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Six leadership dos to minimise derailment

In some ways, leadership is like travelling by aeroplane. Whilst turbulence is normal, it requires an experienced hand to avoid any major issues and confidently steer everybody to the intended destination.
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That’s why leadership is so important within an organisation. In fact, according to YouGov, 47 per cent of people believe it is key to being a good employer.

So what are the leadership traps to avoid to see success in your leadership role? Strengthscope ® have listed five common ‘dos’ to make your leadership journey successful.

(1) Communicate a clear vision

In the same way you wouldn’t start a plane journey without knowing exactly where you are going, how long it will take and what time you can expect to arrive, leaders need to establish a vision, mapping out the achievements and milestones the organisation will see in the next year five or even ten years.

However, once you have established this, let your employees and stakeholders know to ensure everybody is on the same page. That way, your staff can work out how they can contribute and become part of the journey. Remember, “People need purpose…it makes them fly.”

(2) Understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses

“Imposter syndrome” certainly isn’t a made up condition. Some extremely successful actors, writers and even managing directors have all reported that they feel they’ve tricked everyone into believing in their success and they could be be rumbled at any moment! When this happens, some leaders will try to take on the persona of the leader that the company or their boss wants to see.

This often causes leaders to act outside of personal integrity, which causes them to lose the respect of their employees. It’s best to know yourself, to be honest about who you are, your strengths and weaknesses and what you stand for. You can then learn how to develop your own management style. Remember – it’s okay to be imperfect!

(3) Delegate appropriately

The subject of delegation has many pitfalls within itself. Not delegating effectively can be detrimental to the effectiveness of your leadership. Here are ways we’ve see delegation done incorrectly.

• Not delegating at all because you believe nobody can do a task as well as you can;
• Not being clear on what you want and providing vague instructions; and
• Not checking in on the progress until the last minute, leading to panic and late nights in the office!

Effective delegation is the key to creating a cohesive and effective team that provides maximum productivity.

(4) Be agile

As we progress though life, our context and the people around us will change. It’s important to be able to adapt, picking the right strength to use in the right situation at the right time. Keep in mind the common phrase “what’s got you here won’t necessarily get you there,” as leaders can be tempted to just “do more” of what got them into their leadership position in the first place.

For example, a candidate running for prime minister will have to employ a different skillset for when he’s elected to office. It’s time to get agile in using your strengths, so you can choose the relevant strength to use in the relevant situation at the relevant time.

(5) Make it your business to understand your business

In modern organisations, particularly large corporate organisations, playing politics is just a fact of life, but this is nothing to criticise or reject. To be successful in a leadership role, leaders should make it their first priority to find out who within the organisation cares about what, who has influence and which parties can “make or break” their success.

In a way, leadership is a balancing act in managing and delivering expectations of those with influence, however, you should use these expectations to align with your own ambitions where appropriate.

This article was inspired by Strengthscope ® which helps organisations achieve peak performance by optimising employees’ energy and strengths.

HR is one of the hot topics discussed at the FD Surgery Manchester in November. Find out more here.

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