CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 1
“RESULT-BASED LEADERSHIP DURING TURBULENT TIMES”
Thursday, 20th May 2014 at 3:30 to 5:30 pm
CityHub, 20 Collyer Quay, #23-01 (Conference Room)
THE NEW BUSINESS REALITIES
Business leaders face huge challenges during turbulent times including period of prolonged economic
recession. Qualities such as courage, self-confidence and the ability to make tough commercial decisions under
pressure all come to the fore. Less widely appreciated and understood is the crucial psychological and
emotional role that leaders must play during periods of acute uncertainty if they are to optimize the long-term
performance of their business.
Leaders must understand the dynamics that lie "below the surface" of their organisations and skilfully address
the unspoken needs of their staff. This takes maturity and skill but will maximize the chances of weathering the
economic storm and emerging strengthened when times improve. Those businesses that do not achieve this
will find their commercial problems compounded by destructive internal dynamics and underperformance.
While leaders may have had setbacks during their career, most will not have experienced a global downturn.
They face a steep learning curve if they are to succeed in the new business environment.
Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, and build
bridges between different generations of employees as well as leveraging on the repertoire of the various
effective leadership styles, will thrive in particular in today’s turbulent economic landscape. Many managers
mistakenly assume that leadership style is a function of personality rather than strategic choice. Instead of
choosing the one style that suits their temperament, they should ask which style best addresses the demands
of a particular situation.
Daniel Goleman brought the notion of "Emotional Intelligence” (EI) and “Emotional Quotient” (EQ) to
prominence as an alternative to more traditional measures of IQ with his 1995 mega-best-seller Emotional
Intelligence. According to Goleman, "A leader's singular job is to get results”. But even with all the leadership
training programs and "expert" advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and
organisations. One reason, says Goleman, is that such experts offer advice based on inference, experience, and
instinct, not on quantitative data.
Research has shown that the most successful leaders have strengths in the following emotional intelligence
competencies: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. There are six basic styles
of leadership; each makes use of the key components of emotional intelligence in different combinations. The
best leaders don’t know just one style of leadership—they’re skilled at several, and have the flexibility to
switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.
Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its
financial performance. The styles, by name and brief description alone, will resonate with anyone who leads, is
led, or, as is the case with most of us, does both. Commanding leaders demand immediate
compliance. Visionary leaders mobilize people toward a vision. Participative leaders create emotional bonds
and harmony. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting leaders expect
excellence and self-direction. And coaching leaders develop people for the future.
CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 2
Managers often fail to appreciate how profoundly the organizational climate can influence financial results. It
can account for nearly a third of financial performance. Organizational climate, in turn, is influenced by
leadership style—by the way that managers motivate direct reports, gather and use information, make
decisions, manage change initiatives, and handle crises. There are six basic leadership styles. Each derives from
different emotional intelligence competencies, works best in particular situations, and affects the
organizational climate in different ways.
The Leader need to enhance their understanding of generational characteristics and the impact of their own
management practices on each of these groups. They need to leverage on the strengths of each generation.
Taking full advantage of the multi-generational workforce will enable employers to effectively attract and
retain employees, build teams, deal with change, and increase employee engagement (Bawany, 2013)
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to assess or capacity to perceive and manage the emotions
of one’s self and others around you. The diversity of a multi-generational workforce demands that leaders
adapt their communication style and methods for their message to be understood. The ability to empathize,
put yourself in someone else’s situation allows leaders to tailor compelling messages that resonate with each
unique generational perspective to inspire action.
Hour to hour, day to day, week to week, executives must play their leadership styles like a pro—using the right
one at just the right time and in the right measure. The payoff is in the results.
Figure 1 – Results-Based Leadership Framework
Sattar Bawany (2013), “Making Results-based Leadership Work in Singapore” Singapore Business Review, 12 February
• Cost Optimisation
• Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty
• Service Value/ Relationship
• Employee Satisfaction/Loyalty
• Employee Turnover Rate
• Company Culture, Policies
• Rewards and Flexibility
• Employee Value Proposition
• EQ/EI Competencies
• Leadership Styles
• Ontological Humility
• Level 5/Servant Leadership
CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 3
WHAT HAPPENS TO ORGANISATIONS DURING TURBULENT TIMES?
