Companies in the western world have had a preoccupation (and many still do) with business leaders being superheroes, macho, bombastic and bullish.
It is not surprising that this image puts a lot of people off aspiring to lead. Why would you want to be seen as insensitive and ruthless?
But this is not what leadership is about – and outdated traits such as these can only lead to a toxic, demoralised environment.
Traditional old-style leadership – that of force, hierarchy and competition – produces a workplace which is constraining, hostile and heavy. There are low-levels of trust, people are more guarded and a business is more likely to under-perform.
This style of business leadership saw a change in the beginning of the 21st century, with a focus on social and environmental responsibility. Leadership is now not about cogs and wheels, but about co-creating with people. It employs inspiration, vision, collaboration and empowerment to get the best out of the workforce.
The focus has moved away from the notion that the top layer of the hierarchy have all the ideas, to the realisation that a business’s strength lies in all of its people.
The way I coach enables leaders to harness this by influencing, motivating and engaging their people.
With leadership in business, you get the best results out of people by setting a clear direction, providing clear expectations and then instead of telling people how to do things, allowing them to do it their way as long as they deliver on the agreed outcomes. This encourages and energises people.
Perfecting Business Leadership Is A Personal Journey
The leaders I coach go on a personal journey to achieve this. This journey is full of challenges and tests, but the outcome is fulfilling and invigorating. Good business leadership is an honour and a privilege.
Leaders learn to put aside their ego and enable people to be their best. This in turn can make co-delivering your organisation’s vision and outcomes successful and sustainable.
The biggest lesson I have learnt, and one of the things that inspired me to coach leadership in business is that people do not respond well to being made to comply. Nor do they like being told what to do. We all work better when we understand the whole picture and how we can make our contribution.
A business operates significantly better when time is made to develop people, to ask for their opinion and above everything, to foster two-way communication.
Of course it is important for a business to set targets, goals and standards – but approaching this with empathy, collaboration and motivation achieves a satisfied team and a successful organisation.
Monday morning and I am pleased to say I am featured in the telegraph under the lifestyle and wellbeing section, if you have the actual paper then you will probably not miss it with the size dedicated to the picture of myself, you can read it online at the telegraph
It’s the end of the week. Taking a look at her action list, Operations Director Frazzled Freda notices it’s not got any shorter. In fact, it’s got longer – even though she’s finally managed to complete a number of priority tasks. What’s been happening? First, there was the conversation with her second in command, Ian.…
In the second of my blogs about finding your identity as a leader, I want to talk about confidence. Something recently-promoted Operations Director Frazzled Freda had in abundance in her former lead scientist role, but which seems to be eluding her in her new position. What’s gone wrong? Let’s take a look back at Freda’s…