Leaders and top talent are critical to success. It is important to know not only their typical IQ, EQ and other 4Qs, but also their internal stability that can dramatically alter the quality of their decision-making, execution, and others, especially when many changes come at an exponential rate. Technical Stability cannot guarantee Mental Stability and Stability in Turbulence. Instead, People skills and industrial insight, the technical part of leadership, can be challenged easier than ever. EQ and behavior cannot resolve all issues. Without proper utilization and efficient support, leaders and talent may lose their full potentials silently. The articles bring various case studies, including how stability affects Level 5 leaders.
In the past decades, technologies have made many changes exponential, which further intensify competitions and the stress on human beings. Like the human body needs a stable temperature, leaders and talent also require internal stability for their decision-making, execution, internal healing, energy supply and others to perform properly. Rather than a status, stability is an ability to remain constant in particular environments, which can be further divided into three types: Mental Stability, Technical Stability and Stability in Turbulence.
People tend to overvalue Technical Stability– industrial insight and people skills. However, Technical Stability can be easily challenged if individuals do not have a good knowledge structure, cannot maintain a stable mind or be resilient in turbulent times. Business, Psychology, and Technology have limited power outside their comfort zones. Without the right tools, leaders and talent may not be able to unleash their full potentials but suffer a daily loss as many issues can be unrecognized or unsolved. Without the right tools, businesses may not be able to use the right people and take wise action since they cannot fully anticipate potential issues. Not all stabilities are significant at every level or stage; therefore, it is critical to know your talent and make wise investments.
Level 5 leaders are the top talent. The six keys to building a Level 5 leader are also the determining factors of the three stabilities. The health of the individuals’ Ego and management of their human nature (e.g. clinging to the past, acting out when angry, etc.) determine their Mental Stability. Industrial insight and people skills control their Technical Stability. One’s resilience to handle setbacks and failures defines his or her Stability in Turbulence. One’s motivations and dreams can optimize or minimize all three. By getting to the roots of stabilities, we can evaluate, restore or strengthen performance and leadership and help leaders and talent achieve more and enjoy more freedom.
Mental Stability Can Change
Mental Stability, whose roots are the health of one’s Ego and the management of one’s human nature, determines whether an individual can face the facts, make the right decision, and have efficient communication and behaviors. Technical specialty and past work success cannot guarantee this type of stability. Here is a live case.
Mr. A started as a junior associate at a world-leading consulting firm and was promoted to be an associate three years later, focusing on pricing in the finance industry. He stayed with the firm for a total of five years before he left to join his family business. While working with his family business, he had an office next to a non-finance company whose owner happened to know and respect the consulting firm and, therefore, sought his help. However, he did not want to look into the owner’s competitors and only planned to follow up 15 minutes each week. The differences between Finance and a non-finance industry are significant. However, he believed that his five years at the world-leading consulting firm was enough for him to handle ANYTHING.
The root cause of Mr. A’s behavior was his unhealthy Ego. Parents, culture, personal development and environment all can contribute to Ego formation. He came from a developing country and was not comfortable with his strengths and weaknesses. His five years of success at the world-leading consulting firm inflated his Ego so much that he could not face the relevant facts. Subsequently, he could not make the right decision nor take the right action to achieve his goal. Why did the consulting firm fail to discover his instability? The consulting firm used behavior-focused interview, and he never had total autonomy to make decisions independently at his levels of work.
An unhealthy Ego affects not only decision-making, communication, behaviors, leadership and performance, but also a person’s network. Ms. B, a former marketing vice president at a world leading financial institution, had her own marketing consulting business that became volatile as time passed. She also took editing work and would lengthen the sentences of an editing assignment due to her resentment of the low pay associated with editing work. One key function of marketing is to communicate a message as quickly as possible and long sentences certainly do not serve the purpose well. Subsequently, she had neither return business nor referrals from her clients, which made her business more volatile. As a child, her parents over indulged her, which made her need to have things done her way and became a negative feedback loop for her in the harsh business world. While her Ego became more deflated as her business became increasingly volatile, she created short-term self-satisfaction to the long-term detriment of her business.
