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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Are you overwhelmed by the competing priorities of your job? The answer could lie in the fourth dimension

Are you overwhelmed by the competing priorities of your job

We know that we live in a world of rapid change. No sooner is one market established, than a new entrant comes in to disrupt the short-lived status quo and it’s making CEOs nervous[1] and overwhelming many leaders.   

When you feel overwhelmed, your biology is actually in turmoil – your palms sweat and you’re aware of your heart pounding. The problem is that all of that chaotic biology actually alters your brain function. The more chaotic your biology – especially your heart rate variability – the more your ability to think clearly and make good decisions is impaired.

Chaotic biology manifests itself in unregulated emotions. The fact that unregulated emotions impair our decision making is something neuroscientists have known for years[2]. We might like to think that rationality exists as a separate phenomenon, but even the most hard-bitten neuroscientists would concede that there is no such thing as rationality in the absence of emotions.

Our decision-making is affected by our emotions. Having made a decision, based on what we ‘feel’ is correct we then justify our decision by searching for data or logic to bolster our choice.

Given the criticality of emotions to decision-making, it is essential that we understand our feelings and emotions so that we can learn to control and manage them. It’s the mismanagement of emotion that scuppers our decision-making. SO the very idea that we need to “remove emotions from business or board rooms” is non-sense. We can’t and we shouldn’t. What we really need to remove is mismanaged emotions.

The good news is that we don’t need to feel overwhelmed by today’s VUCA[3] world. If we can control our emotional state and, instead of feeling overwhelmed feel empowered and in control, we can improve the quality of our decision-making.

This is where the two dimensions of ‘I’ and ‘IT’ come together – see 4D Leadership for more on these and the other dimensions of successful leadership. The more you understand and regulate your own emotions in the ‘I’ (being) dimension, the better your decision making capability in the ‘IT’ (doing) dimension.  

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[1] http://www-935.ibm.com/services/c-suite/study/

[2]http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jenniferlerner/files/annual_review_manuscript_june_16_final.final_.pdf

[3]Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA)

 

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Dr Alan Watkins

Alan is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance. He has a broad mix of commercial, academic, scientific and technological abilities.

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