New Oxford research says, the market is looking for Chief Emotional Officers not Chief Executive Officers, Really?


It’s now ever clearer: If you want to get to the top of your industry, master your ability to understand what we feel and solve our challenges. Save usual CEOs hard core headaches on creating shareholder value.

Last week the BBC Business news did a story of anew research by Oxford University that showed the traditional job of a CEO- i.e delivering on shareholder value, directing and managing teams has now been knocked off, with CEOs spending most of their time managing the soft issues. This means CEOs are now saying things like: ‘’I want to be engaged, seen to be caring and approachable’’.

People’s emotions are informed by their story. Stories that talk about their character, roles and responsibilities.

Actors and actress are good at improvising- playing the roles of characters in a scripted stories. They are required to research on their characters and act those roles perfectly. They have to be good at studying and playing the right emotions to the audience. No wonder actors are that good at capturing your attention. So, who else should you learn mastering of emotions from? The actor! If you want to be the best Chief Emotional Officer you could practice on the following:

  • Learn to improvise. You were never born to do the job you are doing now. You were trained on, learnt and practiced for it. Actors improvise to be good actors. So, go head, learn the skills needed to be connected to your team members.
  • Do research on people. Spend some time to understand the people you work with. That is what good actors do to their roles. Most of us wear that ‘mask’ to work all the time. Picking from the second point, we improvise a lot. What we want you to do is to go behind that ‘mask’ to learn more about people. The more you learn, the better your relationships will be.
  • Watch and read a lot of stories– see those movies that tell a great story. Pick the play, novel and script that exposes you to the world of showing a story that connects with people. As you do more of these, you will begin to learn some great skills at becoming good at managing people’s emotion.
  • Make the people first. When we feel we are the only person that deserves your attention at any time we need to see you, we will earn our trust and believe in your leadership.
  • Funny enough, a recommended place to start is to watch cartoons. Why? You see the extremes and light touches of improvisation in the beautiful cartoons you cannot help but watch.

I want to end the post from the Co-CEO of Standard Bank from the story:

‘’It’s about knowing your industry but having the ability to lead people who know more than you,” End Quote Sim Tshabalala Co-CEO of Standard Bank

Written by: Benjamin Yaw Manu

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