Can the Mental Stability in the above two scenarios be improved? Yes, we can improve both quickly with the right tools if the individuals desire to improve and have not developed pathological behaviors, for example, disregard of ethics due to the need of self-satisfaction. Can the two persons remain unchanged? Yes, if they are willing to return to the environments that fit them.
Decision-making is the first step in any course of action. All follow-up actions will be in vain without the right first decision. In addition to one’s Ego, human nature management is another significant impact on one’s decision-making, communication, behaviors, and both can change as environments and other elements change. How to keep decision-making subjective, through self or outside resources, is vital to everyone, especially under intense stress due to disruptive changes, setbacks or others. A healthy Ego sets individuals free to face any facts, including that of personal failures. Good human nature management gives us more supervisory power.
I have been there. I recovered myself from Traumatic Brain Injury, passed the three steps of a physician’s license in 2.5 years, and excelled at the clinics, which amazed almost all experts, including those at Harvard University. I felt nothing was impossible afterward. Subsequently, I underestimated the differences between healthcare and other industries and had to spend more time to cross industries.
Stability in Turbulence May Tremble
Stability in Turbulence limits whether a person can stay physically and mentally stable during turbulence, learn from mistakes, and overcome adversities, which is critical when starting new projects and handling exponential changes and turning around recoveries. It is better to anticipate potential issues and take early action than to do damage control. We can either avoid certain setbacks and failures or develop the skills needed ahead.
People often recommend positive thinking or motivation to handle setbacks and failures, which are great but not particular. Individuals also need specific tools, strategy, resources, and other elements to stabilize themselves and breakthrough setbacks and failures. What makes this issue harder than others do is that the mind and body can slow down or shut down when they are needed the most during turbulent times. Partial approaches like Behavior and EQ are not enough to address the roots with non-psychological resources. It takes the Whole System Approach analyze each root, target issues with the right tool, enhance resilience and minimize future setbacks and failures.
There is another kind of instability that can affect leaders and talent daily without being noticed. For example, Mr. G, a restaurant contractor, loved his job, and his clients loved his work. He was happily married with four children and had a relatively healthy lifestyle. However, he frequently went to the hospital for heart disease. His father had heart disease, but not all of his siblings did. After we had questioned him further, Mr. G told us that he could only sleep 2-3 hours whenever dealing with a new challenge, a common stress-related health problem that prevented Mr. G from restoring and healing himself through sleep in time, and therefore, significantly increased his risk of developing and worsening his heart disease. Most people believe that pills and surgery can heal. However, these are external and cannot work without internal healing that protects us all the time. Sleep is an important part of internal healing plus energy supply.
Mr. G’s insomnia is stress-related; therefore, the root cause is not health but the lack of all the right tools that he needed, mostly personal management skills, to meet the challenges he had to face in life. Once he had the right tools, his sleep issue would go away quickly, and his internal healing and energy supply would be restored quickly as well, which s not hard to achieve the result through the Whole System Approach. We have “ended 30-year insomnia in two weeks!” However, his doctors never bothered to attempt to correct his sleep but provided symptom relief that progressed from pills to an angiogram to bypass surgery as time passed. The silent instability in disturbance limited Mr. G’s daily performance, leadership, business scope, and years of productivity, which is one reason we want every leader and talent to be their own doctor first.
There are many other kinds of silent instability among leaders and talent, for example, heart disease, stroke, headache, stomachache, weight gain, fast aging, ulcer, depression, suicide, hypertension, fibromyalgia, and more. These are also called stress-related health problems that occur or worsen under stress, affecting leaders and top talent the most because of the challenge and stress they have to face in their life. Like Mr. G’s insomnia, the root cause of most stress-related health problems is that individuals meet challenges without all the right tools that can be business, personal or both. Some stress-related health problems also have genetic components.
