Super-connectivity is a Two-way Energizer

super-connector-leadershipMost of my work at the university revolves around communication(s) as I teach Computer Network courses and work as a department head and academic advisor to a large number of students. Working in academia is a blessing for me as it allows me to be in contact with and serve many students on a daily basis.

An example of being so blessed is as follows. In my first year of teaching, there was a student, Nabil, who missed the first couple of lectures of my course. He came to my office, obviously quite worried about how I would react to his absences. When I saw his anxious face, I asked him gently why he had missed the lectures and listened to him patiently. He told me that he was working on a part-time basis to pay for his education fees, and the company sent him abroad between the two semesters. As a result, he had to miss a couple of his lectures. He was a senior student and was due to graduate by the end of that semester—assuming he passed all his courses. The university had a strict rule on the number of allowed absences, and Nabil had reached that limit. After realizing that the work he was doing was actually relevant to the course I was teaching, I allowed him to join the class and offered help with the missed materials. Nabil passed the course and graduated that semester. During the graduation ceremony, he ran to me and thanked me profusely. I felt at that moment very grateful for my teaching career because it allows me to make a difference in people’s lives.

At the end of my second working year, I was asked to chair my department. I accepted the offer without any reservation because I knew deep down that with this new position, I could do more of what I love best: connect, listen and serve.

I chaired my department for four and half years before resigning from that position due to recurrent miscarriages and urgent medical advice to rest. In 2009, I was blessed to give birth to my beautiful twins—one of each gender. Shortly after they were born, I was asked to again chair the department. I could have refused the offer because I was very busy with the twins. On top of that, the critical and unstable situation in my country was causing me a lot of stress. But I did not select the easy option since I just wanted to do again what I love most, serve people.

Heart-Based Leadership and Super-connectivity

Leading with heart energizes leaders as much as it does to the led, mainly because heart-based leaders enjoy what they do and follow an inner call.

It seems to me that a heart-based leader is a super-connector with the following abilities:

  • To listen intently to people and empathize with them, and let them feel that they are not alone and they can trust us.
  • To connect with everyone, accept them for who they are and acknowledge that we are all different in the way we perceive the world, in our likes and dislikes.
  • To synchronize the connections among the diverse members of the community and make sure that they are capable of understanding each other.
  • To be the glue in a diverse environment, create a coherent inter-locking network in spite of a multitude of differences and provide a unique interface to the external world.

Characteristics of Super-Connected Teams Members

As a result of this, the members of a super-connected team should be able to relate between their individual roles and the goals of their organization. They should feel the importance of their jobs, become highly engaged at work and feel grateful to be part of that team.

Furthermore, not only will mutual interests bring these employees together but mutual trust which provides them with a feeling of safety and enables them to talk freely with one another, rendering any problem they may face less overwhelming and thus manageable.

All super-connected team members feel equal, empowered and involved in the decision-making process which becomes very adaptive and resilient because of this 100% involvement.

In every instance of our lives we are offered infinite choices in what we think, say or hear. This affects what we feel in the present moment and conditions the quality of our communication with others and hence the quality of our working environment. By extension, it affects the quality of our lives.

Positive thoughts and gratitude provide us with pleasant inner states and have energizing effects on us and on all the people around us.

I’d love to connect and hear your thoughts in the comments section.

About Hoda Maalouf

Dr. Hoda Maalouf was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She moved to the UK at the age of 25 to study at Imperial College, London. She was there for nearly seven years, earning a Ph.D. in Communication Engineering. Hoda returned to Lebanon in 1998, at which time she joined the faculty of Notre Dame University. She teaches, advises students and serves as head of the NDU Computer Science Department. A mother of twins, Hoda is equally interested in science and the arts, and enjoys drawing, writing and social media.

Connect with Hoda Maalouf

Comments

  1. Nazir Hawi says:

    A great post Hoda,

    Your kind heart and leadership motto “connect, listen, and serve” made our department a blooming garden. We have been colleagues for 14 years and I want to witness that you connect with the speed of light, you listen with your heart, and serve with zest. Day in day out you have been practicing your motto “unconditionally”.

    Amazing,

    Nazir

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much Nazir for your generous comment!

      Working with you is a real blessing!

      Have a great weekend,

      Hoda

  2. Hello Hoda,

    In reading your post, the sentence “In every instance of our lives we are offered infinite choices in what we think, say or hear” spoke to me. If we would all consider the importance of these connections before we speak – the difference in the global dialogue would be profound. Thank you for sharing this important reminder of connecting, listening, and serving.

    All the best,

    Susan

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      I’m Glad Susan that my post touched a chord!
      Getting positive replies to what we say or write truly energizes us. Thank you so much for giving me this positive vibe at the end of a long working day,

      Hoda

  3. Hoda

    I loved the post and the deeply-personal examples that demonstrated the inner you! I have felt this passion and compassion since first we connected. You continue to demonstrate the power of your feelings and action and this post serves to highlight this!

    Leadership is about relationships … and true caring for those with whom you serve! You evidence this on each and every occasion you connect! You are a super-connector!

