Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Strengthening Innovative Leadership in the Turbulent Environment

Written By

Iffah Budiningsih and Tjiptogoro Dinarjo Soehari

Submitted: 11 August 2021 Reviewed: 14 September 2021 Published: 12 November 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.100456

From the Edited Volume

Leadership - New Insights

Edited by Mário Franco

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Recently, in the Digital Transformation era that is trigger by technology, Industry 4.0 is a transformation process that leads to company changes that disrupt and affect all business processes. In the current transformation phase, leaders must have the ability to manage digital transformation processes and new digital organizations that are emerging which are changing in a volatile (turbulent) business environment. The discussion in this chapter book includes a content analysis of several leadership characters that are very influential in anticipating turbulent environmental changes, which include: leadership in the turbulent era, innovative leadership, leadership with high integrity, leadership with high EQ. The dynamics of the external environment such as economic, political, social, cultural, scientific, and technological changes very rapidly which will have an impact on the business environment: customers, suppliers, competitors, investors, government/law, and interest groups. The external environmental turbulence must be anticipated by all institutions by strengthening leadership so that leaders and their followers can create innovative products, processes, collaborations, communication, and have emotional intelligence that can capture the substance of the problem objectively and arouse the spirit of participation of all parties. Another very basic thing is a leader who has strong integrity, which is trustworthy, honest, moral, and has the credibility to produce solutions to various business problems so that in the end it produces excellent performance according to stakeholder expectations. Leaders need to proactively manage change through strengthening innovative ideas, creating new things as the key to creating a prime competitive advantage for the company. The leader is a figure who must be able to continuously adapt to the dynamics of the rapid development of the environment and market, supported by human resources, superior organization, and the right systems and procedures to achieve organizational goals.


  • leadership
  • innovation
  • integrity
  • emotional intelligence (EQ)

1. Introduction

The rapid development and rapid spread of digital technology and especially industry 4.0. significantly changing business processes, business models, customer relationships, and operations leading to destructive changes in all business structures. Digital transformation management is a huge challenge for organizations today. Strong leadership is of paramount importance to an organization/institution/company, both profit-oriented and non-profit-oriented, to face the rapidly changing environment to produce a competitive advantage in crises that might hit the organization/institution/company. Types of leadership are many: e.g., transactional leadership, managerial leadership and, transformational leadership. In application, one does not always refer to one of the concepts. Therefore, the present paper will not discuss further the concept of leadership. Rather, it focuses on discussing how to strengthen the leadership to solve problems that might occur due to rapid environmental changes or turbulence. Such as the industrial revolution 4.0, namely the existence of technology disruption which implies a new culture, such as human-machine communication; connection: global village; smart robots; internet of things; 3D Printers; driverless cars, big data; online/virtual education. This has the impact that many jobs involve science, technology, engineering, and math skills, the internet of things, lifelong learning. In [1] Leadership characteristics 4.0 include: (a) responsive leadership; (b) swarm leadership; (c) learning and innovation leadership; (d) open leadership; (e) agile leadership; (f) participatory leadership; (g) leadership networking; (h) trust leadership; (i) digital leadership; and (j) collaborative leadership.

The strategic policy to cope with a turbulent change of environment requires a strong leader with innovative ability, high integrity, and high emotional intelligence. Creativity and innovation are regarded as essential to have to compete. Such are not easy aspects to learn, as they are related to several matters: (a) product innovation to generate new products as well as process innovation for more efficient and effective production activities to generate lower prices with better quality; (b) communication innovation with the elements of business such as supplier, distributor, regulator; (c) collaboration innovation with customers, distributors, suppliers, regulator, and involved community members. The results of research by [2] explain that developing creativity (innovation) in organizations requires the level of emotional intelligence of the leader, and this supports previous research, namely that there is a positive influence between the emotional intelligence of the leader and the level of creativity of his subordinates. A leader is also required to have strong integrity as the figure that upholds honesty, openness, objectivity, not abusing power and authority, and upholds the important values of the organization/company. The main role of a leader is to lead one’s subordinates towards the objectives of an organization/company that is responsive to a dynamic change of environment. According to [3] leader integrity is important because it plays an important role in the decision process used by followers when deciding who they will follow, whom they will trust, to whom they will be loyal and committed, and ultimately to who they will appear. The importance of a leader’s integrity can lie in its positive influence on the leadership process and the positive organizational outcomes it achieves. Perspective leadership is employee-centered leadership, that is, there is consistency between words and actions, increases follower trust, and helps in predicting behavior to follow.

Leaders who lack integrity will not provide a basis for followers to infer consistency between their actions and words. According to [4] explains that the possibility of a leader being able to perform effectively. They are two important things that need to be tested, the first: integrity as a core executive in the context of the overall personality; the second: active participation of leaders using a wide range of possibilities to provide solutions to various conditions and challenges. Based on the findings of [5], integrity is the most important character strength for the performance of top-level executives, but what is interesting from this finding is that it has nothing to do with the performance of middle-level managers. The irony of this statement can provide insight into why there are ethical failures on the part of managers when they are promoted to executive leadership? This may happen because managers generally focus their work on a technical level that prioritizes hard skills, so they may often lack the integrity to perform effectively at a higher level. The ability to handle problems is a key component of personality that adds to predictive accuracy about how a leader may perform under a leadership role especially when the future conditions of the business are unpredictable. In a turbulent work environment, high integrity leaders offer stability by providing clear positive values ​​for followers to identify which can encourage followers’ willingness to promote a good organizational image and also to adapt to dynamic changes and take initiatives to increase effectiveness. Overall organizational activities.

Moreover, a leader must also have a high level of emotional intelligence as the figure that is capable of managing the emotions of oneself and other people, grasping a piece of clear and objective information, guiding the thoughts and actions of other people, coordinating resources, and acting as motivator and catalyst to achieve organizational success. That said, the achievement of organizational objectives benefits from a leader who has high emotional intelligence. According to [6] explaining that over the last two decades, emotional intelligence has become a point of concern, especially related to leadership. Empirical findings have confirmed that the EQ dimension is more necessary to achieve leadership effectiveness with successful coping with stress in the workplace than IQ. Several previous studies revealed that emotional intelligence is significant in social situations, IQ is very important in cognitive tasks; Undoubtedly, IQ is an important and key element of leadership, but research shows that emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important for leaders in different contexts, namely to be able to be more successful and be able to cope with stress in the workplace. A leader who does not have sufficient emotional intelligence will have wider consequences, namely resulting in lower employee engagement and higher turnover rates. While it is possible to excel in technical work, if a leader cannot communicate effectively with his team or subordinates or collaborate with others, his technical skills will be neglected.

