[Ep#324] The Six Dimensions of Effective 21st Century Leadership with Janet Sernack

The Six Dimensions of Effective 21st Century Leadership with Janet Sernack

Navigating change is always a challenge. When the pandemic struck, businesses and organisations all over the world needed to rethink their operations. But as we strive to move forward, we face yet another wave of changes. Lockdowns and isolations have created a disconnect between leaders and team members. To overcome challenges that arise from this disconnect, business owners need to be quick on their feet and exhibit effective leadership.

In this episode, Janet Sernack shares that effective leadership starts with building self-awareness and self-confidence. Then, she unravels how to build trust in a virtual world. Finally, Janet discusses the six crucial dimensions of effective leadership. 

If you want to unlearn old models of leadership and develop effective leadership qualities for the 21st century, then this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover the leadership qualities you need to build.
  2. Understand that effective leadership is about investing time and effort to co-create a better work environment with your team.
  3. Learn the six dimensions of effective leadership and how you can start cultivating a better leadership mindset.




WATCH NOW (and check out the Resources and Episode Highlights below): 


Episode Highlights

[02:32] Turning Point for Leadership Qualities

  • Organisations need to adapt to exponential change, digitisation and COVID-19.
  • People have been feeling disconnected and helpless because of the pandemic.
  • There is a crisis of trust across every organisation.
  • If we cannot support our staff individually or as teams, they won’t be able to function at 100%.

[07:10] The Current Direction of Teams

  • Janet observed that leaders have become more siloed and focused on tackling tasks rather than fostering relationships.
  • The workplace needs to be a community with strong relationships.
  • We need to have clear purposes, roles and responsibilities, values, and processes.
  • Workplaces should make people feel safe. Leaders should be able to create a collective holding space.
  • Old skill sets are no longer applicable. Leaders are now expected to learn the skills of emotional agility, grit and determination, and presence.

[13:23] How to Support Yourself and Your Team

  • Start working on yourself and be the change you want to see in the world.
  • Free resources and applications are available. Effective leadership needs you to be grounded and committed.
  • You’re not alone. Reach out to friends and colleagues.
  • Coaching has become more important than ever. It’s a great way to help people transition and stay grounded.

[18:21] How to Build Leadership Skills for the 21st Century

  • Be willing to unlearn old mental models and learn new leadership skills as a beginner.
  • It starts with an awareness of what you do. Develop your agility and understand that leadership should evolve over time.
  • The first dimension of leadership is being adaptive, especially when the unexpected happens.
  • Next, leaders need to learn how to engage and connect with others meaningfully.

[23:08] How to Build Trust

  • You cannot engage people unless you provide time and space to have a conversation.
  • Tangible presence and asking the right questions are essential factors of engagement.
  • Janet recommends learning about what trust means to your team members to cultivate a healthy professional environment.
  • Trust is hard to create, but easy to lose.
  • It’s hard to build trust with others if you do not have self-awareness.

[26:53] Why Change Is Difficult

  • We’re not neurologically wired to accept change. As leaders, we first need to assess people’s readiness for change, then create an environment for them to feel safe.
  • Workplaces need to integrate change management, team development and innovation.
  • Remember that our words, behaviours and actions will have an impact.
  • Janet shares that many of her clients have become so used to lying that they’re not even aware of doing it.

[29:39] Essence of Leadership

  • Leadership should have a positive impact on others to deliver satisfying results.
  • Effective leadership is not about the leader.
  • Building leadership qualities is a journey of self-confidence and self-awareness. It’s about having a clear purpose and values, as well as growing to trust yourself.
  • Once we understand ourselves, we can become present and genuine in the workplace.

[32:34] Creating Safe Spaces for Change

  • Learn to stop and reflect on what you and others are thinking and feeling.
  • Then, have a conversation with your team members about what they find important and how safe spaces can be co-created.
  • Be present in the conversation. Don’t judge or evaluate others.
  • Stop delivering results people don’t want. We can unlock people’s collective genius and co-create a better workplace together.

[36:39] Create Time for Your Team Members

  • One-on-one conversations that are not about work can give you better insight on how you can support your team.
  • You can also support others virtually. Remember to be present and understanding of their situation and constraints.

[38:40] The Last Four Dimensions of Effective Leadership

  • Once your team is ready and receptive to change, you can start to integrate innovation.
  • The next dimension of effective leadership is developing collaboration, which is creating things together. The value contradicts the Australian working culture of being cooperative and compliant.
  • Be digitally enabled and leverage new opportunities.
  • Be future-focused. Let go of the past to deliver a great customer experience.
  • In the full episode, Janet shares how art exhibitions have changed over the years because of technology.

[45:56] The Mindset of Effective Leaders

  • Be playful and curious. Wonder how you can do things differently.
  • Be a smart risk-taker and experiment; have a gamer mindset.
  • Human-centredness is a trait that helps you understand people that you’re with.
  • We can’t solve problems with the same thinking that created them. Keep rethinking problems and solutions.

[50:07] Embrace Change

  • Make sure that innovation is part of your strategy and avoid having a ‘Kodak’ moment.
  • Kodak did invent the digital camera but they did not decide to pursue it.
  • Innovation does not need to be radical all the time, they can be incremental.
  • You can embrace change slowly and bring your team with you on the journey.

10 Powerful Quotes

‘We need a new blueprint to co-create the kind of future we all really want to have.’

‘The workplace needs to become a community. We need to be far more community and service minded. Then, we need to take an ecosystem perspective, we need to think about stakeholders as partners in the business.’

‘…that's been the beauty of COVID is we've all been able to reconnect with nature. You got to be grounded, be mindful, and be conscious.’

‘…you can't take on these six dimensions [of leadership] unless you're willing to unlearn and become from a beginner's mind.’

‘Here's the thing is you can't engage people unless you can have a conversation with them. And you can't have a conversation with people unless you can make the time in the space.’

‘First is assess people's readiness for change, create the conditions to build change readiness so that people feel safe to change within that environment.’

‘The essence of leadership is always having a positive impact on other people to enroll and engage them in a cause that delivers results that people value and cherish.’

‘… you just got to be present to what it is. Don't judge it. Don't evaluate it. Whatever is going on for people least what's true for them and give them permission to share it. Then, start to draw out and pull them towards what could be.’

‘Collaboration is a whole new dimension. It's about how can we co create together in an equal way for the good of the whole.’0

.‘And what's going to be even more important for leaders is to create a great customer experience.’

About Janet

Janet Sernack is the CEO of ImagineNation. In that role, she has coached people and teams to innovate in business through adaptation, evolution, connection, and innovation. Janet’s specialty allows people to generate mindset shifts, build capacities for adaptation, unblock barriers to innovation, and create new ways of doing things.

Janet has over 30 years of corporate and consulting experience and has helped some of Australia’s and Israel’s top 100 companies. She is also passionate about sharing what she knows through free monthly innovation webinars on her website.

Learn more about Janet on ImagineNation.

You can also connect with her on her website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube

Enjoy This Podcast?

Leadership has gone through an evolution. Before, leading people is all about treating your members like they’re parts of a machine –- working together to produce an output. As times change, we realise that our team members are humans with emotions. Now, the essence of leadership is having a positive impact on other people, engaging them in a cause that delivers valuable results to people.

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