Developing and Understanding your Leadership Style
“The Magnetic Personality”, “Inspiring Others”, “Strong personality and Integrity”
When talking about leadership we often think in terms of leading others but leadership begins within. In order to succeed you first of all need to have self-leadership.This is about having your personal house in order before you can model these qualities for others. Self-leadership is about being comfortable and secure in who you are. The keys to leading yourself are:
- knowing your core values and not compromising them;
- being comfortable and secure within yourself;
- not taking yourself too seriously;
- keeping fit, having friends, hobbies, interests;
- respecting yourself –acknowledging your value;
- honestly accepting your strengths and weaknesses;
- recognising your passion or purpose and how you can add value to others;
Once you understand personal leadership you can think about leading others.Good leaders rise above the functional or management side of the role and start empowering those around them.Good leaders look beyond the functions of each role, genuinely respect their employees and foster a people centred approach to guide their people.The keys to leading others within your business are:
- realising that you set the tone for the organisation by modelling the values, energy and enthusiasm
- involving people in decisions - people take ownership of projects they are part of creating
- using positive examples and stories to reinforce what is making a difference to your business
- being involved, listening and ensuring your employees feel included
- empowering others to manage their roles but staying in touch with what is happening at all levels of the business giving you an overall perspective of what is important
- moving forwardin small achievable steps without losing sight of the big picture
- maintaining the vision and using that vision to motivate others
Many people are threatened if others around them keep learning and progressing.Good leaders encourage others to develop and succeed.Make your business a training ground for good leaders.Not only will this have a positive impact on your people and hence your business but people outside of your business will recognise the qualities within your team and respect your leadership.
When you are considering if it is worthwhile to invest in developing your people the risk is not that good people will leave but rather that bad people will stay. In saying this, you then have to deal with the bad.
Encouraging learning and success within your team allows everyone to progress.The keys to developing others are:
- building relationships that develop trust and self-belief
- encouraging questions from all levels of the team
- sharing your skills and knowledge with others – as you grow so do they
- encouraging initiative and confidence - even if it means people make mistakes
- talking deliberate decisions to instil a culture of leadership and learning across your business.
What do you think makes a good leader?
I did a Facebook poll asking “what makes a good leader?”
The most popular responses were:
- Ability to respect your followers and lead by example
- Someone at the front
- Supportive, organised and motivating and have an open door
- Someone who knows the answer to their own questions and support their team
- They should not have double standards or be hypocritical
- Be confident and inspiring
- A person who has an ability to extract intelligence from their staff to willingly empower them and have their respect
- Does not micro manage and has faith in their employees
- The team will run when they are not there, empower your team
I then started to ask the same question to local business owners, their response were:
Peter Cipollone, Manager
There are different types of leaders and, in varying degrees, the influence they exert determined by intrinsic or extrinsic drivers. Leadership that relies completely on extrinsic drivers such as fear of retribution is the most impure. Those subject to this leadership style feel “unsafe” and remain subject to it because of lack of choice. Pure leadership relies on intrinsic motivational drivers such as loyalty, respect and admiration. They foster a “safe” environment in which those they lead feel they can be themselves; their efforts acknowledged; their mistakes forgiven and their shortcomings accepted. To my mind, the underpinning characteristic that fosters this operational environment is humility. A humble leader is able to identify with the challenge at hand; is not threatened by the strengths in others which may be greater than his/her own. They empathise, listen and can work through disagreements only relying on their position of power as a last resort to settle a matter. Yes, leaders have to have a reasonable level of intellectual and social intelligence and competent in their field of endeavour but they don’t necessarily have to be at the top of the tree in these qualities. Finally, effective leaders “roll their sleeves up” step forward in time of challenge and in so doing engender purpose and excellence.
Bev Jordan, Senior Journalist
Leadership is about getting the best from the people around you. It’s about inspiring people to achieve beyond their expectations to deliver results. Leadership is about supporting people, listening to people and recognising the skills people have to contribute.
Jack Scott, Business Entrepreneur
I define leadership as one “having the capacity and insight in a given situation to engage the feelings and minds of individuals and/or groups so they feel compelled and enabled to achieve certain things or outcomes that otherwise would not be achieved.” The very essence of being able to “engage” to the extent that individuals or groups feel “compelled” or driven to do certain things is itself a complex matter. It draws on theories of motivation, communication, and organisational behaviour, and is very much dependent on the prevailing situation. Again, based on my own experience and research, being able to exercise and demonstrate leadership in a given situation is all about establishing “trust”; and trust for me is a function of ‘competence’ and ‘care.’
Others have defined or quoted leadership in the following terms:
“The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are whole heartedly supporting them.” Harold Geneen, former CEO, IT&T
“We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.” Lyndon B. Johnson
“The leader needs to be in touch with the employees and to communicate with them on a daily basis.” Donald Petersen, Former Chairman, Ford
“Once people trust the leadership, know they’re responsible, and are given the training, its astonishing what they can do for customers and ultimately
for the shareholders.” James Henderson, former CEO of Cummins Diesel Engines.
Elly Beck, Business Manager
Great leadership is evidenced by other people’s motivation to follow. A leader sets the direction and values for an organisation (or at a lower level their team/group). Their authenticity in ‘walking the talk’ sets the expectation for others to follow. Good leaders empower others to become leaders and actively encourage others to succeed. Great leaders communicate well, engender trust and make the individual feel special.
People follow great leaders because they want to NOT because they have to.
Effective leadership is not accidental it takes commitment and consistency at both a personal level and business level.Good leaders want to value add to those around them for the right reasons not for personal glory.How are you going to make sure, not only YOUR leadership is intact but you are developing your staff or teams around you?
If you would like to discuss any of these issues further or how you can help train and develop your staff in the art of developing a customer service experience please contact Erin Adams (02) 8624 3300