Brian Eagar of TowerStone Leadership Centre discusses Leadership in Businesses in light of our #ThemeOfTheMonth
In light of our #ThemeOfTheMonth being Leadership in Business, we spoke to Founder and Group CEO at TowerStone Leadership Centre, Brian Eagar. TowerStone is a Leadership Centre whose vision it is to empower leaders to build a values-driven culture of sustainable success and are determined to apply their Brand Ambassador Journey Framework, empowering leaders to inspire hands, minds, and hearts.
1. What inspired you to start the TowerStone Leadership Centre?
I wanted to play an active role in fostering fulfillment in the workplace in the South African context. I firmly believe this starts with the leaders. They need to focus on connecting their own and their team members’ personal purpose to the organisation’s purpose to inspire discretionary effort and deliver on their promises to their external stakeholders.
To this end, we help leaders define both a purpose that all can connect to and a brand promise that is compelling to their stakeholders. We then work very hard to empower them to coach their team members to be purposeful brand ambassadors who deliver on this promise while fostering fulfillment in the workplace.
2. What motivates you every day to coach and facilitate others, allowing them to achieve success?
My life Purpose – as a coach and facilitator – is getting up every morning and showing care for all those around me; inspiring them to seek greater meaning in their lives and helping them to Purposefully live a life that matters – a life that is fulfilling and meaningful, filled with love at the core of everything. And indeed, this is how I live my own life.
3. Why do you think leadership in businesses is such an important aspect? How and why is it a contributing factor to business success?
As I always say: “If your heart is not in it, don’t expect your team to have their heart in it. Take care of their hearts and they will take care of yours.” In other words, if you want to inspire your teams to dedicate their discretionary effort, you have to set the example – always! This is what leadership is.
4. Do you feel that the focus on leadership and empowerment in businesses is sometimes overlooked by top management?
Yes, almost always. The reason for this is, firstly, that we did not study to become leaders – we have a functional qualification (e.g. accountant, lawyer or engineer). Secondly, that we are mostly promoted to top management based on our functional competence and not our leadership ability i.e. our ability to rally the troops in support of the organisation’s purpose. Herein lies the dysfunction: you are expected to lead your team in support of the organisation’s purpose and, more often than not, you don’t have the tools and skills. More than this, you are seldom assessed against how you lead, but rather against achieving the organisation’s objectives. Imagine what we could achieve if leaders realised that tapping into their teams’ discretionary effort can realise the organisation’s objectives three- or four-fold.
5. Is there anything you would like to add as a closing statement?
Yes, the pace of change that is shaping business today is so rapid that it is imperative for leaders to realise that to adapt and stay competitive and relevant, your team must be fully engaged to support the organisation’s purpose and objectives. This means that we as leaders cannot continue doing things the way we are doing them now. We need to look at our roles through a very different lens. In other words, instead of saying “this is what we have to do” we now need to be saying “this is what we have to be doing with our teams to meet our objectives and fulfill our purpose”. As much as this is a nuance, this is the difference between managing tasks and leading people – if you want to change the culture, change the language. You can’t lead millennials without involving them – they need to know how they are contributing to the organisation’s purpose and objectives, that they are making a difference. People need to know that what they do means something. This requires a dramatic shift in how leaders must lead today.
Follow the MANGO-OMC social media channels for more news and updates on our #ThemeOfTheMonth and upcoming Q&A’s with industry leaders.