Sunday, January 20, 2013

Three “I”s in Insightful Leaders

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Insight is the power of acute observation, deduction, penetration, discernment and perception.” (Wikipedia). If visionary leaders look on the horizon and take peek of future, then insightful leaders look beyond to capture the violet ray, or x-ray, to see underneath the surface; if visionary leaders are able to zoom in the future as if it were closer; then insightful leaders are capable of pulling past, present, and future together to dig into humanity and pursue universal wisdom. There are three “I”s in insightful leadership.   

 1.    Intelligence

Today’s management has been educated and equipped with IQ (Rational Intelligence to make the efficient command) & EQ (Emotional Intelligence to play the poker face and control the hierarchy), it’s not qualified enough to face today’s uncertainty and complexity, therefore, multi-dimensional intelligence are needed to shape insight, it takes:

  • Creative Intelligence (CQ): Curiosity beat IQ in every chance to create the fresh new idea, and innovation imperative is top priority for every company in every industry, either leadership innovation or technology breakthrough take insightful vision to shape up, in the era of digitalization, information need be refined into intelligence, and intelligence has to be further transformed into business insight, at the higher level, insight is abstracted into wisdom; thus, it takes curiosity and creativity to capture insight.
  • Value Judgment Intelligence (VJI): It is the fundamental driver of virtually all human choice, actions, and reactions. It takes VQ to make effective decisions based on insight which is the capability to understand a specific cause and effect in a specific context. Insightful leaders have better abilities to see beyond obvious, or look around the corner, to leverage risks or adapt to changes. 
  • Paradoxical Intelligence (PI): The leaders with philosophical intelligence may evoke the paradoxical thinking process, which is defined as a statement that seems contradictory,  but that may actually be true in fact. To put in a more logical way, it takes PI to penetrate & percept and push & pull, to shape insight, well integrate analysis with synthesis, in order to highlight the key point, also catch the holism.

2.    Inclusion 

Even the wisest person has the corner of the fool, it takes inclusiveness to have collective insight.

  • Inclusiveness is the lever. Inclusiveness is the quality of the organizational environment that maximizes and leverages the diverse talents, backgrounds and perspectives of all employees. Diversity in the global context can be defined as visible and invisible differences, thinking styles, leadership style, experience, culture etc. Insightful leaders are good listeners, and the indefatigable learners, ask the right questions, to approach solutions via the collective insight.
  • Cultural Agility Focusing on inclusion starts with developing Cultural Agility- the ability to effectively navigate, communicate, interrelate and function well in diverse cultural settings. Insightful leaders are also culturally agile, adaptable and flexible. These are skills necessary to reduce risk and maximize opportunities to achieve performance and results. Cultural agility is also the other kind of intelligence- Culture Intelligence, to appreciate the beauty of diversity, to expand the global vision via the circular lens of a deeply understanding multitude of viewpoint, and to abstract the commonality from divide.    No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.   --Mohandas K. Gandhi

3.    Influence

The best vision is insight.   Malcolm Forbes 

Leadership is an influence. Insightful leaders can make a deep influence because their unique observation and clear discernment can touch the heart, not only shape the mindset.    

Influential Competence: The executives with influential competence will be more flexible and less rigidly tied to top-down, command-and-control environment, they value the employees, understand the mindset of all members of the group, they do not dominate discussions, instead, they encourage open critical debate, and encourage each team member to contribute positively. And they appreciate the collective insight.

  • Influential Intelligence: The insightful leaders has the ability to influence peers as they undertake a broad range of crucial decisions involving the issues as strategy, branding, technologic vision, finance, talent management, a mindset could be called influential intelligence if it can discover the patterns or inter-relationship among all those disciplines. .  
It takes insight to pull the world together, and it takes vision to push the world forward. "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.


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