The Well Balanced Leader
There's no doubt about it: the very best leaders are deeply in tune with their behaviour and understand the impact it has on others. As one of the world's top trainers in the field of accelerated experimental learning, Ron Roberts understands this more keenly than anyone, and in The Well Balanced Leader, he helps you re-envision your own behaviour to become the best leader you can be.
Ron has identified 9 basic human behaviour pairs to bring themselves their leadership skills into balance - what he has termed Ego Librium (eg. Judgmental vs accepting, defensive vs nondefensive).
By understanding where they lie on each behaviour scale, leaders immediately see where and how they need to change, and how they can use their greatest strength as the basis for the series of small behavioural changes that will lead to a new way of thinking - and instinctive new reactions to situations. In practice, Ron has seen that when leaders change their behaviour to focus on others that their own levels of success greatly increase.
When you transcend your personal needs and focus on the needs of others and of the organisation, everyone benefits - including you. The result is not only greater job satisfaction for people at all levels, but greater productivity- regardless of the organisations field, product or service.
The Well Balanced Leader gives you the tools for making the small, incremental changes in behaviour that lead to big changes in awareness - and huge changes in your leadership effectiveness.
Ron Roberts is among the top consultants and trainers in the area of accelerated experiential learning. His workshops are legendary and in high-demand; he frequently serves as the keynote speaker or presenter at national conferences and professional meetings. This is because he is an extraordinary educator, author, keynote speaker, trainer, inventor and consultant. He has trained more than 10,000 professionals over the past 15 years and has taught numerous custom tailored courses to numerous organisations including American Express, AT&T, General Electric, Home Depot and IBM.
The Well Balanced Leader
Author: Ron Roberts
Interview with Ron Roberts
Question: What inspired you to write The Well Balanced Leader?
Ron Roberts: After over 16 years of training and team building with 1000's of CEO's, VP's, Directors, Managers and Supervisors at hundreds of organisations, I repeatedly observed two invisible forces that make or break leadership success: the inflated human Ego and the hidden quiet power of Humility. I have personally observed how one powerful leader can either inspire alignment, empowerment, and productivity or discourage it depending on how he or she manages their ego.
The reason this became obvious: leaders carry their personality with them and they often behave the same way in the training as they do back in their work place. By getting these leaders to see themselves more clearly at play during fun training exercises, we were able to avoid big problems back at work, where the effects of an unbounded Ego are often severe and dramatic.
I wrote the Well Balanced Leader in order to help leaders gain the leverage they need to get a handle on their own ego first and then later on, to help manage their colleagues over inflated self image as well. By sharing a few of the lessons that I have learned through years of observation in the Well Balanced Leader, I hoped to help leaders at all levels improve their Self and Social Awareness from the inside out by embracing the limitless positive power of Egolibrium!
Question: What do we need to do to become the best leader we can be?
Ron Roberts: There is a well know bit of wisdom: Leaders inspire, managers control. Great leaders empower individuals and their teams by behaving and acting in Other Centric ways (thinking more of others than themselves), while less effective managers fluctuate, and often default to their instinctual Egocentric, self protective tendencies (thinking more of themselves than others). Other Centric leaders develop inspired self initiating subordinates while creating high levels of credibility and mutual respect. They tend to think long term and see the big picture so they help maintain the focus on the important issues, without sweating the small stuff. Although they must be task driven and focus on what needs to be done to achieve work goals and concrete results, great leaders always remain somewhat detached and take time to address the process driven needs of their staff: being equally concerned about how motivated and valuable their staff feels during the process!
Most importantly, great leaders must be objectively aware of their own needs and constantly change themselves in response to the chaotic hectic forces that surround them, their staff and organisations.
Question: Can you please explain what the term Ego Librium means in regards to leadership skills?
Ron Roberts: Anyone can be a leader if they are willing to do the work, and everyone can become a high performance leader, if they practice the principles of the Egolibrium Method. To practice the behaviors that comprise Egolibrium, leaders must constantly choose where they want to be on the following 9 dichotomous scales: Non-judgmental vs. Judgmental, Non-defensive vs. Defensive, Relinquishing Control vs. Controlling, Openness to learning vs. Know it all, Doing the right thing vs. Doing whatever you want, Patience vs. Impatience, Letting go vs. Holding on and clinging, Acceptance vs. Resistance, and Other Centric vs. Egocentric.
The conscious choices that a leader makes to balance each of the 9 behavior pairs (dichotomies) of Egolibrium will determine whether that leader will demonstrate egocentric or other centric actions and attitudes. And every leader can change their focus from inward to outward by sliding the scale of any one behavior, the same way you slide the scale in a doctor's office when you get weighed - a small change in any one behavior affects the entire consciousness of the leader.
Furthermore the Egolibrium method prescribes that leaders must focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses, thus putting their energy to constructive use. By following the 3 overarching key precepts of Egolibrium: conscious awareness (of the impact of their actions on others), humility (knowing your size, power and influence in relation to your personal universe) and balance (the ability to adapt to change quickly), every leader can achieve high performance status.
Question: What originally inspired you to become a consultants and trainers in the area of accelerated experiential learning?
Ron Roberts: Learning needs to be fun, and in many organisations, it is the exact opposite, often boring, painful and dreaded! In many businesses, and even at many Universities (I teach Management at Penn State University), learning and training is more about shoving the content down the learner's throat, rather than embracing and enjoying the process!
When I started doing training about 16 years ago, I discovered that I had the unique knack for creating and inventing games, exercises, and props that made learning fun and interactive. And when learning is enjoyable and experiential, learners retain and embed the information and wisdom long term and can transfer and apply it with ease back at the work place when new situations demand it. When learning is process driven, creates an positive emotional reaction, and evokes a visceral involvement through hands on interactions, learning is accelerated. Then efficiency skyrockets, organisations save time and money and productivity shoots through the roof!
Since businesses, learning institutions and government agencies all loved my style of active accelerated training and helping them learn through the use of multiple intelligences, I have simply leveraged this basic ability into standard training that uses over 70 original games and exercises (as well as hundreds of customised exercises for specific needs of clients) that has reached around the world!
Interview by Brooke Hunter