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Honored & Humbled by your comment John!

      Grateful for our connection!

      Looking forward for our future project!

      Hoda

  4. Connect, listen, serve…the true heart of leadership. Thank you for such an insightful post!

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much Ali for passing by & commenting! Much appreciated!
      Have a wonderful day ahead!

      Hoda

  5. well.words ampliefiers the heart that gets not only connected rather engaged like of the motor gear.the new slogan………LISTEN, CONNECT, SERVE. thanks mum\
    for today a days lesson enough.

  6. Typically perceptive and lyrical heart based post, Hoda. Can’t argue with a word, and with your usual passionate and personal storytelling. I’m very glad we are super-connected!

    Warmest wishes, David

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much David for passing by & taking your time to comment & share my post!

      Very Grateful for our connection & friendship!

      Hoda

  7. Nathalie Kallassi says:

    Dr. Maalouf, your posts are like a wake up call that always remind me to put heart and soul into my work and give it meaning. Truly inspirational, Thank you!

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      So very kind & generous of you Nathalie!

      I deeply admire your honesty and your beautiful heart & mind!!

      Hoda

  8. Excellent post – all interactions are energy exchanges, allowing us to attract or repel – to combine or separate.

  9. Jane Perdue says:

    Hoda — terrific post. Your message of “connect, listen, serve” needs to be part of the curriculum at every business school!

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much for passing by and commenting Jane!!
      Glad that you enjoyed my post and indeed our future leaders need to learn and get trained on how to Connect & serve others.

      Hoda

  10. Connected, we inspire.
    Connected, we progress.
    Connected, we succeed.
    Its truly a two way energizer. I felt your passion in your work, keep it up Dr Hoda.

    This really energized me “Leading with heart energizes leaders as much as it does to the led, mainly because heart-based leaders enjoy what they do and follow an inner call.” Leadership is a great calling.

    Thank you Ma for finding time to bless us with your wisdom. God bless you richly.

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Grateful to your connection & comment Ifeanyi!

      I’m blessed to have a job that allows me to do the thing I love most, that is connecting & serving others.

      Hoda

  11. WOW I do understand you Hoda: “Working in academia is a blessing for me as it allows me to be in contact with and serve many students on a daily basis.”

    In my humble opinion it is not enough to just “To listen intently to people …” but you have to “hear what they say!” It is this that then connect people and synchronize.

    What is your experience and opinion?

    Cheers
    Jaro.

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Definitely when we take time to listen, we can learn a lot from what has been said and most importantly what hasn’t been said.

      Thank you so much Jaro for taking your time to listen to me!

      Hoda

      • Honda I like to listen although it is hard to hear when you are under the stress (or ???). So, yes we have to learn from what others might have said with words or …

        Cheers
        jaro.

  12. “A heart based leader is a super connector”. What a powerful statement! Thank you for your post and sharing your personal story.

  13. Thanks for sharing these experiences

    Connecting, listening and serving with the heart! Indeed, more than a must ! Without the heart, is there any real connecting, listening and serving ? Can we even talk about superconnectivity? I believe that, without the heart, there is just no connectivity, no genuine listening and only self-serving ! :)

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Most of the problems that occur with the students are caused by some faculty who do not care to listen or help! The brain is there but the heart is missing!

      Thank you so much Claude for taking your time to listen to me & commenting! Much appreciated!

      Hoda

  14. “Leading with heart energizes leaders as much as it does to the led…” This is my take-away Hoda. Thank you for sharing straight from the heart. I am glad to have connected with you, I learn so much, and feel refreshed.

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much Kimunya!!

      Indeed serving with the heart & gratitude are what keeps us going in spite all difficulties.

      Humbled by your comment!

      Hoda

  15. Hoda,
    Your post delivers a universal truth — we are on this earth together and connection creates momentous changes. Even when we consider the differences in how people like to connect (introvert, extrovert, ambivert) … it is still connection.

    Your focus on the leader as a super-connector is so often overlooked and yet so obviously true.

    Great call to action with your personal examples to add weight to the post.

    Terrific!

    Thanks for this. It lifts me up.
    Kate

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      I am really humbled by your comment Kate!!

      Much unhappiness has come into the world because of people indifference & selfish behavior. The need to connect with others and facilitate other people connections are primordial for any effective working environment.

      Appreciate greatly your comment & support!

      Hoda

  16. Hoda, really enjoyed your post. I love this “a heart-based leader is a super-connector” and then your descriptions of how the heart based leader connects with individuals, then facilitates team and community connections. Humanistic leadership is the way of the future and your personal example and descriptors are great examples. Thanks.

    • Hoda Maalouf says:

      Thank you so much Peter for taking your time to read and comment my post!!

      As leaders, It is very important to let people feel that we care for them and they can trust us. In this way, they will open up for us and their problems become less overwhelming and manageable.

      Gratitude,

      Hoda

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  1. […] Super-connectivity is a major characteristic of heart-based leadership. It energizes leaders as much as it does to the led and creates super-connected teams of highly engaged employees.  […]

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