Leadership Principles : Growing your Leadership with Savoir-Relier™
There is no recipe to be a good leader. Leadership is not a technique: it is a state of being that translates into acts; it is in her or his acts of leadership that the leader exists. The savoir-relier™ approach builds upon the value of developing one’s personality, skills and talents by touching on sensibility and intimacy. It relies on the capacity to work on one’s self to find its best expression with confidence in order to work with others. With that confidence, the leader is capable of inspiring trust in others, at a second stage of leadership development.
A leader creates herself or himself, step by step, over time, through gestures and acts of self-construction in relation to others. By exploring what divides, what makes a difference or creates a distance between individuals, we come to know ourselves and become more agile. The wider the division, the greater the effort needed to understand the other, and the more agility and self-knowledge is gained in the task; on the way interpersonal connections and common grounds emerge. These efforts enable us to build the confidence needed to exercise leadership as a process of influence with composure. This capacity is a major step to grow responsible leadership that centers on people management.
Agility and Sense of Purpose: Building on Personal, Interpersonal, Collective and Social Values
The leadership training undertaken in the savoir-relier™ approach is a quest for meaning, for that sense of purpose that must come from within and light the way for others. The aim is to reconcile individual personalities with the corporate or group identity through interpersonal relationships: it is a learning process involving personal (self), interpersonal (one on one), collective (a project team, business unit, department, division or region for example) and social dimensions (societal, global).
Understanding the company or group’s sense of purpose, which is the expression of a collective identity, culture and values, is a necessary step; but it is not sufficient. Each member of the organization (individuals and groups) needs to accept, adhere to this sense of purpose in order to go in the same direction together. This requires individual commitment, group cohesion and agility for all. However, companies build their success on tensions. The necessary agility needed to reconcile individual, group and collective agendas must combine with the indispensable sense of purpose that drives the group or firm forward. But this collective sense is not naturally aligned with the individual’s. The resulting tensions are stimuli to build a common voice between individuals’ interests and a collective agenda. And for this voice to be heard, we need to use our perceptions and senses.
Valuing Sensible Perception as Complement to Rational Approaches
Working on the sensible and intuitive sides of leadership requires hard work and intense energy placed into unusual and sometimes uncomfortable areas because they touch on the private, intimate, sensible side of the self. The result is enhanced self-awareness, which serves as a confidence builder. The interpersonal exchange, which is part of the process, brings insights into your capacity to build effective relationships with The Other. It also demonstrates your capacity to listen and receive feedback on personal, sensible and sometimes sensitive issues. The very moment of exchange reveals the value of simple, direct and genuine talk to grow the interpersonal skills necessary to effective management practices. Transferring this capacity to interact effectively with others to operational leadership actions is the applied objective of our approach. The work on perception, reliance, resilience and responsibility leads to an enhanced capacity to engage and lead others towards a shared goal.
The savoir-relier™ methodology is based on an inductive approach and relies on experience and experimentation to test knowledge and challenge existing views. Self-awareness comes with the perceived value of qualitative, sensible and personal exchange. The process includes self-portraits, active listening, observation and perception of paintings and savoir-relier conversation. The resulting trust established between the two members of the interpersonal exchange opens the door for work on more difficult areas and an analysis of resilience mechanisms for each individual. The final step involves responsibility as a means to foster change and innovation with purpose.