The suddenness and severity of the current economic downturn has inevitably generated a shared sense of
shock and foreboding. The media's relentless reporting of the latest bad news fuels this mood. The loss of
household names like Woolworths and Wedgewood only adds to of a sense of insecurity and lack of
confidence in the future. In 2008, a leading psychologist linked the endless flow of economic bad news to a
widespread sense of helplessness, also blaming the recession for an increased risk of injury and stroke (Devlin,
Within organisations, negative feelings are compounded as colleagues interact. Research and experience
demonstrate that feelings and states of mind are highly contagious. Daniel Goleman, who developed the
concept of emotional intelligence, recounts experiments showing just how quickly a strongly-expressed
emotional state is transferred from one person to another (Goleman et al., 2001).
In the workplace, all employees can be influenced by a prevailing mood of anxiety, which gradually dominates
the organisational "system". Negative thoughts and feelings predominate while more positive views become
subtly excluded or difficult to express. This creates an intangible but powerful emotional backdrop that can be
termed "systemic anxiety".
This negative dynamic is exacerbated by pressure on staff to work longer and harder. Many organisations
control costs by cutting resources and jobs but aim to maintain output. Extra demands are placed on the
remaining employees who generally feel unable to refuse. Frequently they are also expected to demonstrate
new levels of flexibility, covering the work of former colleagues or adapting to new working methods. This
fuels longer working hours and associated problems.
During a recession, workers are also likely to undergo repeated experiences of loss. This is an inevitable
consequence of the cutbacks, project cancellations, job freezes, redundancies and retrenchment businesses
engage in to survive. In his book Managing Transitions, Bridges emphasizes that change - even when desired -
always involves a loss (Bridges, 2003). This is more significant when change is unwelcome and imposed from
outside. Feelings of sadness, anger and guilt prevail.
ORGANISATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE 'TOXIC COCKTAIL'
Combined, the powerful dynamics described above form a "toxic cocktail" that threatens morale and
performance. It generates damaging behavioural and attitudinal changes within organisations.
Among other things, this leads to more:
Absenteeism through sickness, stress and depression
Defection of valuable employees
There is likely to be a decrease in the following:
Clarity around task priorities
Innovation and risk-taking
Long-term and reflective thinking
CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 4
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ROLE OF LEADERS DURING TURBULENT TIMES
Behaviour 1: Prompt and considered action
When an organisation enters turbulent times, the first behaviour its leaders must demonstrate is a prompt and
energetic response to the difficulties facing it. The workforce needs to know that its leaders recognize the
seriousness of the situation and are addressing it. However, the leaders' actions must not be the result of
impulse or panic. Leaders should immediately announce that they are making the problems their absolute
priority while explaining that they need time to finalize the best course of action.
Behaviour 2: Honest and consistent communication
Though reassured by seeing their leaders "in action," employees will inevitably be preoccupied with what the
downturn means for them. In the absence of reliable information, rumours and speculation flourish. To reduce
these and build trust, leaders should provide honest and timely information (within appropriate constraints)
about the challenges facing their business and the measures that may need to be taken as a result.
Being rigorously honest takes considerable maturity on the leader's part, particularly if they are people-
focused and find conflict difficult. Many choose to delay or dilute bad news in order to "avoid worrying and
demotivating" the workforce. This view often reflects (and rationalizes) the leader's own discomfort, anxiety or
guilt at being the bearer of negative messages. However, employees read the economic signs and will almost
invariably expect some bad news. During a downturn, managers are continually asked about possible
redundancies even when there is no intention of cutting jobs. People suffer most from uncertainty and would
prefer to know the worst than to imagine it.
Behaviour 3: Emotional connection
A speedy response and honest communication are not enough to maximize "containment". Leaders must also
maintain an emotional connection with their workforce. They must:
Acknowledge the painful impact of bad news on their workforce and resist moving on too quickly to
something more positive out of discomfort, guilt or insensitivity.
Find an authentic way of disclosing some of their own sadness, concern or disappointment so
employees know they genuinely care.
Let staff vent their feelings, listen and empathize - even though they cannot make the bad news go
He offered particularly affected individuals one-to-one meetings, listening to and acknowledging their feelings.
This leader's respect for his staff's need to process bad news, express their emotions and feel heard was
deeply appreciated. His actions generated great loyalty and people were able to recover more quickly as a
Behaviour 4: Inspiration
The most impressive leaders go one step further. While remaining realistic about tough conditions, they find a
way to motivate and inspire their followers to perform. To achieve this, they must draw on deep reservoirs of
leadership energy, fuelled by a powerful combination of self-confidence, personal humility, passion and belief
in the future.
