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  • Writer's pictureGiora Ketter

From Predictable Leadership to Phenomenal Leadership

Photo of Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus crisis a few months ago, I decided to arrange meetups of my many friends who hold senior positions in industry – typically CEOs, Executive VPs, and senior consultants.

I had in mind meetings that would allow my networks of friends to meet and get to know one another so they could create direct relationships without my being an intermediary.

In practice, it worked out far better than I could possibly have anticipated! In fact, ever since the first meeting, we’ve been meeting every two weeks in an engaging and exciting discussion.

The forum soon decided it needed a name and so – and I swear I had no hand in this! – Giora’s Buddies was born.

Given the times we live in, we meet on Zoom, where all sorts of subjects come up, typically touching on a wide and varied range of management topics.

Discussions are led either by forum members or invited guests with expertise in their particular fields.

We’ve already touched on a number of subjects: We ‘tossed’ a startup onto hot charcoal (figuratively, not literally!) in order to take a look at its offering and focus; we heard from the experience of friends who had been responsible for managing crises, and then there was the participant who divulged the story behind the exit of a startup where he had been CMO (Chief Executive Officer). We’ve also discussed Design Thinking at length, and numerous other topics.

Each meeting stimulates open and fruitful debate. It’s a real pleasure.

So yes, I’ve got great buddies 😊

In mid-June, at the Forum’s sixth meetup, we had two special guests to talk about leadership:

Dr. Ravit Oren, the author of Leveraging Human Capital for Competitive Advantage, stressed that it is of utmost importance that employees actually experience their role as meaningful and valuable to the company.

When it comes to management and leadership, Ravit talks about seven ‘commando techniques’ that contribute to the bottom line:

  1. To constantly upgrade the team’s skills and capabilities: coaching sessions, manager and employee education, and so forth.

  2. Managers need to verify that their employees actually sense the company’s vision in everyday activity and not only in banners and stickers on the company’s walls. The connection with the vision has to be so real and authentic that it would be on the tip of the tongue of every employee if you were to wake them up in the middle of the night.

  3. To demonstrate and behave from an attitude of positive energy and optimism, because good energy is contagious. 😊

  4. To create trust through transparency. One needs, of course, to exercise judgment and intelligence about the optimum level of transparency.

  5. Good leaders know how to make decisions courageously, even though they are not always popular – they don’t sit on the fence and fudge the issues.

  6. In taking risks, leaders stimulate inspiration since it allows employees to break through and stretch boundaries with which they are not familiar.

  7. Managers celebrate success: If something has been a success, it’s worthwhile, important, and recommended to celebrate it. To create visibility for these successes.

After hearing Ravit’s seven commando techniques, the participants proposed an eighth "commando technique" of their own:

Good leaders show their employees they care about them and love them.

Although unplanned, this eighth commando method connected directly to what Lior Gross, the second speaker at the meetup, had to say.

Lior heads Torus Group. He talked to us about transitioning from power leadership (alpha leadership) to powerful leadership (based on Torus energy or Torus leadership).

Lior researched the topic of leadership for quite some time. While doing so, he studied how companies like Google and Facebook work, and how their corporate executives identify the factors that lead to a winning team.

As an outcome of the research and an inner process Lior experienced, he came to realize that Torus management starts from within. Such a leader is authentic. Torus leaders realize they are not perfect and relinquish the need for pretense and the need to appear perfect.

Lior expands on this point and says that the opposite of concealment is agreement …

The leader’s agreement to allow, to reveal, and to truly let himself/herself be seen.

A key term in this style of leadership is to love and not to seek to be loved:

  1. Powerful leaders (having the Torus leadership style), have a deep acquaintance with their people.

  2. These leaders take care of their people.

  3. They have responsibility for their employees – responsibility for their success; responsibility to assist their employees develop and study.

  4. Leaders of this kind show respect towards the people who work with them. They never patronize them.

In general, Lior divides the types of strength that motivate people into two categories:

One is love; the other is fear.

Powerful leadership (Torus leadership) is the one that is powered by love.

In conclusion, Lior mentioned that one of the best vaccines that leaders can take against the sin of exaggerated pride (hubris) is modesty (and even a degree of self-doubt).

It was a fascinating, instructive, and exciting meetup.

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