Firstly, what is leadership? Well, there are various definitions and I am sure you have read and been inspired by some of them. In this context and put simply;
- leadership is a “one to many” relationship
- as opposed to the “one to one” relationship of management.
There are many different styles of leadership, all effective in their own way. Whilst business generally seems to be improving, we are still experiencing difficult economic times. Leadership is no longer just about simply delivering your Vision to the team, then driving the results through them and re-enforcing the message when things need to get back on track. “What else is there?” I hear from the middle of the audience somewhere.
Well, effective leaders also need to be aware of their people, to take a genuine interest in them and to respect them. A culture that promotes not only productivity, but also things like recognition, innovation, and a sense of stability.
Biggest mistake number one is thinking that everybody in your organisation, however big or small is motivated by the same style of leadership. Believe it or not, we all have our own way of working, individual styles, no one style being better than another, no right or wrong, simply different. Therefore, what one member of the team may find inspiring and exciting, another may find reckless or too left field. Working within very tight frameworks some may find re-assuring and productive, others will find this restrictive and frustrating. The reality is that organisations need a good mixture of working styles to be really effective. In other words they become complementary as opposed to working against each other. The important thing is to recognise this within your team and adapt accordingly. Adapting is not easy in the leadership context but it can be done, it just takes more effort and practice to do the things that do not come naturally.
The second biggest mistake is thinking that simply driving results is the only requirement of a leader. Again, I hear from the middle of the audience; “but as a leader I have to deliver results!” Yes you most certainly do, however, how would you like to deliver even better results by being aware that remaining open, seeking counsel and exploring your Vision with your team(s) is also very important. Or that getting the buy-in from the organisation or team will deliver far greater results. For example; explaining the rationale behind the Vision, being structured in your messaging to the team and keeping the dialogue going whilst also encouraging the team. Then, drive the results, address quickly any problems and give praise where it’s due, don’t assume the pay packet is all the praise they need.
Obviously there is a lot more to discuss here, more meat for the bones, but hopefully by recognising the kind of leaders we are, recognising how empowering our differences can be and adapting to certain situations, we can become better ones or the leaders we always wanted to become.
Please also feel free to have a look at the services on my web site; they could help you transform your leadership performance.
Thanks for reading and until next time, whatever you do keep taking action in your business.