This fourth behaviour must be founded upon the three previous leadership behaviours action, honesty and
empathy. It is only when a leader has demonstrated these that their "call to arms" will be experienced as truly
authentic and compelling.
CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 5
A female CEO in the banking sector recently delivered just such a message to her top 100 executives. It was
honest and bracing in its acknowledgement of the tough economic times to come and she made clear how
much she was expecting from her top team. She also shared, with real passion, her belief that the organisation
she led had the capability and will - through relentlessly focusing on the needs of its customers - to weather
this challenging period with results and reputation intact and to emerge as "one of the winners". The palpable
buzz and enthusiasm that infused the room illuminated what can happen when a leader gets this fourth
THE ROLE OF HR IN TURBULENT TIMES
Few leaders find that these four behaviours come naturally. For most, they must be learned and practiced. This
can be particularly challenging during tough times, as leaders themselves are not immune to the toxic cocktail
of negative organisational dynamics and many feel anxious, burdened and exposed. HR partners who enjoy
their leaders' trust can play a central role here.
HR should remember that leaders risk reverting to earlier, less skilful versions of themselves under pressure.
The task-focused leader who has learnt the importance of maintaining good relationships may revert to "tell"
mode under pressure and become impervious to the feelings of others. The people-focused leader who has
learnt to confront difficult interpersonal situations may revert to avoiding tough conversations. Some may find
their working hours spiralling out of control in the maelstrom of task demands and be unable to switch off.
This in turn erodes their capacity to mobilize the emotional intelligence necessary to deliver the leadership
that turbulent times demand (Loehr and Schwarz, 2001).
Specific ways in which HR professionals can help include:
Presenting leaders with an analysis of the psychological, emotional and behavioural impact of the
downturn on their organisation.
Emphasizing the leaders' role in helping staff feel contained in the midst of the toxic cocktail of
Identifying, coaching and supporting those leaders best able to demonstrate the four key behaviours.
Identifying those who are struggling and, where possible, coaching them to gain insight and behave
more effectively, and
Providing an emotional outlet for leaders to offload their own negative emotions, whether distress,
anxiety, anger or guilt.
One organisation has addressed these needs by having a dedicated, senior HR professional supporting and
coaching the board around these issues. This was achieved through other, less strategically-critical HR projects
being put on hold. Another executive team has asked a trusted coach for specific, focused consultancy in this
area. Both approaches appear to be paying dividends in terms of leadership performance and the morale and
productivity of the workforce.
Conclusion: Looking to the future
Together, the leadership behaviours described will provide a sense of psychological safety and emotional
containment in organisations undergoing great uncertainty, instability and often painful change. Leaders
cannot avoid or prevent painful events affecting their people. However, with the support of HR, they can take
charge of threatening situations with alacrity and resolve. They can deal honestly with their people, convey
genuine empathy and create a powerful sense of hope in the future. Leaders who achieve this will help staff
deal more effectively with difficult experiences and inspire tremendous loyalty and trust. They will also
succeed in focusing the energy of the workforce on the job in hand, helping their organisations to emerge
successfully from recession when the conditions for economic growth return.
CEE Executive Briefing on Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times’ – 29 May 2014 Page 6
ABOUT YOUR KEY NOTE SPEAKER – PROFESSOR SATTAR BAWANY
Professor Sattar Bawany is Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Executive
Education (CEE) and Master Facilitator of Learning Minds! Group (LMG). He is also
the Managing Director as well as Master Executive Coach & Facilitator with Executive
Development Associates Inc. EDA is a global leader in executive development
including executive coaching solutions to Fortune 500 organisations. Prof Bawany is
also concurrently the Strategic Advisor & Member of International Professional
Managers Association (IPMA) Board of Trustees and Governing Council.
Prof Bawany is an Adjunct Faculty Member of Harvard Business School’s Corporate
Learning as well as Duke University Corporate Education (CE). He was also the immediate past Co-Chair of the
Human Capital Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore). He is
also a member of Frontier Strategy Group’s Expert Advisory Network (EAN) for Human Capital and Talent
Management issues in Asia Pacific advising CEOs and CHROs of global and regional organisations.