In [7] opine that the phenomenon of a turbulent environment approves the idea that employees must have a sense of belonging to the organization/company; employees must also bear multiple roles as a leader for oneself as well as a businessperson. That being mentioned, every employee is demanded to have optimal managerial and entrepreneurship competence as the strategic element of organizational success. The role of a leader is to mobilize all resources to achieve the objectives. In [8] Points out that in a business strategy, the essential aspect is to offer better values to the customer in comparison with the competitors, in the form of a product/service that has the lowest cost and is sustainable; however, at present, there are competitors from all over the world that can provide optimal service to the customers, that said, the single strategy of price competitiveness may not be as strategic as it was used to be but has to combine with other strategies. To formulate an effective strategy, a leader must be informed of all information all over the world and analyze the correlation with organizational needs and the resources owned to provide a fast and appropriate response on the business condition. No leader can guide the company to be competitive without understanding the commercial, social, economic, political, and technological impact in a global scope. Strategy in an organization is the main factor for a leader to observe one’s scope globally as well as to observe the needs of the organization to operate effectively and efficiently to develop competitiveness. A company’s strategy involves the decision to make regarding the prioritized business to be focused on and what business is to be abandoned. The analysis encourages the leader to mobilize all resources to innovate in the product, process, organization, communication, and collaboration effectively and efficiently; such conduct must be supported by a leadership that has high integrity and emotional intelligence to develop competitiveness.

The discussion in this chapter book includes a content analysis of several leadership characters that are very influential in anticipating turbulent environmental changes, which include: introduction, leadership in the turbulent era, innovative leadership, leadership with high integrity, leadership with high EQ. Some of the dominant leadership characters are suspected in the era of turbulent environmental change to be predictors of successful leadership. The writing of this article is a literature study using the content analysis method. The limitation of this chapter book is that it only partially discusses leadership characteristics that can anticipate turbulent environmental changes, namely: innovative leadership, leadership with integrity, and high emotional intelligence.


2. Leadership in the turbulence environment

In [9] point out that environment consists of internal, industrial, and societal environment. The internal environment comprises internal factors in an organization/company, viz.: human resources, organization, organizational culture, and others. Meanwhile, industrial or business environment consists of stakeholders, suppliers, employee/labor unions, competitors, trade associations, communities, creditors, customers, special interest groups, working partners, and others, while societal environment relates to ideology, politics, economy, social, culture, security, and science and technology of a country. Moreover, a turbulent environment is an environment that undergoes a change that might disrupt the activities of an organization/company. In [10] argues that when turbulence occurs, a leader must make assumptions, create new norms, values, and work procedures in facing the disruption. A turbulent environment can lead to a new organizational culture that might result in negative emotions if the elements of the organization are unprepared to face the turbulent environment. The turbulent period requires an increased intensity of learning of the occurring problems, the impacts, and how to manage the negative impact that might occur. According to [11] when a turbulent organizational environment changes, due to changes in technology and new values, the emergence of sustainable innovation will be able to provide sustainability benefits or generate profits within the organization.

A turbulent environment could also lead to a high level of anxiety; therefore, a strong motivator to lower the anxiety as well as to learn the possible outcomes. This also requires the care and knowledge sharing towards fellow organization members regarding management of anxiety that might occur to manage the turbulence in the environment. This shows that a leader must be creative and innovative in conducting a situational analysis with strong assumption, high integrity, and high emotional intelligence to acquire the aspiration of the subordinates as well as to interact with the subordinates to tackle the changes in the environment. Turbulence is commonly unique/specific; therefore, the management must consider the aspects of turbulence. For instance, the monetary turbulence in 1997 was managed by applying a much-interest rate. Regarding this, a question might appear: will the next turbulence be managed by the same method? The answer to the question is uncertain since the demands of the environment have changed from the problems of the number of money supply and the principle of currency demand vs. supply to other demands. One example is the balance of industry or the advancements in the real sector, in which cost leadership is the main strategy that requires a minim-interest rate. The reason is that the real sector and monetary sector are becoming closely related and require a strong integration in the policies in both sectors as an innovative policy. According to [2] in the past two decades, acquisition and divestment activities were strategic activities for business leaders who were expected to increase productivity, increase efficiency, increase innovation and market share, but several research results showed a failure to achieve this goal because it is contrary to belief and tends to harm the organization because it inhibits creativity and innovation.

A leader’s quality is reflected in one’s ability to conduct an in-depth assumption regarding the main issues related to the external environment. A leader’s assumption is also reflected in the turbulence regarding internal integration. The best moment to easily observe the internal condition of an organization/company is when a conflict occurs between the employees. There are many elements of organizational culture that are related to hierarchy, authority, and power that can influence the behavior of employees; that said, the resolution of the conflict must always be re-established and evaluated by referring to the common consensus. It is a challenge for the leader to test the truth of one’s assumptions in front of one’s subordinate. A leader may emphasize that one is not the best one by showing tolerant behavior and encourage the subordinates when in an argument to think about whether or not to obey him/her. In a turbulent environment, innovation becomes essential; it is stimulated by the ability to identify, grasp, and utilize any opportunity. Innovation does not only relate to creating new products, opening a new market, but also establishing communication and collaboration, offering new solutions in giving service, and developing an organization/company. An organization/company must always continue to be productive and competitive; regarding this, it depends on human resources that can create innovative and sustainable ideas. Therefore, a leader of an organization requires to be able to inspire and motivate one’s subordinates.

A leader must feel dependent on one’s subordinate to know what is the best; one must also request to the subordinate not to obey him/her if they feel that they are right. Regardless, the subordinates might not fully obey the concept due to the factors of authority and power that are embedded within a leader. In this regard, the leader is demanded to be creative, innovative, have strong integrity (credible, trustworthy, intelligent, and insightful), as well as having the high emotional intelligence to communicate and integrate the subordinate’s potentials.


