Thursday, 31 January 2013

What Makes a Great Leader?

Characteristics of Leaders There are lots of articles about that have been written on what makes a great leader and what the characteristics of successful leaders are. I am sure you know someone who was great was an intelligent and skilled individual who was great at their job and who was promoted into a leadership position and then sadly failed. You may also know someone who wasn’t the best at their job but had certain traits and abilities that enabled them to succeed when promoted into a leadership role. Some say identifying individuals who have the right leadership abilities is not a science! Personally I have a different view. So what characteristics do successful leaders have? • Integrity – They have integrity, they do what they say they will and are trusting of others too. • Vision – They know where they want their organisation to go and are able to communicate it and it explain to others • Goals – They break their vision into clear SMART goals • Team Working – They encourage working together as a team and empower their team to understand issues, create solutions and act on them! • Communication – They are constantly in touch with key individuals in the organisation and engage regularly with others on a face to face basis as well as via email and other means • Inspiration – They are someone that other employees look up to for direction • Ambition – They have ambition, both in terms of wanting to be a leader but also they constantly strive for improvement and success I have seen many leaders’ loose trust and credibility quickly by ignoring these fundamental ‘leadership rules’. In summary as a leader you need to be there for your staff, demonstrating trust and communicating with them whatever their role in the organisation.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Are you a new boss?

Have you been recently promoted or have you taken on a new role in a different company? If you have beware as it is very easy to come across as though the promotion or new role has gone to your head! I have had bitter experience of this, just because I am in a more senior position than my colleagues I must know more than them! Don’t fall into the trap that I did and follow these simple steps to make sure you manage your credibility and authority: 1. Don’t send an email to all employees saying ‘I’m the boss now!’. You need to communicate your new role and to make everyone aware, use ‘low key’ methods. Such as a simple paragraph in the next company newsletter, or an introduction at a team meeting. 2. Make a few small decisions quickly, e.g. set up a new agenda for team meetings but do not try and re organise the whole department in the first week. 3. Talk about your vision. But also ask your team, ‘what can I do to make you more successful?’ 4. If another employee is disappointed as they went for the same role as you but was unsuccessful then approach with caution. You need to let the person adjust to the situation that they were unsuccessful and then work with them to let them know that you want them to succeed and will coach and support them. Remember these summary principles and you won’t go far too wrong: DO- Take actions that demonstrates your credibility Support people going forward Ask for feedback DON’T- Start re-organising the business right away Forget to connect with your new peers and new boss Maintain too close a relationship with peers Build on the above steps you gain the confidence and respect from colleagues and peers and you will then have the foundations to be a great boss!