Every two weeks we bring you opinion, news and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Organisational Performance, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.

Editorial: Is Authenticity Overrated?

An interesting article by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic published this week, entitled “Is authenticity overrated?”, challenges the old saw that the most important thing is to be true to yourself.

In fact, argues Chamorro-Premuzic, “large-scale scientific studies show that people who are more likely to enjoy higher levels of psychological well-being, interpersonal effectiveness, and career success (including being effective leaders) are actually strong impression managers.” In other words, they are the opposite of true to themselves; they are an act.

His argues that success is actually predicated on being likeable, rather than authentic. And few would argue that this flies in the face of the current drive for authenticity in the workplace. Chamorro-Premuzic concludes his argument, “… there are clearly some benefits to seeming authentic in the eyes of others, regardless of whether you actually are or not. …You are generally better off coming across as likable, which will generally require some effort, restraint, and attention to what others expect and want to see. Seeming authentic in the process is the cherry on top of the cake, but it requires a fair amount of faking.”

Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but what is being suggested here is a cynical duplicity of character; and if that’s what is required to be successful in life, then I for one will opt for penury and happiness. At least my values will remain intact.

Steve Short – Emenex

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

New research from Blessing White finds that agile leaders hold the competitive advantage. As organizations evolve and optimize their processes and technology, how do their leaders also evolve the skills they need to be successful?  How can they best be supported by their organization?  How do leaders need to adapt to lead in an agile way while keeping the needs of the individuals, teams, and the enterprise in mind?

Their survey results show where leaders are today, the changes they anticipate will impact how they lead in the future, and the best way to provide them with the leadership skills of tomorrow. Key highlights include:

  • The skills leaders need today and in the future—and where they say learning and development can help
  • The mindset leaders say will help them to be future ready
  • The workplace shifts they are most concerned about
  • How they feel about their role as a leader of people—why they are excited as well as what’s keeping them up at night
  • What sets very successful companies apart from the rest

Building A Coaching Culture: How to Create Your Strategy

As we consider the need for greater agility in solving organisational problems, coaching supports this need through conversations that expand current thinking and challenge team members to explore what’s possible and what partnerships can be created.

With the right process and the energy to carry it through, the rewards for systematically developing a culture where coaching is part of everyday relationships can transform not only the performance but the value creation of the organization.

Dr. Tracy Cocivera, writing for Forbes, has set out her key steps for the process of moving towards a coaching culture.  You’ll find her suggestions in full here.

Ex-John Lewis Boss Creates Employee Engagement Platform for SMEs

Former John Lewis deputy chairman, Lord Price, launches social platform Engaging Works, which aims to become a British version of LinkedIn focusing on career development.  Individual users complete an online questionnaire that measures how happy they are in the workplace. The average person scores 633 out of 1,000 worldwide.

Did you know that estate agents are the happiest people in the workforce? Or that people working in the global energy sector are the most miserable?  And that British workers are on average far less happy than those working in Argentina?

Lord Mark Price said: “Nobody else has tried to build a one-stop-shop, a department store for your career development needs. I’ve created a hub to help you manage your career and working life.”  The full story here from SME.

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