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What to Read: 4D Leadership - Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

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April 04, 2016
What to Read
Nader Nemati

What's On the Bookshelf
Over the years, we’ve had numerous conversations with industry leaders and often one of the topics that we discuss is the latest book read. We thought it would be fun to share some of these booklover conversations with our readers. Here are what our industry leaders are reading.

4D Leadership: Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development
by Alan Watkins

[Review by Nader Nemati, Montage Hotels & Resorts]

We have all read many different books and articles on leadership. Dr. Watkins does a great job of discussing the multiple dimensions to leadership including “I” (physiology, emotions, feelings, thoughts), “WE” (relationships, connectivity, teams), and “IT” (external observable world of doing). Verticality across these three dimensions of development provides for 4D Leadership.
Many leaders are so driven by the external pressures to deliver profit or EBITDA, deployment of the latest innovation as technologists, support the opening of new properties and deliver on our “to do” lists that we may have lost sight of our true mission. This constant drive and focus on the IT puts an exuberant amount of pressure on the leaders to continue to deliver on the one dimension.   
In fact, 4D Leadership refers to Milton Friedman’s landmark article where he outlined that business should be concerned with profits and refuted business’ goal in promoting social ends or needing social conscience. 4D Leadership views the concept of business only being about quarterly returns as a “relic of the last century and obsolete.”  Therefore, the need for transformational 4D leadership is critical and a challenge for leaders to live up to our responsibility.
Dr. Watkins discusses the increased speed and complexity of business requiring enhanced cross-functional collaboration, agility and developing enhanced partnerships and teams. The interconnectivity of the objective IT; the subjective I and the interpersonal WE dimensions are all critical for today’s leaders. 
As many of us know, leadership starts with continuously enhancing our own skillset through the vertical development of the I dimension within and outside of the work environment. This means not having our work define who we are but to have our diversified understanding of ourselves define who we are as leaders at work and in life. We also need the community or relationship aspects in the WE dimension to better understand our level of maturity in the I to better understand our personal performance. As we continue to develop the WE dimension, we will inevitably become better and more effective in the IT dimension through enhanced relationships with our colleagues and customers.
4D Leadership provides a toolset with a clear outline of measuring areas of improvement for each dimension. The concepts are such that they can be applied not only within the work but also in our personal lives to be focused on the multidimensions in delivering on our goals while maintaining balance across how we continue to improve ourselves and our relationships at the same time we are driving ourselves to meet the IT objectives. The book provides tools on enhancing the inner dimension of I to help increase energy and expand emotional intelligence, resilience and perceptual awareness. If we cannot release the daily grind and pressure that we’re constantly under, the danger in burnout or not fulfilling our full potential can decrease our effectiveness as leaders. This will inevitably result in reducing our ability to come up with new strategies, products or services, and build effective relationships with employees and customers.
More companies are realizing that competitive advantage comes from the development of leaders in all three dimensions – doing, being and relating. Dr. Watkins outlines that vertical development in the I, WE and IT dimensions transforms individuals, teams and organizations more effectively than any unitary focus on task and target can ever deliver in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world of today and tomorrow.
I believe the 4D Leadership is a way of life in achieving one’s goals while maintaining who we are and how we continue to strive in improving ourselves while we create and enhance our relationships in the pursuance of common goals and objectives in the journey within our professional and personal lives.
©2016 Hospitality Upgrade
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