The business of leadership
Do people’s faces light up when you come in to a room, or when you leave it?
Perhaps the bigger question is how many of us would actually notice, and be able to give an honest answer to the question.
Our own self-awareness of our impact upon others has a growing importance for those of us who are keen to develop our emotional intelligence as leaders.
The competence of leaders is clearly under the spotlight again, as the majority of organisations in the public sector strive for business transformation. Authentic leadership has a real part to play in achieving change.
Getting the right balance between national and local political priorities, and enabling the business to deliver high quality services to local people is complex.
Often, the culture within our complex hierarchical organisations can be a significant barrier to delivering the lasting changes needed.
The game plan has changed from managing corporate fiefdoms to working across networks of people, internal and external to the organisation. Many of the traditional rules of leadership that have worked in the past are becoming redundant. Some would argue that the role of a manager is to maintain the status quo, through planning, controlling, and maintaining consistency.
By contrast leaders who build effective relationships and alliances and are more likely to be judged on their ability to drive and effect change; and create an environment where everyone can deliver to their full potential. So, effective leadership requires increased self-awareness, the ability to lead and influence, and deliver results through lasting and beneficial change.
Too much time is spent away from the core business in strategy meetings dreaming up new ideas to make target. Benchmarking, looking out for best practice, and seminars to learn what others have done.
Replace this with a more common sense view that suggests if you study the organisation, and get real knowledge about what is happening around the patch, rather than relying upon performance reports, and project updates, leaders might actually be able to make a difference by helping colleagues at the front line to get the job done more effectively. Not by issuing new policies and procedures, but by spending time studying and understanding what gets in the way of getting the job done and what best meets customer demand.
Once you understand this, then you can really make a difference as a leader by removing barriers and blockages to effective performance.
However, you cannot to that from the comfort of your office. You have to be directly connected to the sharp end on a regular basis. This is not about a back to the floor event; it’s about systemically changing the notion of corporate leadership.
For some this will require a long hard look at their own leadership style and sphere of influence within the organisation; for others it may be more about creating capacity to make a more effective contribution.
So, returning to the question of leadership, next time you walk in to a room be more aware of the impact that you are having, and you will have started your journey towards improving your approach to leadership.
We help leaders to purposefully reflect upon their current challenges, and identify practical and pragmatic ways of getting balance back into the demands upon your life, and delivering positive results in life and work.
Our one to one support will help you to cut through to the nub of your personal challenges and help you to facilitate a way forward that will give you: –
- Clarity around the key business issues that you are facing and a clear plan to tackle them
- New capabilities, and capacity to meet future challenges
- Greater personal job satisfaction
- Strategies to deal more effectively with difficult people or situations in your working life
- Interim capability to enable you to achieve your objectives