3. Innovative leadership

Creativity goes along with innovation; that said, innovation requires creativity, as it is the main factor of innovative behavior [12]. In [13] elaborate that the complexity of innovative behavior involves three processes: (a) recognition of problems and formulation or adoption of new solutions and ideas; (b) formulation of alternatives to express the solution/idea, establishing legitimacy and seeking support from internal and external elements of the organization; and (c) creation of prototype or model to be tested. Further, [14] argues that innovative behavior serves as a grounding for an individual to achieve a maximum outcome in organizational work. This is because innovation significantly contributes to the enhancement of the competitiveness of an organization by which drives the institution to act differently beyond its limit. With that being said, an innovative person tries through his or her limitation to optimize new ideas and concepts, resulting in a better product and service. Another study by [13] shows that organization of learning, knowledge-sharing, and organizational commitment simultaneously contribute 62% to the achievement of innovative behavior in employees; in this regard, the three factors are regarded as a dominant factor to predict and strengthen the innovative behavior of employees.

Moreover, [14] explain that entrepreneurship leadership and creativity are the dominant factors of innovative behavior. Technically, entrepreneurship leadership is the ability to coordinate one’s subordinates to create new ideas that orientate towards the future, indicated with the efforts of:

  • finding out the opportunity to develop business;

  • performing optimum efforts to survive and develop one’s business

  • conducting changes that are relevant to the changing dynamics of business demands;

  • mobilizing resources effectively and efficiently that orientates towards the results;

  • committed to taking business risks; and

  • being motivated and persistent in innovating for a better solution.

As a dominant factor of innovation, creativity is the capability of turning imaginative ideas to generate new products/services. A person with high creativity is indicated with characteristics as follows:

  • openness in creating;

  • freedom of expression;

  • continuous exploration of new ideas;

  • high flexibility in creating;

  • in favor of originality of ideas;

  • ability to elaborate on new ideas.

Innovative behavior is commonly directed to discover, produce, introduce, and apply new “products”, either regarding ideas, solutions, or beneficial technology for human activity to indicate the effort to seek for the opportunity, develop ideas, and search for support to implement new ideas. Strong leadership influences the innovation of an organization/company [15]. In line with that, according to [16] the leadership has a strong influence on the innovation ability of a micro-enterprise business.

Process innovation is the factor that can reduce production cost; this is in line with the business strategy of price competitiveness that is applicable in facing a sharply competitive market in such a digital era. Companies that fail to innovate will suffer from difficulties when the prices fall while the fixed cost is un-reducible; they will also find it difficult to position the differential competitiveness on the products/services generated, resulting in drawing the product back from the market. In [17] opine that creativity and IT training significantly influence the innovative behavior of the employees. Such a notion indicates that a leader should support the development of the employees’ creativity to encourage innovative behavior. Further, [18] elaborate that the function of a leader is to move the organization so that that all individuals are free to realize their motivation potential to achieve the organizational objectives. There are main variables of a leader’s level of effectiveness:

  • A leadership that meets the expectation, needs, and competence of one’s subordinates;

  • an organization with an appropriate structure that supports both the interest of its members and itself in a balanced way;

  • strong, harmonious, united, and peaceful interaction between the leader and one’s subordinates

For a leader, innovation and communication are essential to encourage the participation and collaboration of the subordinates, either internally or externally. In [19] point out that communication to promote the participation of other parties requires considering these aspects:

First: To be successful,

  • use simple means of communication that reaches the feeling, not complex, and not too technical;

  • prepare oneself to formulate a relevant matter of communication to the subordinates’ feelings;

  • clarify to the subordinates’ anxiety, confusion, anger, and disbelief.

  • ensure that the channel of communication and messages is clear from disruption so that important messages are delivered with ease and received clearly by the subordinates;

  • make use of technology that supports fast and easy communication with a large and trustworthy scope of communication.

Second: Causes of failure:

  • Unclear and interrupted communication;

  • Only uses the transfer of information in expressing and solving any problems;

  • Sparks a cynical behavior due to the inconsistency of a leader (not conducting what was previously said).

In [20] indicates that communication is an essential aspect for a leader to achieve the expected performance; that said, these aspects are of significance to consider:

  • suggesting and influencing other people, either internally or externally;

  • giving instruction or direction to other people;

  • preparing written means of communication: report, letter correspondence, email, and others;

  • giving presentation;

  • negotiation and partaking in a debate or discussion;

  • providing technical advice or support.

In [20] points out the positive and negative indicators of the variable of communication.

Positive indicator of communication:

  • speaking and writing clearly and effectively;

  • listening thoroughly to other people, interpreting the contents of the message from other people carefully, and providing an appropriate response;

  • asking questions to clarify and showing interest in a two-way communication setting;

  • composing words, intonation, style, and format to adjust with the audience;

  • showing openness in sharing information and maintaining the transfer of information.

Negative indicator of communication:

  • unconfident in communicating;

  • compose an unclear or too long piece of writing without focusing on a single message;

  • use non-proper words;

  • tend to stick to one style of communication that is unsure of its appropriateness;

  • tend to lose the attention from readers/audience;

  • tend to lose focus and linkages from one topic to another;

  • lack of positive feedback from other people as an indicator of the effectiveness of communication;

  • holding down information without proper reasoning.

About relation to collaboration, [20] indicate that a strong collaboration requires strong teamwork from each member of the organization/company; the aspects are:

  • always cooperating with the team in all activities;

  • providing support to each other;

  • dividing responsibility in making decisions and compensating the risks;

  • motivation for contributing to each other;

  • establishing new teams if needed;

  • collaborating with colleagues between work units, departments, or divisions;

  • forming and developing team culture or standard behavior to be applied in team collaboration:

Moreover, [20] points out the positive and negative indicators of the variable of collaboration.

Positive indicator of collaboration:

  • collaborating to cooperate with colleagues to realize organizational goals;

  • requesting input from other people by showing a willingness to appreciate the ideas and experiences of the person as the manifestation of determination to learn from the person.

  • putting team agenda before personal agenda;

  • building cooperation towards the objectives of the work unit/team that orientate towards the members of the team.

