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Leading with the Invisible Hand

Leading with the Invisible Hand

By Grant Howe

A lot of thought leaders and well-respected writing centers expound on the public and upfront presence of leaders. The topics examined are individual presence, communication of vision, clarity of strategy, and critical decision-making. When we think of leadership, we usually bring to mind this active, visible form. However, what about more the subtle ways to lead? Do you know a leader from whom things seem to flow, even when he or she is not present? Does his or her organization appear very cohesive? Is there a sense of culture? Do seemingly unconnected events mesh to drive a higher purpose? Do the right things happen for the right people without noticeable intervention? That leader has mastered the “Invisible Hand."

What is the “Invisible Hand”?

The Invisible Hand is a gentle push that guides an individual or organization in a positive direction. A leader that thoroughly understands the organization, its people, and its vision can influence everyday outcomes and decisions without being forceful—or even seen.

The leader can use his or her skills to put together options that are good for the organization and also takes the needs of individual team members into account and offers growth opportunities. As a result, team members grow and the organization progresses as more opportunities are created.

The leader is able to solve a conflict with a simple, candid conversation. The relationships he or she has built with peers and employees makes them a welcome mediator and counselor, known for bringing calm to rough storms. Often no one other than the participants know the conversation happened.

The Invisible Hand is simply leadership based on positive actions. In this multi-part blog series, I will explore how one can become an effective leader through:

  • Relationship Building
  • Coaching Employees Effectively
  • Mentoring Others
  • Influencing Peers and Higher Ups
  • Role Modeling

I invite you to participate in our upcoming discussions and share your thoughts with our community.

Grant Howe

About the author

Grant Howe joined ECi as Chief Technology Officer in April of 2015. Howe brings more than 21 years of product development and management experience to ECi.

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