gucci online

    Prada Outlet

    birkin bag hermes

    coach outlet store

    gucci clutch

    abercrombie and fitch

    abercrombie and fitch outlet

    nike shop us

    chanel bags prices

    coach outlet

    prada handbags

    kate spade uk

    gucci belt

    Billat

    nike show

    kate spade uk

    Aviator Sunglasses

    michael kors australia

    prada tote

    trx suspension

    michael kors outlet

    Lebron 13

    shoes online

    burberry australia

    Canada Goose Outlet

    Ralph Lauren Polo

    pandora bracelets

    burberry handbags

    TRX Workouts

    mlb.com

    chanel flap bag

    change points uk

    Longchamp Outlet

    coach bags on sale

    hermes birkin price

    moncler outlet

    primark online uk

    hermes belt

    michael kors outlet

    burberry outlet online

    Ralph Lauren Polo

    nike danmark

    Burberry bags

    burberry watches

    adidas super star

    abercrombie milano

    hermes birkin uk

    michael kors handbags

    nike air jordan

    burberry outlets

    asics shoes

    moncler outlet

    KD 8 shoes

    TRX Workout

    coach outlet

    Ralph Lauren UK

    burberry outlet uk

    michael kors bags on sale

    cheap michael kors handbags

    louis vuitton wallet for women

    popular sunglasses

    mizuno wave

    nike free run sko2

    abercrombie fitch france

    pirate system

    ralph lauren polo

    moncler jacke

    michael kors outlet

    louis vuitton monogram

    gucci handbags

    mizuno shop

    abssice 360

    louis vuitton purses

    beats by dre

    Ray Ban Outlet

    nike air jordan

    air jordan shoes

    michael kors outlet

    louis vuitton

    louis vuitton bags

    MCM Bags

    Polo Ralph Lauren

    coach australia

    moncler outlet

    michael kors outlet

    hermes uk

    michael kors clutch

    michael kors hobo bag

    MCM Outlet

    louis vuitton neverfull mm

    abercrombie outlet online

    coach bags

    burberry scarfs

    michael kors tote

    burberry outlet

    trx for sale

    jordan retro shoes

    sunglasses on sale

    sunglasses sm

    michael kors outlet

    louis vuitton bags

    oakley australia

    ugg boots

    hugo boss uk

    burberry outlet

    louis vuitton artsy

    name brand sunglasses

    Burberry outlet online

    louis vuitotn speedy

    gucci bags

    louis vuitton uk

    michael kors black purse

    free nike

    nike run

    louis vuitotn speedy

    pandora jewelry

    louis vuitton uk

    Burberry online

    louis vuitton damier

    coach purses on sale

    mizuno shoes

    louis vuitton online

    coach shoes

    Kate Spade Australia

    hermes outlet

    cheap michael kors purses

    sunglasses hut

    prada handbags

    balenciag bag

    ray-ban sunglasses

    prada bags

    louis vuitton watllets

    mlb jerseys

    burberry

    kate spade

    burberry shirt

    coach carter

    clk benz

    burberry australia

    gucci shoes

    nike shoes

    burberry london

    michael kors tote bags

    nike year

    nike online

    Nike Kobe 9

    abercrombie fitch nederland

    pandora bracelet

    yeezy boost 350

    nike air max

    moncler jacke

    michael kors outlet

    market 365

    louis vuitton bags

    Oakley Outlet

    fendi outlet

    Mens Sunglasses

    michael kors australia

    pandora necklack

    louis vuitton zippy wallet

    Michael Kors Watches

    chanel tote

    Ralph Lauren

    Ralph Lauren UK

    louboutin heels

    prada bags

    coach sunglasses

    free shoes

    ugg boots ireland

    LZM7.20

    LZM
  3. Saumya | Jul 05, 2016
  4. hxmy018 | Jul 03, 2016

    timberland shoes for men

    toms sale

    max air 2013

    scarpe hogan outlet

    cheap pandora charms

    Cheap Coach

    Air Jordan Retro 11

    oakley outlet

    authentic retro jordans for sale

    nike soccer cleats cheap

    nike tiempo

    black toms

    Ray Ban Outlet

    Air Max 90

    ray ban sale

    cheap timberland boots for men

    toms shoes outlet

    pandora rings silver