  • supporting and acting according to the final agreement of the team, despite that the decision might not suit the leader’s position;

  • appreciating the work achievement of the team and accepting the common responsibility of the team’s slackness.

Negative indicator of collaboration:

  • rarely provides support to the colleagues;

  • tend to work alone;

  • emphasize on personal goals achievement;

  • refrain from showing attention towards the ideas and inputs from other people;

  • tend to act alone;

  • showing indications to ignore or disrupt the decisions of the majority;

  • take personal advantages on team achievement and break free from responsibility for the team’s lack.

Strategy in an organization is the main factor for a leader to observe one’s scope globally as well as to observe the needs of the organization to operate effectively and efficiently to develop competitiveness. A company’s strategy involves the decision to make regarding the prioritized business to be focused on and what business is to be abandoned. The analysis encourages the leader to mobilize all resources to innovate in the product, process, organization, communication, and collaboration effectively and efficiently; such conduct must be supported by a leadership that has high integrity and emotional intelligence to develop competitiveness.


4. The leadership that has high integrity

The term “integrity” derives from English, which means complete and thorough. According to [21] integrity means thinking, saying, behaving/acting properly and correctly, and upholding the code of ethics and moral principles. In other words, someone’s actions are always consistent with the existing values and codes of ethics. According to [3] integrity is one of the main attributes of a great leader and the concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and results; or in other words a deep commitment to doing the right thing for the right reasons, regardless of the circumstances. In [22] Propose indicators of integrity, which involves:

  • honesty;

  • consistency between words and actions;

  • obeyance towards rules and ethics of organization/community;

  • uphold commitments and principles that one believes to be true;

  • be responsible for one’s actions, decisions, and the risks that might follow;

  • one’s quality to gain respect from others;

  • wisdom to differ between righteous and wrong conducts and encouragement to other people to conduct similar things.

Generally, people with high integrity are reliable, trustworthy, uphold moral principles, and consistent in realizing the characteristics into one’s daily activities without the feeling of shame to express what s/he believes. Commonly, a person with high integrity possesses the traits of intelligence, honest, resilience, trustworthiness, responsible, have self-control, and loyal. Integrity is an absolute requirement for a leader to run the organization effectively and efficiently to achieve the organization’s vision and missions. That said, competence, insight, quick and accurate decision-making, as well as uphold ethics and morality are required so that the success achieved is not solely for personal and organizational purposes but also integrated as all stakeholders’ success. Integrity can also be referred to as the commitment to accomplish a task correctly and ethically by upholding the values and norms that apply in the business environment without coercion to achieve optimum performance.

Integrity also correlates with credibility and trust; a leader with high integrity is supposed to be credible, trustworthy, and have a strong analytical ability to decide whether something is right or wrong, staying true to one’s principles, maintain confidentiality, encourage ethics when discussing business and work, as well as maintaining a commitment to conduct a follow-up on the agreed matters. Credibility comprises two essential aspects, i.e., skills and trust [23]. A leader will be left behind by one’s subordinates if they lose trust towards the leader and assume that the leader:

  • is incapable of providing solutions to problems that occur,

  • is immoral.

  • is inconsistent with one’s promises,

  • betrays the company,

  • no, commit to strive for the interest of members and the organization.

According to [24] Propose that to develop trust with the subordinates is to maintain the trust level. Moreover, to build trust is to:

  • ensure that all words said will be followed up by actions and avoid the impression of unclearness that can lead to hesitation in the subordinates,

  • conduct actions that go with the values of the organization,

  • Discuss with the subordinates if encountering any difficulties with one of the subordinates,

  • express ideas that represent the interest of the organization, particularly when discussing sensitive issues; be a good listener that can grasp the problems expressed by the subordinates,

  • express ideas as based on personal perspective, despite the ideas, maybe different with majority perspective,

  • avoid expressions and actions that give the impression of the “yes man”.

  • maintain the big idea and the main objectives; strive to direct the discussion towards the topic,

  • be responsible for one’s actions and the aftermath of the actions,

  • be sportive and not blame others, focus on the efforts to improve or resolve any problem.

According to [4] A leader who is strong in this element will be aware of their emotions, motivations, and weaknesses. They have an open heart to receive input from various sources. They gather what they know about themselves and their situation to gain a deep understanding of the possibilities that are open to them. Meanwhile, leaders who have low integrative capacity have poor focus, blinding them to information that is inconsistent with their understanding of their limited worldview. If they have little awareness of their motivations and moods, they will tend to misunderstand the motivations of others as well. They tend to deal with events one at a time, fail to see the relationship between them all, and are unable to extrapolate them into the future. In the world of work, a concrete manifestation of integrity is a good performance. Integrity and skill go hand in hand, which leads to better performance. In the absence of competence or skills, it is difficult to demonstrate integrity itself, and conversely, competence or skills without integrity will be difficult to form good performance. Integrity truly manifests itself through the success achieved by utilizing abilities and skills.

The previous aspects are the example of alternative actions to build trust in one’s subordinates. In [20] argued that integrity is a core value that must be applied by all staff regardless of the nature of their role to work honestly, openly, objectively in applying the values adopted by the institution for all staff. Moreover, [20] points out the positive and negative indicators of the variable of integrity.

Positive indicator of integrity:

  • consistently upholding the principles in a charter of guidelines of an institution

  • applying the values of objective neutrality, fairness, honesty, and uphold truth in accomplishing the daily tasks,

  • carrying out one’s tasks without personal intentions; prioritizing the accomplishment of tasks above personal gains,

  • making decisions based on objective and rational reasoning and resisting inappropriate political pressure,

  • not abusing power or authority,

  • always upholding the interests of the organization in every decision making even though the one has to make unpopular decisions,

  • responding quickly when unprofessional or unethical behavior occurs.

Negative indicator of integrity:

  • Interpreting principles and ethics carelessly without proper consideration,

  • seeking personal gain,

  • compromising too easily when faced with pressure,

  • being subjective to specific issues related to individual or group problems,

  • being unreliable,

  • potentially conducting dishonest acts.

