Leadership for our Times

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IWF members and their counterparts at ELN (Emerging Leaders Network) enjoyed a fascinating evening on 27 November exploring research and insights into 21st century leadership and the practical implications for our daily lives at an event led by new IWF UK member Nancy Glynn.

Participants paired up in “mutual mentoring” mode to discuss what they had heard in the context of their personal experiences.

Nancy, who works with senior executives and leaders, said that “sense-making” was the single most important leadership skill in today’s highly complex world. “It is a capacity that we are all born with. It’s how we discover, probe, try and learn as infants, yet it is often ‘educated’ out of the way we behave so we become more focused on ‘predict, plan, execute and control’.”

She said sense-making drew on feminine strengths of openness, collaboration and inclusion, and these could all be cultivated to navigate complexity in ways that created competitive advantage.

The discussion also covered the importance of building cognitive, emotional and physical agility. Nancy shared insights about the negative impact of multi-tasking and the addictiveness of smartphones, along with the implications for performance, wellbeing and effectiveness at work.

IWF Company Secretary Marty Rolle of Bryan Cave, who kindly hosted the evening, said the talk was stimulating and informative. “I loved all the information about how the brain works and how that ties into leadership styles,” said Marty. “The intergenerational aspect of the evening worked so well. Everyone was so spellbound that no one left their seats when Nancy had finished. Everyone just went back to their 1-on-1 conversations. It was amazing to witness.”

Leadership for our Times