    newest lebron shoes

    Toms Wedges

    roshe run nike

    chaussures de foot pas cher

    discount ray bans

    ray ban sunglasses cheap

    Ray Ban Sunglasses

    nfl store

    where to buy toms

    toms store

    retro jordans for cheap

    shop nfl

    oakley eyeglasses

    Air Jordan 11

    pandora glass beads

    nike free

    Nike Roshe Run

    official NHL jerseys

    nike mercurial superfly

    hogan outlet

    moncler girls

    oakley goggles

    cheap oakley goggles

    nike free run 5.0 femme

    cheap jordan shoes for women

    toms on sale

    pandora charm bracelet sale

    pandora beads

    Cheap Canada Goose

    toms outlet

    Discount toms

    botas de futbol

    michael kors wallets on sale

    Nike Air Jordan 11

    nike air max 2013

    Cheap oakley sunglasses sale

    NHL shop

    Canada Goose Jackets

    Boutique nike paris

    moncler outlet usa

    toms retailers

    Nike Air Jordan 13

    ray bans for cheap

    christian louboutin sale

    chaussure nike homme pas cher

    abercrombie and fitch store

    toms outlet store

    women toms shoes

    fitflop slippers

    ray ban store

    nike mercurial

    Soccer Boots Outlet nike

    nfl jerseys cheap

    botas futbol baratas

    scarpe hogan

    christian louboutin shoes

    NHL store

    retro 11 jordans for sale

    michael kors handbags on sale

    pandora jewelry store

    nike schuhe damen

    cheap christian louboutin

    Jordan Sneakers For Sale

    pink toms

    new jordans 2016

    botas de futbol baratas

    yeezy adidas

    Nike Air Jordan Store

    nike schuhe

    abercombie and fitch

    pandora rings

    Cheap Adidas Soccer Shoes

    Canada Goose Outlet

    scarpe hogan uomo

    ray ban sunglasses for men

    Toms Glitter

    a&f usa

    new yeezy shoes

    Toms Outlet Online

    womens toms

    sito ufficiale di Hogan

    Ray ban sale online

    Toms shoes sale

    nike sb stefan janoski

    yeezy shoes

    pandora necklace charms

    adidas yeezy boost 350

    Cheap Ray Bans

    toms cheap

    toms clearance

    cheap michael kors purses

    soccer shoes nike

    hogan scontate

    Michael Kors Outlet

    timberland outlet

    lebron james shoes for sale

    fitflop sandals sale

    michael kors black bag

    nike air max

    cheap air max outlet

    Cheap Soccer Shoes

    Toms Shoes For Women

    Canada Goose Women

    nike mercurial soccer cleats

    christian louboutin outlet

    Toms Shoes On Sale

    Michael Kors

    air max 90 pas cher

    Nike Free 4.0

    Michael Kors Sale

    botas de futbol nike baratas

    nike sportschuhe

    Coach Purses Outlet

    Ray Ban Aviators

    moncler coats for women

    mens lebron james shoes

    cheap oakley sunglasses outlet

    Uomo Hogan

    fitflops sale uk

    ray ban 3025

    pandora rings jewelry

    zapatos de futbol nike

    raybans glasses

    NHL jerseys cheap

    Coach Bags On Sale

    womens timberland boots

    oakley sunglasses clearance

    pandora store

    oakley sunglass outlet

    Cheap Michael Kors

    lebrons 11

    cheap ray ban aviators

    oakley prescription glasses

    Cheap Nike Soccer Shoes

    Cheap Toms Shoes

    chaussure basket homme

    cheap fitflops

    pandora charms sale

    official nfl jerseys

    nike futbol

    hogan scarpe donna

    pandora bracelets

    oakley cheap sunglasses

    Cheap Jordans

    toms women shoes

    abercrombie outlet store

    7.4
  5. WER | Jun 17, 2016
    When it comes to merchandising, few items sell better to NBA fans than
  6. Wholesale Jerseys the league's excellent assortment of team jerseys. Long known for a commitment to greater jersey varieties than competing leagues like the NFL, NHL, or Major League Baseball, the NBA provides its fans with some of the most unique and on-trend jersey designs of any major sports league. In addition, NBA fans will find plenty of replica jerseys
  7. Minnesota Vikings
  8. , championship jersey styles, and plenty of other options for the whole family.For those fans who are searching for the perfect