In regards to integrity, [25] the key in carrying out the task of creating stability requires credibility and trust. That said, it is impossible to create stability without the trust gained from all stakeholders. Further, [25] also adds that the strategic characters that a leader must possess, include:

  • risk-taking;

  • innovate and improve to accomplish duties;

  • ability to analyze, such as to remodel something to make something more useful to achieve a better goal;

  • ability and courage to make decisions in situations where other people may not be able to think clearly.

A breakthrough to change or fix problems on a large scale and fundamentally is not a short-term oriented process; rather, it is a whole optimal process to understand the reasonings. It is not revolutionary, but it prefers a discourse of deep discussion and reflection. As elaborated by Abdullah, the essential values of character and behavior to develop to improve the performance of an organization/company, include competence, integrity, transparency, accountability, and togetherness. To realize these values, several elements are needed:


  • have the will and ability to adapt to changes in vision and mission

  • have high performance based on core values and strategic values

  • always be proactive, visionary, and adapt the outward-looking organizational approach

Human resources:

  • have a proportional portion of character, integrity, and competence

  • take the lead in finding solutions to the moral and intellectual problems of the nation

A leader’s integrity must be proven with one’s ability to formulate the appropriate policies. In [19] argues that the formulation of the appropriate policies requires people who have strong competence and integrity as well as the ability to maintain and develop professionalism, such as:

  • devote commitment to the task/work, idealism for work, and do not work just to earn.

  • grow and develop professionalism in the individual’s self

  • master every issue of one’s responsibility as a whole; find links within one issue and another that might occur, analyze the profit, loss, and risk of each problem.

  • understand the intention of stakeholders and adjust one’s duties and needs, as based on the stakeholders’ intention,

  • develop the organization the required competencies

The integrity of a leader must be equipped with attributes that support it. The summary of leadership attributes, as proposed by [26] are as follows:

  1. Determining the direction of the organization, with dimensions as follows:

    • Dimension: Understanding what is happening on the output, with indicators of (a) showing strong customer orientation; (b) thinking deeply and look carefully at the new possibilities that will emerge; (c) possessing the vision, skills, and resources needed to build networks outside of their home base; (d) utilizing resources for process innovation that can increase customer productivity; (e) consistently clarifying the clarity of organizational direction, and; (f) demonstrating full responsibility towards the environment without any compromise.

    • Dimension: Focusing on the future, with indicators of (a) showing confidence in the vision; (b) being able to explain easily to make the other party understand the organization vision, mission, and strategy; (c) being able to carry out mission quests appropriately; (d) taking action based on the inspiration of core values and beliefs; (e) defining, shaping, and utilizing core values; (f) visualizing the business through the customer’s perspective; (g) seizing the future through the involvement of careful observation, technology, future outlook, the flexibility of the concept, vision, strategic alignment, and by enhancing the image of the institution; (h) using strategic thinking.

    • Dimension: Turning the vision into action, with indicators of (a) aligning performance with the vision; (b) inspiring a shared vision; (c) asking others to seize for the future; (d) transforming strategies into tangible results; (e) inspiring the will for togetherness; (f) creating a conducive condition for success.

  2. Mobilizing individual commitment, with dimensions as follows:

    • Dimension: Building cooperative relationships, with indicators of (a) Carrying out the process of loving people; (b) Being able to work alone or with other people; (c) bearing a cheerful, supportive, and encouraging role rather than just judging, criticizing, and evaluating; (d) fostering cooperation by promoting common goals and building trust.

    • Dimension: Sharing of power, with indicators of (a) showing good faith and ability to share power and control; (b) listening more than speaking; (c) having good faith and the ability to involve others and to gain support with their participation; (d) using force with dignity; (e) empowering and engaging subordinates; (f) empowering others to do their best; (g) strengthening others by sharing strengths and information; (h) using a variety of different approaches to get the best out of each person; (i) creating opportunities for everyone to put all the maximum effort and best of their skills for optimal teamwork results.

    • Dimension: Managing attention, with indicators of (a) managing energy and changing one’s physical appearance; (b) using appropriate language to touch someone’s heart; and (c) evoking emotions, such as: generating confidence when frightened; gaining reassurance when in doubt, taking action when in doubt, gaining strength when weak, gaining skill when floundering helplessly, cultivating courage when feeling afraid, arousing optimism when feeling pessimistic and cynical, as well as gaining confidence that the future will be better.

  3. Generate organizational capability, with dimensions:

    • Dimension: Building organizational infrastructure, with indicators of (a) demonstrating the ability to unite formal leadership, resources, and unite activities harmoniously across various project clusters; (b) establishing the ad hoc leadership required by each cluster of projects; (c) aligning and ensuring the harmony between the organization and its strategy; (d) actively communicating information to all employees; (e) being fully committed to the long-term strategy by building an institution that can generate added value; (f) providing the necessary impetus and resources for continuous progress; (g) creating enthusiasm for all parties to support the achievement of business targets/goals.

    • Dimension: Utilizing diversity, with indicators of (a) showing tolerance for differences but zero tolerance for performance, standards, and values; (b) being not afraid of the forces below him; (c) integrating cultural, sector, and disciplinary differences; (d) resolving conflicts diplomatically and finding common causes; (e) advocating partnership and collaboration as preferred styles of behavior; (f) fully utilizing the skills of people, regardless of race, gender, ethnic origin, or culture.

    • Dimension: Deploy team; with indicators of (a) building teams to manage their projects; (b) cross-developing teams and bringing the best form from one place to another; (c) selecting the best available team members’ talents; (d) providing specific and frequent feedback that can help improve team performance; (e) supporting the team even when they fail; (f) building or creating culture; (g) maintaining culture; (h) having skills in analyzing cultural assumptions; (i) serving as a catalyst and manager of cultural change; (j) consciously promoting a clearly articulated and highly engaging culture.

    • Dimension: Making changes, with indicators of (a) realizing change and working as change agents; (b) demonstrating emotional reinforcement to manage anxiety caused by change; (c) serving as a catalyst and manager of strategic change; (d) seeking opportunities by complaining and challenging the status quo; (e) trying and taking risks; (f) learning from mistakes/failures and successes; (g) constantly looking for more straightforward methods to provide customers with better goods and services; (h) seeking opportunities in change is better than avoiding change; (i) undertaking change initiatives despite reactions in the form of pressure from external parties; (j) vigorously questioning the status quo; (k) using other inputs and ideas as triggers for change.

