Much has been written about leadership over the years, including what makes a good leader, what makes a poor leader and the impacts they have on their people.
Yet while leadership has evolved and different styles have come and gone as trends have changed, the core characteristics and traits of good leadership have remained the same.
In business, strong leadership is critical.
In today’s consumer-driven, instant demand, brand-conscious society, businesses can survive only by building teams that are accountable, trusting, resilient, proactive, and passionate about living by their organisation’s vision and values.
In his 2008 book, Tribes, leadership and marketing guru Seth Godin said that “great leaders don’t water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realise that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever be.”
This sentiment was built on a year later by motivational speaker and business consultant Simon Sinek, who wrote in his book, Start with Why, that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.
Having that clarity of purpose and being able to get your people to buy into it, lies at the core of great leadership.
Every effective leader has a compelling vision that attracts others. They also have a clarity of purpose in progressing toward that vision.
And they are able to express their vision clearly to their people, to bring them along on the journey and keep them focused on the end goal.
In order to become this type of leader, there are several behaviours that managers can learn and develop.
How Behaviour Influences Leadership
Good leadership behaviours are grounded in managing the social and emotional reactions of others.
While empathy is critical to great leadership, it’s actually compassion that will help you to tune into your team members on a deeper level.
Unlike empathy, compassion creates emotional distance which enables leaders to gain insight into how your people see and perceive situations, and also the personal circumstances that surround them, so you can better understand their stresses and be better equipped to take the right form of action.
Great leaders are also able to quickly change course and help their team to evolve when circumstances change, or new information comes to light.
Being flexible and adaptable isn’t about continually changing your mind, shifting the goalposts or changing direction.
It’s more about keeping the end goal in mind and doing the right thing, at the right time, so you can achieve it.
Encouraging people to adopt and develop a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset, will help to establish a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation, as well as empowering your team to take risks without fear of failure.
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Be a Coach, Not a Manager
Leaders who adopt a coaching mindset usually tend to get the best out of their people when compared to those who take a more autocratic approach to people management.
By taking the role of a coach, rather than that of a manager, you will more likely create an active partnership with your people, establishing team goals and a shared vision about how they will be achieved.
This type of relationship helps to build trust, understanding and respect for others, as you are empowering the team to get things done, influence the process and make decisions that everyone signs up to, rather than telling them what they need to do.
“I have also had the opportunity to work with Fiona through the local CIPD branch network. Fiona has a very calm, measured and thoughtful style which has suited me perfectly through a period of ongoing change and transition, bringing excellent results. Thank you, Fiona!” Gill, MCIPD
Effective leaders play a critical role in the success of any organisation.
Although there are many different leadership styles, the core attributes of leadership remain the same.
These are all behaviours which can be identified and developed, to ensure that the leadership at all levels of your organisation is as effective as it can be.
How FP Training Can Help
By drilling down into what is holding your organisation back when it comes to the performance of your leaders, we can tailor a bespoke, measurable solution to help unlock the full potential of your business.
To discuss any of the issues or ideas raised by this blog or find out more about how our services can help your leaders to develop and grow, get in touch today.