Connections make the world go round. By connections I don’t mean the Arabic word 'wasta' that suggests nepotism, but I mean those interactions and touch points that we turn into a link and a constructive relationship.
The first time I realised the potential of connections was in 2017, during a conversation between Dr Ali Qassim Jawad, the President of the Royal Academy of Management and our cohort of the National Leadership and Competitiveness Programme - NLCP at University of Oxford’s Said Business School.
Today, as we witness the relentless development efforts of His Majesty Sultan Haitham’s government, we also notice the challenges facing public, private and civil society leaders in ensuring a smooth transition from the early phases of planning that can naturally start with disconnected entities working in silos, to the execution phase where these entities work together smoothly in one connected ecosystem.
One way for leaders to achieve this connection, as Dr Ali Qassim and his co-author Andrew Kakabadse advocate in their book “Leadership Intelligence: The 5Qs for 'Thriving As a Leader' is to learn and develop these five important leadership intelligences: IQ, EQ, MQ, PQ & RQ.
RQ- Resilience intelligence
Health, financial and climate spread more rapidly today due to globalisation. For example, Covid-19 pandemic has broken the global supply chain, and consequently our access to many goods and services to make a decent living.
For this reason our leaders today need to be resilient in powering through these interwind crisis and force majeure situations so that they are able to connect the pieces of solutions and the big picture.
PQ- Political intelligence
Organisational restructuring entails downsizing, and rightsizing, which all impact stakeholders’ livelihoods and can be unpopular. Where the question in the past was - can leaders manage? Today’s it's more sophisticated - how can leaders make the right connection between: Who gets what? When? Where? And Why?
MQ - Moral intelligence
Is there such a thing as universal values? Not a month goes by with a global controversy regarding a meaningful definition of free trade or human rights or gender equity.
A connected leader should be able to connect values such as respect and justice globally and locally in a way that is objective and harmless and felt by stakeholders in the organisation’s every day practices.
DEI&B, or Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging have become common stated goal for many leadership boards. However, it takes leaders who can understand and manage the emotions of other, and their own emotions, to breathe life into these words and connect them to our actions.
IQ- Cognitive intelligence
Challenges by nature can be sophisticated, and only leaders with these 5 Qs who are critical thinkers can simplify it and connect the dots for us, thanks to their can-do attitude and skills.