Prof Bawany has assumed various senior management roles including Managing Director/Country Head and
Talent Development/Coaching Practice Leader for DBM Asia Pacific as well as Business Leader, Organisational
Effectiveness/Leadership Development Consultant and Executive Coach with Mercer HR Consulting, The Hay
Group, The Forum Corporation and Mercuri International.
Prof Bawany is an astute advisor to executives who need to know how they are perceived and want to focus
on what is most important in their professional and personal lives. He has coached a range of leaders, from
CEOs, to senior vice presidents, and high potential managers. Prof Bawany’s passion for people and culture is
about creating an environment where employees are valued and emotionally engaged in the business. He has
successfully worked with extensive number of public and private organisations regionally and internationally
specialising in people and culture through transformational change, starting with the ‘end’ in mind! He is an
experienced facilitator and has spent many years developing leadership capability through the delivery of
structured talent management, leadership development programs including executive coaching.
He is a Graduate of Corporate Coach U and a Licensed Coaching Clinic Facilitator. He is certified in the
administration and application of various psychometric instruments including the Extended DISC®,
Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI), Bar-On EQ 360™ and EQ-i™. He is also certified in the administration and
application of the MRG’s suite of instruments including “Leadership Effectiveness Analysis™” (LEA 360
Assessment tool) and “Strategic Leadership Development”. He is also accredited in the administration and
application of the Benchmarks®
He holds an Executive MBA and a Bachelor in Business Administration (Marketing). He is currently pursuing his
PhD in Business Administration and his Doctoral Research is on ‘The Impact of Executive Coaching on the
Personal & Professional Development of Leaders”.
Prof Bawany is a Fellow of International Professional Managers Association (IPMA) and The Chartered Institute
of Marketing (CIM). He is a Professional Member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and
the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). He is also a Practicing Member of the
International Coaching Federation (ICF) and International Association of Coaching (IAC).
Email: email@example.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceeglobal
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/ceeglobal YouTube: www.youtube.com/ceeglobal
n essence, the heart of the leadership challenge that confronts
today’s leaders is learning how to lead in situations of ever
greater volatility and uncertainty in a globalised business
environment, allied with the needs to deal with scale, complexity
and new organisational forms that often break with the traditional
organisational models and structures within which many have
learned their ‘leadership trade’. So the basic assumption that past
experience is the key for future leadership success is more open
to scrutiny than ever.
Leadership is an art and a science. It is an art because it
continually evolves, changes form, and requires creativity. It
is a science because there are certain essential principles and
techniques required. A good leader knows when it is time to
change shape because they are highly attentive to those around
them. Coming from a position of strength, a great leader takes
risks by freeing up the creative genius in their followers to build
their capability and multiply the talents of the organization.This
leads to community and greatness. By powerfully communicating
a vision that animates, motivates, and inspires followers, a great
leader is able to transform his or her organization.
The New Realities: Results-Based Leadership
We are operating in a hypercompetitive business environment.
The world moves faster today when compared to 10 years ago.
Companies feel the pressure to decrease time to market and
improve the quality of products while delivering on ever-changing
customer expectations to maintain competitive posture – that
is, be adaptive and nimble. Driving results is difficult even for
companies who have the benefit of dedicated and knowledgeable
employees and business leaders to leverage.
In the early years leadership studies, the so-called “trait theory”
took the view that there is a set of traits that separates the
leader from the pack. Traits purported to be characteristic of
leaders included intelligence, a drive to dominate others, being
extroverted and having charisma. Today, people often point to
the importance of emotional intelligence in achieving leadership
what is now commonly known as emotional intelligence plays
a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace.
Recent research has uncovered links between specific elements
of emotional intelligence and specific behaviors associated with
leadership effectiveness and ineffectiveness.
Flexible leadership, however, involves being able to adapt your
leadership style according to the situation and the state of the
team - e.g.: taking charge when a team is forming but playing the
role of coach when a team is managing itself well.This is critical
in developing and sustaining employee engagement. There are
six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different
components of emotional intelligence.
Organizations need leaders to visualize the future, motivate
and inspire employees, and adapt to changing needs. On-going
research indicates that, with the right leadership development
support including executive coaching, those with leadership
potential can be developed into outstanding leaders. Emotional
Intelligence competencies are perhaps the most challenging for
leaders to develop effectively and yet it is the one that often has
the most impact. As emotionally intelligent leaders rise through
the ranks of an organization, their profile becomes more visible
to employees and their increased power can have greater impact.