The fast and lasting solution is to provide individuals the additional tools they need, which often quickly restore their health and productivity. Medicine alone can only temporarily relieve symptoms, which is why the same issues often keep on coming back, get worse and “need” more bold relief like Mr. G’s heart disease did, for individuals have to face the same issue over and over without all the right tools. I first found the Whole System Approach during my residencies and achieved enormous successes. To businesses, the additional tools are also one efficient way to retain top talent at their optimal function, optimize productivity and minimize costs. However, many companies and individuals fail to notice the instability and loss or question traditional solutions.
People with poor stability in turbulence often abandon others in turbulence too quickly as well, which is unwise and unkind to both businesses and individuals. A good leader is not only strong in setbacks and failures, but can also view turbulence correctly and help their team grow during turbulence. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The friendship developed in disturbance usually lasts for a lifetime. For more information regarding turbulence and solutions, please visit “Handle Setbacks and Failures with Power.”
Technical Stability May Shake
Technical Stability focuses on whether an individual can maintain sharp industrial insight and/or people skills. Although Technical Stability seems straight forward, Mental Stability and Stability in Disturbance can shape it every day. Industrial insight and people skills cannot prevent Mental Instability and Instability in Disturbance.
Company X switched to a new hosting Company O and had their website ran smoothly in 24 hrs. However, Company X could not upload their pictures from their back end that had worked well with every other hosting companies. The issue went to Company O’s second level technical support, Mr. J. However, Mr. J could not identify the underlying issue. Instead of escalating the issue to a higher level, he simply said that their sever had no problem, and there was no need to escalate the issue since he was the highest tech level at his company. Furthermore, he did not want to help his client find a temporary solution to upload pictures to their website.
Mr. J should have enough technical skills to be the second level tech support at Company O. However, he could not face his setback properly, which had a lot to do with his unhealthy Ego. He did not want to find a solution with his colleagues or escalate the issue to a higher level even his customer never had the issue with other hosting companies. Telling customer that their sever had no problem was not a good way to keep customers or advance his personal development and company product development. As a second level, Mr. J could set a bad example to many first levels. Can you imagine what will happen to Company O if Mr. J was the CEO?
Knowledge structure can be another issue in Technical Stability, especially when business disruptions can come from any industry and any corner. Talent need to develop their passion, preferences and be able to use general resources. The first two components are nurtured in the Western culture, and the last component is reinforced in the Eastern culture, which is why many US students cannot calculate payments and many Asian students cannot innovate. In fact, all three elements are necessary when the world is changing fast. Leaders and talent need not only passion and preferences, but also the knowledge and flexibility to utilize broad resources to stay ahead of disruptive changes.
Speed and results are the next in individual development. General education cannot meet individual needs efficiently as each person has different internal structure, knowledge base, personal interest and progress. Individuals need personalized learning as well as the technique to make the learning as easy, fast and enjoyable as possible. For more information regarding learning, industrial insight, people skills and how to close gaps, you may visit “Customized Fast Learning.”
How to Manage Instability?
The human decision-making, execution, and others also require internal stability to perform. Without Mental Stability, individuals can fail the first step to achieve their goal– decision-making. Without the Stability in Turbulence, their Technical Stability will be compromised. Stabilities define an individual’s comfort zone. Technical competency cannot guarantee the competency in mind and resilience.
How to best utilize talent?
– Turn instability insignificant
No one is good at everything. The right placement can turn instability insignificant and enable a person to be stable and even be a genius, without additional efforts, such as learning. In the above study cases, each person has succeeded since not all three stabilities are significant at every level and stage. As they walked into new environments where they could not stabilize themselves to meet the challenges at a higher level, they suffered setbacks. Past successes cannot guarantee future ones.
– Anticipate insignificant instability in changes
As instability can become SIGNIFICANT instantly once the person steps out of the right spot, it is important to anticipate the insignificant instability before any placement change– because not all issues have a fast solution. Early efforts benefit both individuals and businesses. The higher level leaders and talent are, the more benefits will be.
