Isn't it time for leaders to rise above these superficial, cowardly standards rather than perpetuate them?
I just finished reading the recent Russian recruitment drive detailed in a New York Times article. "Aren’t You a Man?" where they boldly ask and challenge their citizens to measure their worth in muscle rather than heart and mind.
I’ve seen that too often. It is a crutch to human evolution.
What's missed in this aggressive appeal is the undeniable value of emotional intelligence (EQ)
The ability to recognize, manage, and influence emotions - both our own and those of others.
To draw parallels from the Enneagram, type 8 is known as "The Challenger.”
At healthy levels, the Challenger is magnanimous, self-restrained, inspiring, and protective - (Think Martin Luther King Jr.)
But, with lower emotional health, they become combative, domineering, and, at their worst, vengeful and barbaric. - (Think Saddam Hussein)
Here's the problem: By challenging anyone to prove their strength through force, they inadvertently encourage them to inhabit the lower, more destructive levels of their personalities.
This isn't just a personal downfall; it can lead to societal and organizational disintegration.
The Corporate World is not immune.
When corporate leaders operate from a place of high EQ, akin to the healthier levels of 'The Challenger,' they're decisive and protective and promote mutual respect.
Yet, those encouraged to “be real men” through force can create environments drenched in fear and insecurity, leading to organizations falling apart from the inside. Here are some ways it can happen:
Valuing results over effort.
Silencing challenging ideas.
Preferring loud voices to insight.
Choosing profit above people.
Fueling hostile competition.
Ignoring team unity.
Praising endless hours over efficiency.
Demanding conformity, sidelining creativity.
Amplifying hierarchy, dimming team collaboration.
Micromanaging, suppressing growth.
Elevating "yes-men" over diverse voices.
As humanity evolves, so does our understanding of leadership.
The time is ripe to question outdated ideals and champion a balanced approach instead.
True leadership isn’t about proving how loud one can shout but often about how effectively one can listen and notice when decisions are made without considering the collective emotional footprint.
Let me tell you what I believe "real men" AND "real women" are:
Emotionally self-aware and empathetic.
Active listeners who lead with compassion.
Show strength through vulnerability.
Respect all, regardless of gender or status.
Engage in understanding, not just confronting.
Learn from their mistakes.
Prioritize emotional intelligence as true character.
So, where do you stand? Remember, whether you're a corporate mogul, mentor, or friend, emotional intelligence isn't a sign of weakness. It's the true measure of strength.
Engage with the world. Connect, don't confront. Learn, grow, and redefine what it means to lead.
Be curious about where you fall on the EQ spectrum - Learn more about your Enneagram type – Step up - Reach out! __________________________
You're an Alpha Leader - brilliant, driven, formidable. But what about the emotional landscape of leadership? It can sometimes strain relationships and team dynamics.
Here is where I come in.
Together, we'll shape you into an Empathic Alpha Leader, where strength meets understanding, and decisiveness pairs with empathy.
Start your journey to empathic leadership today.