The Transformative Power of Kind Leadership: Insights from a Visionary Leader - Interview with Guido Stratta
12th October, 2023
- To begin with, can you explain what the concept of Kind Leadership means to you and why it is so important?
- Making Kind Leadership a daily practice for some organizations may be new; what would be the first actions you recommend taking as a leader? And how do you establish trusting relationships and encourage open communication by practicing kind leadership?
- What benefits have you found in how Kind Leadership affects employee motivation and engagement? Can you give us an example?
- We understand and appreciate your vast knowledge and passion for the sea. Linked to this and based on your experience, what role do collaboration and interdependence play in both scenarios?
- What would you say to other managers and leaders who might see the kindness and flexibility of their leadership as a sign of weakness?
- Beaconforce for Kind Leadership
To look to the future it is important to focus on our present. Develop the ability to observe, understand and process the starting point we find ourselves today. From 2020 to today, after the pandemic period and with the return to normality, we have seen an evolution of the concept of leadership underway: people in organizations are maturing social awareness and endogenous proactivity, factors that guide us towards a leadership that is attentive to listening and devoted to creating contexts in which people can let their talents flourish.
In this interview, we will talk about Kind Leadership, its impact on individuals and teams and how it can foster a positive and stimulating work environment. We are very proud to have the opportunity to delve into this topic with an expert, who brings with him great experience and expertise in leading with empathy and skill: Guido Stratta, People and Organisation Director of the Enel Group, an Italian company that is one of the world's leading operators in the field of electricity and generation from renewable sources.
To begin with, can you explain what the concept of Kind Leadership means to you and why it is so important?
Kind Leadership stems from the ability to listen to people's needs.
I have always worked in the context of human resources management with this approach.
I realized how every leadership model applied throughout history was geared towards favoring one relational aspect over another.
On the other hand, Kind Leadership is an approach that all behavioral idealists can adopt; all leaders can, in essence, exercise Kind Leadership, naturally respecting their uniqueness.
This model is based on three pillars: well-being, motivation and results. These three strongly connected elements are the enabling factors, where well-being is expressed in the totality of the person's life, hence not only in the purely health-related sphere but also in a psychological status of security, in a proactive and healthy relational context.
Motivation thus becomes endogenous, driven by an intrinsic status of well-being, and no longer exogenous. We have seen that teams where positive relationships, dialogue, harmony and trust are present have developed higher levels of motivation and consequently managed to maximize their results in profit and durability.
Making Kind Leadership a daily practice for some organizations may be new; what would be the first actions you recommend taking as a leader? And how do you establish trusting relationships and encourage open communication by practicing kind leadership?
There are no magic formulas, there is a mandatory starting step. This consists in the ability to activate evolved states of consciousness. The greater the self-awareness, the greater the ability of each leader to be able to embrace their vulnerabilities and consequently the ability to find space to embrace others. In this way, all relationships will be based on trust, listening and voluntary mutual growth. Individuals have the potential to make a concrete difference by putting themselves in a listening frame of mind to help the community in its need to flourish and empower itself.
What benefits have you found in how Kind Leadership affects employee motivation and engagement? Can you give us an example?
As we said earlier, the connection between motivation and results is inseparable. The stimulus I would like to dwell on with you concerns the uniqueness of the human being. Let us imagine that Well-being, Motivation and Result are angles of the same triangle. When reading these words, each of us will feel 'one corner' rather than another resonate within us. This is quite normal: we are not the same, we are unique, and this uniqueness always leads us to be greater than the sum of the individual.
By sharing who we are, we are stimulated to get to know aspects of the other that we would not have been able to recognize without mutual openness.
Let us allow ourselves to experience ourselves from all angles: acting on the wellbeing of our existence at 360° will lead us to live a healthy life, free of elements that lead us into suffering, welcoming pain without storing it over time.
We understand and appreciate your vast knowledge and passion for the sea. Linked to this and based on your experience, what role do collaboration and interdependence play in both scenarios?
The sea for me is the symbol of our inspiration, when I look at a sea horizon I have the joy of going towards something I do not know. In the context of the sea, we can learn with many metaphors.
For example, we think about our goals: sometimes they seem impossible to overcome but if we have a dream and share it with others, then we can passionately reach new goals. Think of the first men who decided to set sail on the sea: they had no idea what they would find on the other side of those waters, but they shared a purpose, came together and reached their goal, together.
We too in organizations today can bring passion and courage to achieve any result, any new goal. I love the sea, it gives you wonderful images, let's think of a coral: while studying marine biology, my passion, I learned that this being has the gift of autopoiesis, i.e. it can reproduce itself when broken.
Now imagine if every individual within the organization could inherit this wonderful gift: today we could live in a society where individuals can self-determine and thus be protagonists of change, with courage and passion.
What would you say to other managers and leaders who might see the kindness and flexibility of their leadership as a sign of weakness?
There is no weakness in being able to embrace one's vulnerabilities and those of others. I believe in dialogue and the ability to place oneself in the relational space. Knowing how to create 'emptiness in the center' means entering into the relational dynamic of listening, knowing and recognizing oneself to give one's 'genius' without fear that one's ideas might be stolen by others. Ideas have no hierarchy, each one of us has unique characteristics that when put to use can make you, the community, and generate results that have never been seen before.
Beaconforce plays a crucial role in implementing kind leadership within an organization, especially when adopting this approach for the first time. Our software offers a support and monitoring system that provides accurate and detailed feedback on interactions and dynamics within the team. With Beaconforce, leaders can gain a deeper understanding of their team member's individual needs and strengths, enabling them to adapt their management strategies in a targeted and personalized manner. In addition, the software facilitates the creation of an inclusive and empathetic corporate culture by encouraging open communication and recognition of each member's contribution. This is particularly relevant when introducing kind leadership for the first time, as it provides structured and measurable support to ensure a successful transition and full adoption of this new approach. Ultimately, Beaconforce is an indispensable partner in promoting kind leadership and employee well-being within a company.
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