Hints & Tips Blog

Good leadership – what does it look like? – Part Two

Last time we looked at a few of the skills necessary to become a good leader. Like most things, however, leadership is a balancing act and one size rarely fits all.

Every team is different and requires different approaches to reach its full potential, and for every team member to be at their best too. There will be different issues that you need to deal with depending on the individuals you are working with and the industry you’re working in. That said, there are certain themes that are common to improving performance across most contexts and teams.

Embed a sense of purpose in the team
COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandburg, says “leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence”, in short, what Ms. Sandburg is saying is that it’s not all about you. Your role is to bring out the best in your team and to develop in them a clear sense of purpose and desire to achieve results in the business beyond what they are directly asked to do.

You don’t have to be ‘charismatic’ to be effective
It’s not who you are, but what you do that matters. Recent research has proven that leaders’ personalities have very little to do with their success, it’s all about their behaviours. Being able to give a rousing speech may have some short-term impact on the team, but none of that matters if it’s all you have to offer. What’s more important is that you give a clear sense of direction and guidance to everyone, that you are consistent, act as a good role model for day-to-day behaviours and admit your own mistakes. All of these qualities will have a far bigger impact on your team than a charming personality alone.

You don’t have to have all the answers
Your role as a leader is not to know everything and have a monopoly on great ideas, but to foster an environment in which great ideas are produced and acted on by your team. Some of the best ideas are going to come from the people on the ground, who deal with customers day-to-day. Your role is to encourage and support this, enable good ideas to be actioned and give people the confidence to step forward.

It’s ok to change your mind
When events unfold rapidly and we’re subject to continual change, making a decision and sticking to it is not always the best approach. New facts or evidence coming to light, better solutions being suggested, changes in context or environment all mean it may be better to adapt and recalibrate than doggedly stick to your guns. While continuous U-turns should be avoided, regularly assessing and analysing our approach and being brave enough to admit when course corrections are needed, will actually enhance confidence in you as a leader.

This list is a good start, but by no means exhaustive. To learn more about our Business Leadership programmes, or if you’re interested in leadership mentoring please contact Rachel on 07778 840 742 or email: Rachel.hannan@bhp.co.uk


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