  4. Demonstrates personal character, with dimensions:

    • Dimension: Living the values by practicing what is being expressed, with indicators of (a) living the values of the work unit; (b) conducting self-reflection to test his comfort; (c) leading by example.

    • Dimension: Possessing and creating a positive self-image, with indicators: (a) having confidence as well as humility in oneself; (b) exhibiting an extraordinary degree of perception and insight into the realities of the world and groups or unit members; (c) demonstrating an extraordinary level of motivation to enable group members to overcome learning difficulties and create changes

    • Dimension: Possessing cognitive abilities and personal attractiveness, with indicators of (a) having open-mindedness and partnership relationships; (b) receiving information from outside the existing frame of mind; (c) imagining something new, with the possibility of leaving the standard print; (d) looking for opportunities to learn; (e) acting with integrity; (f) seeking for broad business knowledge; (g) training one’s insight by seeing things from various perspectives; (h) learning from mistakes; (i) being open to criticism; (j) possessing the willingness to learn science on one’s own, thinking through problems in new ways, and trying new things; (k) finding one’s challenges to move forward; (l) dealing effectively with complex, ambiguous, and contradictory situations; (m) looking for consideration of alternatives that may be contradictory.

Further, [26] summarize the dimensions of the survey results on Leadership Effectiveness as follows:

  • Dimension: Vision, with indicators of (a) creating and communicating a clear, simple, customer-focused vision as the direction of the organization; (b) thinking ahead, imagining a challenge, spreading ideas far ahead; (c) inspiring and energizing other people/parties to hold a firm commitment to the vision, grasping a hint of thoughts, and guiding by example; (d) updating the vision to better support the acceleration of changes that will have an impact on business performance if the changes are of necessities.

  • Dimension: Customer/focus on quality, with indicators of (a) listening to customers and setting them as a top priority to generate customer satisfaction, including internal customers; (b) inspiring and showing enthusiasm to perform the best in all sectors; (c) striving to optimally commit to meet quality standards for goods and services produced; (d) serving customers with a mindset and creativity as a good server.

  • Dimension: Integrity, with indicators of (a) maintaining a strong commitment to honesty and truth in every behavior; (b) realizing a commitment to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes; (c) implementing full compliance company policy to realize its commitment to compliance with ethical behavior; (d) taking action and behaving consistently the rules, gaining trust from other people.

  • Dimension: Accountability/commitment, with indicators of (a) aggressively setting and fulfilling commitments to achieve business goals; (b) showing enthusiasm and confidence to stand firm with his beliefs, ideas, and co-workers; (c) being fair and compassionate but is willing to make tough decisions; (d) showing firmness without compromise on one’s responsibilities to prevent environmental damage.

  • Dimension: Communication (efforts to influence), with indicators of (a) communicating openly, honestly, clearly, completely, and inconsistently inviting responses that allow different opinions; (b) listening effectively and looking for new ideas; (c) using facts and sound reasoning to influence and persuade; (d) breaking down barriers and building smooth cooperation between teams, functions, and strata/levels.

  • Dimension: A shared sense of ownership (without boundaries), with indicators of (a) being confident to share information without traditional boundaries and open to new ideas; (b) encouraging/promoting a shared sense of ownership of the team’s vision and goals/goals; (c) trusting others, being eager to take risks, and valuing freedom of behavior; (d) diligently practicing listening to others, being open to ideas originating from any places.

  • Dimension: Team building and empowerment, with indicators of (a) selecting talents of members, providing coaching and input or feedback to develop the potential of team members as optimally as possible; (b) delegating the necessary authority to all task forces, empowering the team to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently, especially for core personnel; (c) recognizing and rewarding achievements, creating a positive, conducive and comfortable work environment; (d) fully utilizing the differences of team members (culture, ethnicity, and gender) to achieve business success.

  • Dimension: Knowledge, expertise, and intellectuality, with indicators of (a) possessing the willingness to share functional, structural, and technical knowledge and skills; (b) demonstrating one’s broad business knowledge/understanding, having cross-functional and cross-cultural perspectives; (c) being able to make decisions with limited data by fully applying one’s intellectual abilities; (d) being able to quickly sort out which information is important and which is not important, understanding the essential matters from complex problems to be able to initiate action.

  • Dimension: Initiative and fast response, with indicators of (a) creating real and positive change, viewing change as an opportunity; (b) anticipating problems and finding a better way to take action more effectively; (c) rejecting/avoiding/eliminating “bureaucracy” and striving for brevity, simplicity, and clarity; (d) understanding and utilizing speed as a competitive advantage.

  • Dimension: Global thinking framework, with indicators of (a) showing strong global awareness/sensitivity and being comfortable in building diverse/global teams; (b) developing values and promoting the full use of global diversity and employment; (c) taking into accounts all global consequences of any decision making, proactively seeking global knowledge; (d) treating everyone with dignity, trust, and respect.

Further, [27] suggests that indicators of effective leadership in an era of dynamic and rapid environmental change are: (a) be able to move subordinates; (b) challenge the subordinates to produce outstanding innovations; (c) have charisma and use it effectively and efficiently; (d) encourage and facilitate subordinates to think rationally and be able to overcome all problems that arise in carrying out their duties; (e) create a proper working climate so that the subordinates feel like an integral part of their leader.

The integrity of the leader plays a very important role in preventing corruption in an organization/institution/company. In [28] explained the results of their research in a government institution that the integrity of the leader plays an important role in its function as a perpetrator of corruption prevention because it has the potential to weaken the prevention of corruption if it is not accompanied by strengthening organizational culture, internal control, and competence in preventing corruption. The programs that need attention to support the prevention of corruption are developing and strengthening leadership in an integrated manner regarding organizational culture, internal control, competence, and leadership as an instrument for preventing corruption. All these aspects in an integrated manner have a significant influence on preventing corruption. Without an increase in organizational culture, internal control, competence, and integrated leadership, corruption prevention tends to be ineffective.


5. Leadership that has high emotional intelligence

According to Goleman in [29] suggests that emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to motivate oneself to:

  • Able to deal with the pressure that can lead to frustration;

  • Able to control the will from within his heart not to exaggerate his pleasures;

  • Able to control his mood and keep it so that the stress that weighs on him does not interfere with the ability to think to produce the best solution;

  • Respect and care for others;

  • Always draw closer to God Almighty.

