Irene Becker is a leadership, communication, and career expert who specializes in helping clients achieve breakthrough results in high-stress, high-challenge environments. We recently sat down with Irene to hear her thoughts on the changing face of leadership and the challenges that face 21st-century business leaders.
Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you decide to form the leadership coaching company Just Coach It?
I have always been fascinated by leadership. After many years of study, stepping into my leadership boots and running a steel business in an arena of change and challenges, my passion for effective leadership and communication was honed and I developed new ways of seeing, adapting, creating and doing that are critical to leadership at the speed of change. After doing a coaching certification, leadership, communication, and career optimization were my next step in making a positive difference.
I believed that the 3Q model I developed could add value to leaders because it is focused not on competition, and challenges have grown more drastically than at perhaps any other time in recent history. According to research from the World Economic Forum, 35% of the skills necessary to thrive in a job today will be different five years from now.
We recently sat down with Irene to hear her thoughts on the changing face of leadership and the challenges that face 21st-century business leaders.
“Transformational catalyst” is a term on your website used to describe you. What exactly does that mean to you?
It means helping clients transform changes, challenges, and stressors (even failures) into new ways of thinking, feeling, and communicating that drive and sustain the fire of human potential and results.
McKinsey and Company estimates that change is happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale and impact of the Industrial Revolution. It is time to recognize our potential to develop new perspectives and 3Q skills that make us faster and happier than before.
Your blog is called “The 3Q Leadership Blog.” What are the three Qs you’re referring to, and why are they important?
Q1: IQ – Enhanced focus, ideation, strategic thought, improved decision-making, and ability to learn-relearn faster
Q2: EQ – Enhanced emotional self-management, relationship management, communication, collaboration, resiliency, and risk tolerance.
Q3: SQ – Values, purpose, integrity of thought and action, and the reinforcement of intrinsic motivators that keep one moving and leading forward during tough times.
3Q Leadership™ is about helping those who lead and those who aspire to greater leadership actualize the intellectual, emotional, creative, and purpose-driven capacity that drive results which enhance learning/re-learning, and an evolution of thought, communication, and action that helps us reach higher ground in our lives and careers with greater facility and success.
What are some of the main issues and problems of the executives and senior managers that engage your services?
Achieving and sustaining results in the face of leadership transitions, communication challenges, and career and life transitions.
Since you specialize in high-stress, high change environments, could you tell us how the leadership challenges differ in those environments than in traditional (or normal stress) workplaces or job situations?
High stress, high change environments are becoming the new normal, and they demand a new 3Q skill set that will help the executive or senior manager win the silent war with the epidemic of disengagement, stress-related challenges, and presenteeism that costs American companies in excess of $300 billion a year. We need to be coaching and training for greater cognitive and emotional dexterity while enhancing the values and purpose that drive success.
Could you give us an example of how a stressor or failure can help to people reach their greatest potential?
A stressor or a failure seen with new eyes can become a positive lever that expands thinking/cognition, resiliency/adaptability, communication/collaboration, and purpose/results rather than being a common deterrent of potential. We have the power to retrain our brains to reset default patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing that will not take us forward in the 21st century because change, competition, challenges, and failures are the new normal.
Finish this sentence: “The most important skill that today’s leaders must develop and hone is…”
…a 3Q perspective and skill set that ignites and kindles the fire of human purpose, potential, collaboration, and results in disruptive and turbulent times. The successful leader is a Me to WE leader who is adept at optimizing, humanizing, and monetizing human purpose, potential, and results across cultural and generational divides. He/she is a communicator, strategic thinker, and change leader who models our ability to use what have traditionally been perceived as negatives and become leaders who use change, challenges and failures as levers for driving the fire of human purpose, potential and results.
Looking into the future, what do you anticipate will be some of the main challenges that corporate leaders will face?
- Employee disengagement
- Market shifts, emerging market leadership, and agile startups – three drivers of increased competition
- The reinvention of the corporation from what we knew it in the 20th Century
- A new structure and focus to stay and remain competitive in the 21st Century while providing people with a work-life balance that keeps them productive and happy
- Accelerating technological change