I’ve started reading a book today, “Becoming a Resonant Leader” co authored by Annie McKee, who spoke at the growth summit. Her talk inspired me to buy the book to dig deeper into her insights into leadership.

So far, the book has reinforced what I already believe about leadership. Leadership is a learned skill that anyone can learn and get better at. Sure, people are born with attributes that make leadership easier or hard for them, but they can be overcome. Annie’s book gives a series of exercises that will help you learn your strengths in leading and how to make them better.

A major focus of the book is on developing your emotional intelligence, awareness of how your emotions come into play in leading others, and awareness of the emotions within others and how they come into play when you lead them.

Many of the skills relate back to things we do at Inner Circle, especially the VisionQuest. Creating and communicating a Vision. Becoming self aware of your core values so you won’t violate them, becoming aware of how our emotions and how we feel impact others.

Lot’s of emotions are running around our organizations these days. Fear about the economy. Anger about it. Stresses at home relating to it.

We need to pump our own emotional intelligence right now, to be able to lead more effectively in this tumultuous time. We need to get our regular, ordinary people to do extraordinary things right now. Now more than probably any other time in our business lives.

No one under the age of fifty worked during the last recession of this magnitude, as Tom Peters reminded us at the Growth Summmit. I’m over 50, just barely. I remember working in it. But I wasn’t in a leadership position then. I was a sales rep. I’m bet that no one else who reads this was in a true leadership position in the early 1980’s either. Time to brush up on our leadership abilities.

What leadership skill or ability will you work on to attack this downturn?