Navigating LeadershipYears ago, my two teenage kids and I joined other dads and their kids on a whitewater rafting trip down the Chattooga River for a Father’s Day adventure. You may recall that the Chattooga River was made famous in the 1972 movie Deliverance starring a young Burt Reynolds. In 1974 the US Congress formally proclaimed the Chattooga a National Wild and Scenic River. One trip down the river with an experienced outfitter, and you will understand why the US Congress gave it the official designation “Wild and Scenic.” While it is absolutely beautiful, it has its treachery with many Class III, Class IV, Class V, and even Class VI Rapids. During this particular rainy season, the water on the Chattooga was even more treacherous than usual. As we approached one section of the river, our experienced guide informed us that we needed to paddle our 6-man raft to the bank, get out, and carry our raft along the wooded bank of the river and put it back in 50 yards downriver.He went on to say that several days before, a patron of the river got thrown out of the raft from the turbulence in this section of the river, and they were still looking for his body!
Navigating LeadershipYIKES! You bet; we took the raft to the bank of the river, jumped out, and ran with the raft hoisted above our shoulders. We put back in the Chattooga and continued our adventure, solemn for the man who lost his life but excited that we had a guide that led us through this adventure unscathed. No doubt we shared stories at the campfire that evening!
Leadership Is Much Like the River
It is not hard to see the parallels between the “Wild and Scenic” Chattooga and our career for work! Water levels, rocks, hydraulics, and turbulence, feel like mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, uncertain economic outlook, and job loss.
Losing a job is one of the most stressful things in life. Compensation, title, self-worth, and identity are just some of the challenges that a job seeker must deal with, both cognitively and emotionally. But there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.
It is natural for a person to think that if they got more skills and knowledge (IQ) that they would increase the likelihood that they would be retained. The truth of the matter is that today, employers are looking for employees who have more Emotional Intelligence or EQ.
Good Leadership Means Having Great Emotional Intelligence
- Are they an empathetic listener?
- Are they a “know it all” who is quick to tell everyone how they think it should be done.
- Is the employee an encourager or discouraging?
- No talking bad about the company.
- No talking bad about the products or services.
- No talking bad about your boss.