The research results of [30] show that EQ is the most decisive predictor of a leader’s successful performance in the workplace. Several other studies have shown that there is a positive relationship between leaders’ EQ levels and employee satisfaction, retention, performance, and income. In a later article in the Harvard Business Review, Goleman wrote that it is very important for leaders to have a high EQ to be successful; but that doesn’t mean IQ and technical skills are irrelevant, they are both entry-level requirements for executive positions. Hard skills tend to correlate with IQ, while soft skills have an association with Emotional Intelligence [31]. It is argued that hard skill approaches are less significant to success attainment in workplaces. Currently, some companies are in high demand for prospective employees who are competent in soft skills, although they have low hard skills; however, companies expect that the candidates’ hard skills can be improved through training. Hard skill improvement is not that complex compared to shaping a person’s character to meet the needs of a company or organization. Although hard skills are one of the important keys in workplaces, soft skills significantly determine the success of employees.

In general, Emotional Intelligence is a skill of a person to understand his or her emotion and other people’s emotion, resulting in adaptability. This notion correlates with soft skill concepts, where it is regarded as a characteristic of an individual that allows him or her to interact, socialize, and collaborate with others. The skills are essential for a leader to lead his or her subordinates. For instance, teachers are a leader in their small community at a school. Having high Emotional Intelligence will help teachers direct their students, especially in the current situation where all learning activities are online-based and the absence of emotional bonds between teachers and students is inevitable. Teachers’ presence, especially in elementary schools, is of paramount importance, since no technology or educational platform can replace teachers. Online learning oftentimes hinders the teachers from monitoring their students’ progress. This condition further emphasizes the significance of forming emotional bonds between teachers and students. This is crucial, specifically for elementary school teachers and pre-school teachers. Similarly, having high Emotional Intelligence contribute to the way a leader in a workplace-copes with their subordinates’ problems, ranging from the problems to comprehend vision, mission, and strategies of a company, limitations of systems and procedures, limited work hours, facilities, and working tools, and conflicts among workers. Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence can help their subordinates in providing coaching and counseling sessions to motivate their fellow workers and encourage them to formulate solutions. In [32] mentions several abilities that a leader should possess before providing training to his or her subordinates:

  • Abilities to listen and comprehend the opinion of subordinates

  • Abilities to monitor and identify potentials of subordinates

  • Abilities to provide impactful feedbacks

  • Verbal and written communication

In [27] proposes several aspects of Emotional Intelligence in a leader.

  • Demonstrating empathy

  • Considerate (to the surrounding and its dynamics)

  • Able to distinguish common interests and self-interests

  • Able to encourage and challenge their subordinates to come up with innovation and solutions to multidimensional crises

In [33] mention Leaders should have the high Emotional Intelligence to understand the characteristics of their subordinates, thus allowing them to identify and balance the needs of themselves and their subordinates in terms of cognition, action, and decision. Emotion is a short, strong reaction encompassing joy, excitement, surprise, anger, sadness, despair, disappointment in responding to an event or someone. A person’s feeling affects the performance of an individual or a group. On that ground, a competent leader should be able to manage the emotion of all team members. Leaders can help promote a positive atmosphere to the team by

  • showing enthusiasm

  • inspiring subordinates through motivational speeches, and

  • expressing optimism and confidence amid problems

Emotional Intelligence enhancement for subordinates needs to be performed through emotional contagion. This process occurs when the leader transfers and influences all subordinates or when a subordinate motivates other fellows. In some cases, expressing negative emotions, such as expressing anger and disappointment, can help leaders cope with irresponsible employees by criticizing inappropriate behavior. Nevertheless, the leaders should apply the approach with precaution.

In [33] describe the term “Emotional Intelligence” is the ability of oneself to understand and express his or her emotion, allowing the individual to take advantage and manage his or her emotion and other people’s emotion. Emotional Intelligence can affect the change in an organization. Further, Emotional Intelligence controls the emotional reaction of employees towards job insecurity and the way the employees cope with stressful situations. Emotional Intelligence involves the process of emotional regulation to control anxiety and other negative emotional reactions to result in positive emotions. Negative emotions are detrimental to the performance of employees. On that ground, emotion regulation and control are required to manage positive emotions at workplaces.

Almost all people have different skills in comprehending other people’s emotions by their facial expressions, although seven types of universal emotion can be identified from seeing other people’s faces regardless of race, culture, ethnicities, ages, sexes, and religions. Those emotions may cover joy, sadness, fear, surprise, anger, humiliation, and disgust. Understanding other people’s emotions are central to the communication process, establishing and building relationships, negotiating, collaborating, and many other managerial tasks. Effective communicators need to recognize emotions by seeing facial expressions. Reports have revealed that Emotional Intelligence, including identifying emotions from facial expressions, can be trained. For successful managers, Emotional Intelligence skills required for managing their subordinates involve:

  • Understand what people think and feel

  • Able to persuade and motivate team members

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Cooperative

In [33] argue that leaders need to take into account their subordinates’ feelings and respect their opinions; these are among the aspects of Emotional Intelligence. Leader-subordinate relationships are seen from mutual trust and respect and two-way communication. When implementing the approach of initiating structure behavior, leaders are urged to explain the responsibilities of the subordinates and everything that the leaders expect from them. Leaders are also demanded to develop communication channels and determining which methods are applicable to succeed in workplaces. Three adaptive abilities are integral to Emotional Intelligence [34, 35].

  1. Ability to evaluate and express emotions of oneself and others (verbal and non-verbal);

  2. Ability to control the emotions of oneself and others;

  3. Ability to utilize emotion in solving problems and in decision-making processes (e.g., flexible planning, creative thinking, giving attention, and non-directive motivation).