  9. Movie Football Jersey
  10. apparel option, FansEdge.com has virtually every jersey currently available. Our commitment to a robust selection of jerseys means that even the pickiest NBA fans can find exactly what they need to watch the game at home, cheer the team on at the arena, and pass the time between games all season long.Replica and Retro: The Most Popular Jersey Options for Today's FansFor most fans, there is exactly one kind of jersey on the shopping list before each new
  11. New England Patriots
  12. : A replica jersey that sports not only the team's colors and official logos, but also the name and number of a fan's favorite player. For those who are sticking with this traditional option, we have jerseys and styles for every single one of the NBA's teams nationwide. In addition to replica home
  13. New Orleans Saints
  14. , we have a series of away jerseys and alternates that are sure to diversify an existing collection
  15. New York Giants
  16. and stand out in a crowd.For long-time fans of the game
  17. New York Jets
  18. or those who simply enjoy a team's retro logos and colors, we have retro jerseys from across the league. These jerseys swap today's ultra-modern logos for
  19. NFL Iphone Case
  20. the look and feel of jerseys made in the 1990s and earlier. With timeless logos and even some retro player names or numbers, these jerseys are as in-demand as they are collectible.Championship Jerseys are a Great Way to Commemorate the Post-SeasonCommemoration jerseys for recent
  21. Oakland Raiders
  22. appearances are a great purchase for fans of the NBA's best teams. These jerseys swap team colors and officially licensed logos for NBA Finals branding, championship information, and team-specific championship logos. These jerseys are a must-have item for fans of championship teams
  23. Philadelphia Eagles
  24. , since they're produced in limited quantities and they're almost always deemed a collectible item shortly after their numbers run out.For Young Fans, There is No Shortage of OptionsNBA teams know that the best way to create a strong base of fans is to start early
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers
  26. , and that's why all teams have committed to a series of baby and children's items that fit those new to the rules of the game. The NBA's baby options include baby-sized jerseys and "creepers," perfect for use at home during the big game. For kids, there are plenty of jersey options that are virtually identical to our adult-sized offerings
  27. NFL Shop . Younger fans of the game will enjoy replica and retro jersey options, as well as a limited selection of away jerseys or alternate jerseys that they might find even more appealing.
  • jassica liana | May 17, 2016
    The ability to lead someone through something is defined by his determination and his willingness to compensate. The attitude to work with what you got, you need to improvise at times and you need to carry forward your team. http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2016/04/12/how-to-develop-self-discipline/ this site can be similar too. That is in my terms the leadership qualities which are recommended. 
  • STEPHEN | May 16, 2016
    a very informative post!! really inspiring. really helped me get through my surfboard fear. bestessays.net indeed a very healthy tip for good strategic thinking.
  • john llames | Jun 02, 2015

    Jesus is the one who influences me a lot. he ca be  also a  best business coach if let him lead you.

  • Bert Eyster | Dec 05, 2013
    At 79, I need my head examined for accepting the interim at Harrodsburg. Your insights and those of Dr. Coleman could not have been more timely. No one can imagine the size of exploitive mindsets until one is awash in the wave. New Beginnings may help but balance can come only from God, I'm not sure I have it. Great blog!
    1. Leave a comment

      • 1044 Alta Vista Road |
      • Louisville, KY 40205 |
      • 800.264.1839 |
      • Fax: 502.895.1096 |
      • Site Map
      © Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary