Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Quality 2 required for great Leadership

Whenever you see a successful business,
somebody has made a courageous decision.
(Peter Drucker)

Today, we shall look at Quality 2 required for Leadership, which has been extracted from an article produced by Business Link which set out the qualities you need to be a great Leader.

Quality 2 - A great Leader makes quick but considered Decisions that balance facts, instinct and the opinions of others.

Decision-making should be quick, flexible and informal, says Martin Sorrell, CE at advertising firm WPP. "This is not to say the process shouldn't be rigorous: run the analyses, suck up all the data, and include some formal process as well". "The only way to avoid making mistakes is to avoid making decisions", adds Sorrell; "Instead, learn from mistakes and listen to feedback."

Randy Komisar, partner at Investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers suggests creating a balance sheet, "where everybody around the table is asked to list points on both sides". Rather than giving judgements, contributors first outline the good and bad points relating to a decision. Once done, participants share their opinions and discuss the decision based on objective insights and personal judgements. "By assembling everyone's insights rather than their conclusions, the discussion can focus on the biases and assumptions that lead to the opinions." Komisar adds: "Listen to the little voice ... it's great to see a leader who will echo the little voice in the back of the room that has a different point of view - and thereby change the complexion of the discussion".

Instinct is also important, "but only when four tests are met" says McKinsey of McKinsey & Company. The familiarity test asks whether we have the experience in similar situations, because: "If we have plenty of appropriate memories to scan, our judgement is likely to be sound". The feedback test, questions the availability of reliable feedback in past situations, and whether the right lessons were learnt. The measured-emotions test asks if a decision evokes highly charged emotions which can unbalance judgement. And the independence test asks if we are "likely to be influenced by any inappropriate personal interest or attachments?". "If a situation fails even one of these four tests, we need to strengthen the decision process", argues McKinsey.

If you would like to work with me to help you find the 'Great Leader' within you, then please contact me at Nicholl Consultancy.

Until next time - be successful!