Factor Number 2 : Good Leadership:
Good Leadership is essential to the morale of the troops, by providing a vision and adequate resources, removing barriers, encouraging accountability. Leaders are special people. Within business, effective leadership has proven results, from the release of employees’ potential, to improved bottom line financial performance. Leaders can be pivotal to organisational change, pushing back boundaries and creating new ways of working. Leadership is very much about the ability to influence people by personal attributes and behaviours: skills are secondary.
Good leaders are followed chiefly because people trust and respect them. Leaders treat others with dignity, equality and fairness, live up to their commitments, and trust is thus engendered. They are sensitive to the expectations of the workforce and lead accordingly. They truly listen to others’ opinions, and take them in to account. This doesn’t mean they have to act on the suggestions, but, having listened with care, they are best placed to explain their rationale. By acting in this way, not being afraid of making tough, unpopular decisions, leaders will be respected, potentially at the expense of being liked.
What do leaders do for their teams? A good leader will set a framework and define boundaries for actions and behaviours, and therein allow co-workers full autonomy. The behaviours part of this is important. It’s right that a leader demonstrates and, if necessary, states what behaviours are appropriate and expected in an organisation. Leaders should keep people challenged, moving them on to achieve their potential and thus be successful in their own right, and as part of the collective success of the company.
Leaders should be concerned with talent retention, allowing employees to increase their employability. They should be given the opportunity to acquire new skills; encouraged to network with communities sharing the same interests, and hence develop and demonstrate their own expertise. They should feel they have a value in the job market and are paid on the right scale.
On a day to day basis the effective leader balances strategic thinking and planning, and additionally still allows enough time for, and gets involved in, implementation. Harvard Business School research suggests a good rule of thumb for this balance is 15% strategy and 85% execution. Getting involved in execution gives a leader an intimate knowledge of what they are expecting of others.
Leaders can support change by the outsourcing of innovation. People within an organisation can be, intentionally or otherwise, resistant to change. Utilising an external resource can bring internal staff out of their comfort zone. Universities are fantastic hubs for outsourcing innovation. Tapping in to this resource are gaining benefits.
Good leaders help their employees participate in online and offline networks more effectively. They see how these networks can bring forward ideas and deliver answers quicker; can facilitate different ways of working and are to be embraced to stimulate creative or effective thinking about core business issues.
How does a leader close a chapter in their career? They realise that nobody is indispensable and have put in place the right skilled, motivated, successful people, with the necessary systems and processes so that their own role becomes obsolete, and so they move on to their next challenge
On September 22 2011 I will share with you why a performance leadership programme is essential to the well being and success of the troop.