Can the 360-degree evaluation observe insignificant instability? No. The 360-degree evaluation is great for significant instability on the surface. It takes the Executive 6Q Assessment. For more information, please visit Catch the Development Needs of a Leader Before 360-Degree.
– Get to the root causes with the right tools
While a person may collapse in all 3 areas, the underlying causes can be one. In Mr. G’s case, his underperformance resulted in his mental instability and the instability in turbulence. However, the root cause was not IQ, EQ, AQ, or LQ, but insomnia. Because his insomnia was stress-related, the right management was not sleeping pills or bypass surgery, but to enhance his personal management skills.
The best shoot can make an overwhelming project simple and easy, for example, a 30′ learning in emotional expression eliminated one crisis out of two in the case “Can He Handle the Job?” It is important to look at the big picture, and get to the root causes with the right tools, which is called the Whole System Approach. IQ, EQ, behavior and other piecemeal approaches often delay results or make possible impossible.
The turnover rate of CEO at Fortune 1000 was 25.3% in 2014, far greater than 10%, the golden rate. Some companies change their CEOs once a year. These are not good to businesses or CEOs. Many factors can affect the stability, performance and leadership of leaders and talent. Psychology, Business and Medicine alone can neither assess nor solve them all. Without the right tools, leaders and talent may not be able to unleash their full potentials within but lose their potentials silently as many issues can be left unrecognized or unsolved. Businesses may not be able to anticipate potential problems and take wise action.
How to Decide the Six Keys to Building a Level 5 Leader?
People often question how we determine the six keys to building a level 5 leader, the top talent. I would like to take the opportunity to explain further. Level 5 Leaders often need to make decisions alone; therefore, their Mental Stability comes first. A healthy Ego can set individuals free to face any facts, including that of personal failures, which makes a healthy Ego the #1 key. Level 5 Leaders need to lead their team to achieve their goal; therefore, they need to be technically stable to see the light at the end of the tunnel in their industry and translate strategy into people action. Level 5 Leaders also need to be resilient to the changes, setbacks and failures at the top. Their motivations and dream can strengthen or weaken all three, which make up the 5th and 6th key.
Studies at Yale University found that the average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 has significantly decreased from 67 years in the 1920’s to 15 years today. Leaders either disrupt their own business model or someone else will. The Prince Synergy Level 5 leadership programs help leaders build comprehensive internal strengthen instead of Technical Stability alone. The Whole System Approach can best stabilize and optimize Technical Stability in this fast changing world.
Level 5 leaders not only achieve business goals efficiently, but also enable their talent to continue to prosper and desire to change the world for the better.
Leaders and talent need not only technical and people skills to handle exponential changes and intense competitions, but also internal stability to execute their decision-making, communication, leadership, energy supply, internal healing and others. Technical Stability cannot guarantee Mental Stability and Stability in Turbulence. It is hard for leaders and talent to stay ahead of industrial disruptions without a sound knowledge structure, a stable mind or sufficient resilience. It is critical to anticipate potential issues and take wise action because past successes cannot guarantee future ones and not every problem has a fast solution.
Mental Stability, Technical Stability and Stability in Turbulence are integrated, which is why Psychology, Business, Medicine, Technology and other partial approach alone can neither assess nor optimize the three stabilities. It takes the Whole System Approach– the Executive 6Q Assessment and the right action or tools. Without the right approach, leaders and talent can lose their potential silently and businesses may not use the right people as many issues are unknown or unsolved.
The best management is the least management. To know the stability of leaders and talent and target issues with the right tools is the key to achieving business and personal success. To anticipate problems and take early actions are the key to achieving lasting success for less.
About the Author
Bin Yang, the Managing Director, Thomas Crehan, Senior Consultant, The Prince Synergy (www.theprincesynergy.com), a leading consulting firm that solves the hardest issues in leadership, competitiveness, and performance that no one else can. For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture or appointment, please contact 310-668-1828 or visit our classical programs.