Conclusion: Connecting leadership and communication
A leader must be able to communicate effectively. When CEOs
and other senior executives in all industries and countries are
asked to list the most important skills a manager must possess,
the answer consistently includes good communication skills.
Effective communication is an essential element of leadership.
Leaders are communication champions who inspire and unite
people around a common sense of purpose and identity. They
lead strategic conversations that get people talking across
boundaries about the vision, key strategic themes, and the values
that can help the group or organization achieve desired outcomes.
Leader communication is purpose-directed, and an important
element is persuading others to act in ways that achieve goals
and accomplish vision. Four steps for practicing the art of
persuasion are to establish credibility, build goals on common
ground, make your position compelling, and connect with others
on an emotional level.
As an effective leader, communication is the primary and most
important tool. There is no substitute for good judgement, and
change leaders need to be reflective and thoughtful about the
ways they communicate. There is also no substitute for ‘Active
Listening’, and receiving feedback from the staff and colleagues
about how the leader communicates.
Prof Sattar Bawany
Senior Advisor of EduquestIndia Institute Pvt Ltd and CEO of Centre for Executive Education
“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things,not at the periphery.Everyone feels that
he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization.When that happens people feel centered and that
gives their work meaning”. - Warren G. Bennis, an American scholar, and Author of ‘On Becoming
a Leader’ and widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies.
The Author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
8 BUSINESS MANDATE | SEP-OCT 2013
FOUNTAINHEAD OF EXCELLENCE
Invitation for Executive Briefing / Networking Session
“Results-Based Leadership during Turbulent Times”
Key Note Speaker: Professor Sattar Bawany
TalentMarché is proud to be an Affiliate Partner of CEE Global. Join TalentMarché and CEE for this session.
Prof Bawany is the Chief Executive Officer, Master Executive Coach, of Centre for Executive Education. He is
also the Managing Director of EDA Asia Pacific and Strategic Advisor of IPMA Asia Pacific. He has over 30
years’ international business management experience, including 20 years in executive coaching, group
facilitation, and leadership development and training with global management consulting firms. He also has
assumed various senior management roles (both in business and consulting) including Managing Director and
Talent Development/Coaching Practice Leader for DBM Asia Pacific, Mercer HR Consulting, The Hay Group,
The Forum Corporation and Mercuri International.
He is an astute advisor to executives who need to know how they are perceived and want to focus on what is
most important in their professional and personal lives. He has coached a range of leaders, from CEOs, to senior vice presidents, and high
potential managers. Prof Bawany’s passion for people and culture is about creating an environment where employees are valued and
emotionally engaged in the business.
"A leader's singular job is to get results” Daniel Goleman, Leadership That Gets Results,
Harvard Business Review,March – April 2000.
Business leaders face huge challenges during turbulent times including period of prolonged economic recession. Qualities such
as courage, self-confidence and the ability to make tough commercial decisions under pressure all come to the fore. Less widely
appreciated and understood is the crucial psychological and emotional role that leaders must play during periods of acute
uncertainty if they are to optimize the long-term performance of their business.
Even with all the leadership training programs and "expert" advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and
organizations. Drawing on research of more than 3,000 executives, Daniel Goleman explored how leadership behaviours can
yield positive results even during times of uncertainty. In his landmark HBR article, he outlined 6 distinct leadership styles, each
one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. The effective leaders don’t know just one style of
leadership—they’re skilled at several, and have the flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.
Join us in an interactive session by TalentMarché and CEE to discuss best practices and share insights
on strategic leadership development, as well as network with your fellow HR Professionals &
Venue: CITYHUB @ Raffles Place
Address: 20 Collyer Quay, #23-01 (Conference Room)
Date: Thursday, 29th
Time: 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Fee: By Exclusive Invitation only.
For further details, please contact Trina at TalentMarché International on (65) 9762-6997. Please complete the
details below and email it back to mailto:Events@talentmarche.com by Friday 2nd
During the session, Prof Bawany will share with you:
What are the various leadership styles that will have a distinct effect on the working
atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance
Why Emotional Intelligence competencies are perhaps the most challenging for leaders to
develop effectively, and yet often, it has the most impact during times of uncertainty
How successful leaders at all levels lead, motivate and engage others to achieve
sustainable organizational results during times of uncertainty.