6. Summary

In the coming days, leadership seems to move toward a teaching organization in which it functions to foresee changes and diverse knowledge, skills, and abilities of human resources and enhance an institution’s performance. The momentum of the institution determines the success of an institution in the competitive, globalized era to change or adapt to its business or industrial environment. A leader is demanded to be responsible for directing every attempt to cope with issues and ensure the vision’s clarity. Further, a leader is required to conceptualize an organizational climate that promotes the employees’ independence and, at the same time, the employees aware of their responsibility. Involvement in strategic planning processes will cultivate the sense of belonging of employees. To further optimize the motivational process, one should consider the implementation of innovative leadership. This type of leadership effectively encourages employees, specifically in turbulent conditions; it focuses on products, processes, organization, communication, and collaboration. Provided in Figure 1 are the approaches to strengthen innovative leadership for survival solutions in turbulent situations. The contribution of the above discussion is expected to provide a reference for designing curriculum and training of leadership and guideline for similar studies.

Figure 1.

The Diagram of Innovative Leadership Strengthening for Survival Solution in.

6.1 Innovation

Charisma is essential for a leader to direct his or her subordinates in coping with turbulent situations. Further, charismatic leaders can facilitate their team members to reason in formulating solutions. Below are the tasks of leaders in dealing with problematic atmospheres.

  • Observing and monitoring threats and seizing opportunities to come up with new products, processes, organizations, communication systems, and collaboration to maintain and develop the current market, as well as open new market.

  • Establishing communication and collaboration to market new products and services to the internal parties to grow markets and get support (in the form of material supplies and new technologies) to the external parties. Opening new markets, developing the current market, and finding the right investors to create conducive atmospheres for the business.

  • Developing organizations through producing creative human resources with their sustainable innovation and new cultures to advance the competitiveness of the business.

  • Inspiring and motivating involved parties to keep innovating in every aspect, ranging from products, processes, organizations, communication, and collaboration to support business strategy implementations.

  • Determining the direction of all activities to find, produce, introduce, and implement innovations.

  • Following up on findings of potential innovations by elaborating development ideas and finding solutions to create new products that meet market demands.

  • Finding potential technologies to actualize innovation in products, processes, and organizations that fit market demands.

  • Continuously develop innovative ideas that support the success of business strategy implementations, including cost leadership, differentiation, and focus on creating competitive advantage.

  • Continuously inclined to take risks and motivated to find innovative solutions in implementing business strategies to attain the business’s goals.

  • Demonstrating openness in creative innovation and respecting freedom of expression.

  • Developing a well-structured organization that is following the interests of stakeholders in a balanced way and encouraging a culture of innovation.

  • Promoting harmonious interaction between leaders and subordinates

6.2 Integrity

Leaders with integrity can deal with problems, build trust, and integrate all interests of stakeholders by upholding morals and ethics. Provided below are the aspects of integrity that a leader should possess.

  • Having credibility, i.e., strong analytical skills to determine right and wrong, being steadfast, keeping information confidential, encouraging ethical behavior when discussing business and work issues, and committing to follow up on what has been agreed upon.

  • Being reliable, i.e., able to provide solutions and committed to pursuing the interests of team members and organizations.

  • Demonstrating honesty to prevent ambiguity and doubt and performing tasks according to the organizational values.

  • Being responsible for everything the leader has made, demonstrating sportsmanlike conduct, and focusing on everything that can be done for improvement.

  • Being objective and rational, prevent inappropriate political tensions and power abuses.

  • Acting quickly to cope with unprofessional or unethical issues, prioritizing the interests of the organization in every decision-making even though the leaders have to make unpopular decisions.

  • Cultivating professionalism by analyzing and accomplishing tasks as a whole and examining the possible profit and loss in every problem.

  • Understanding the intention of stakeholders and adjusting their duties and needs, developing the organization according to the required competencies, constantly improving knowledge, experience, and skills for better task execution.

  • Embracing the future through careful observation of the dynamics of the business environment, business operations, technology, views of the future, concept flexibility, strategic alignment, and strategic thinking to achieve strategic goals.

  • Preventing corruption through an integrated leadership capacity enhancement that covers the aspect of organizational culture, internal control, competence, and leadership as an instrument for preventing corruption.

6.3 Emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is central to coping with turbulent situations. The following are the significance of Emotional Intelligence in workplaces.

  • Emotional Intelligence enables a person to deal with pressure, manage emotion, and maintain the ability to produce the best solution, thus allowing the individual to be innovative.

  • Emotional Intelligence enables a person to appreciate and pay attention to others and to grow closer to God in keeping the best performance and spreading positivity for all.

  • Emotional Intelligence enables a person to interact, socialize, collaborate, and contribute to others.

  • Emotional Intelligence cultivates the ability to formulate solutions by providing coaching and counseling.

  • Emotional Intelligence motivates a person to devote to task completion, listen to other people’s opinions, and observe the behavior and potential of others, ensuring the best work outputs.

  • Emotional Intelligence instills empathy for others, thus enabling an individual to be aware of the surroundings and to collaborate with others in overcoming crises.

  • Emotional Intelligence helps leaders to motivate and instill self-confidence in their subordinates.

  • Emotional Intelligence helps leaders to have better management of emotions of themselves and others through emotional contagion.

  • Emotional Intelligence helps leaders to persuade and motivate others to formulate solutions and form collaboration.

  • Emotional Intelligence enables leaders to develop communication channels and determining which methods are applicable to succeed in workplaces.

6.4 Policies and measurements in facing turbulent environment

  • Demonstrating integrity to build trust in the internal and external environment.

  • Conducting intensive communication and negotiation to promote the participation of internal and external parties.

  • Protecting and empowering the internal resources of the business sector to be able to contribute optimally.

  • Collaborating with the internal and external environment.

  • Strictly implementing the institutional reform program by developing democratization and decentralization.

  • Developing and applying the concept of Emotional Intelligence, i.e., patience and persistence in dealing with a turbulent environment.

  • Empowering internal resources for the development of strategic productivity.

  • Establishing policies that support the business operation the dynamics of the environment to overcome turbulence.

  • Developing various approaches in formulating policies for the operation of the business or organization.

  • Establishing anti-corruption divisions.

The Diagram of Innovative Leadership Strengthening for Survival Solution in Turbulent Environment (Figure 1).

Turbulence Environment. By Soehari (2021).


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Written By

Iffah Budiningsih and Tjiptogoro Dinarjo Soehari

Submitted: 11 August 2021 Reviewed: 14 September 2021 Published: 12 November 2021