Is credible leadership still alive?

by Feb 2, 2022

In a recent article published as part of her Gordian Knot blog, Dr. Fay Niewiadomski, managing partner of ITCN, a UK based company offering, management consulting and coaching to C suite, Board, and executive managers and more recently, the business behavioral game of consequences, she eloquently dealt with the concepts of IQ, EQ and the moral fiber of leaders in charge.

In laymen’s terms she used a clothing closet, cupboard shelves, hangers, clothing, and accessories to explain the difference between IQ and EQ and went on to draw a parallel between these concepts, their importance, and the need to combine these in a synergetic manner with morals, ethics, and values to ensure exceptional leaders. She concluded that without all 3 elements in place and the absence of psycho screening, the world will most likely fall into the trap of promoting Candyman style leaders.

Leaders – that offer and promise – exactly what you want to hear and once in power, do all and everything to remain in power rather than deliver on their promises. It is an allegory applicable to all walks of life, not only politics, business and industry.

As to politics, there is most likely not a better example than 10 Downing Street admits the covid pandemic. More than ample IQ and EQ, but as many will no doubt argue, a substantial shortage in morals and ethics and this, at a time of substantial crises.

What is the honourable thing to do? Resign and pave the way for another?

One of my contemporaries, working for a UK based manufacturing company in the global energy sector, recently left his position of substantial influence, as he was expected to compromise on what he believed is his professional integrity. Many may argue and ask what is the value in this? Is this appreciated? What is achieved by this self-sacrifice? Does it not simply clear the path for just another Candyman leader?

The Virtual Advisory Board (VAB), a global interest and lobby organization for C suite executives and Board members, addressed this topic during one of the WebEx seminars. Several case studies had been presented. VAB panel groups evaluated, commented, and shared experiences. The purpose had been to prepare and train VAB members on stakeholder demands and pressure and in doing so ensure exceptional leaders. The impact of the Candyman effect, within the corporate environment was analyzed.

It was interesting to note that the overwhelming consensus, as the VAB session concluded, had been the realization that the mounting pressure on current and future Board members to compromise on important values will not only continue but increase. Furthermore, that the very essence of what constitutes moral and ethical leader values, in our modern society may require redefinition and that traditional leadership attributes will be insufficient to successfully deal with mounting internal and external stakeholder pressure.

It is this realization that our leadership, irrespective as to politics, industry, or trade, will require coaching and training to ensure the right set of skills are developed and in place to withstand stakeholder pressure and conflict. Exceptional leaders tend to do the right thing at the right time.

Only if we succeed in developing extra ordinary leaders will we ensure that leaders, with the correct moral and ethical integrity, combined with ample IQ and EQ, do not fall victim to boardroom and stakeholder conflict and make room for another Candyman psychopath.


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