Thursday, 26 April 2012

Quality 6 of a Great Leader

Let's now examine the 6th quality required by a great leader, as extracted from an article by Business Link.

There go the people
 I must follow them 
for I am their leader.
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Quality 6 - A Great Leader shows People why they are important to realising the company vision, enables people to achieve goals by providing support, training and freedom and establishes trust.

By focusing on creating an open and nurturing company culture, leaders can inspire people to do great work, improve and communicate openly in the interests of the business - all with the ultimate goal of realising the leadership vision.

Manage and Nurture
Some management control is necessary to ensure that people properly undertake their roles.  But rather than control, great leaders inspire people to do great work by showing them why their roles are important to realising the company vision.  Connecting job roles and strategy also highlights areas where training and development could increase people's individual contributions to strategic success.

Direct communication ensures your vision and strategy are heard, understood and respected.  Open dialogue provides valuable employee insights, such as employee issues or ideas for improvement.  Leaders should listen and act when insights provide opportunities to improve company culture or business performance.

Be Honest and Clear
"Trust is a key factor" says leadership author Warren Bennis; "honesty and candour at the top helps. When executives speak their minds, they encourage their peers and subordinates to do the same".  Bob Sutton, from Stanford University, adds that leaders should "come clean", even when there is bad news, and be clear with the signals they send out.

Recognise People
A government-funded survey found that 61% of employees questioned said they wanted to work for leaders that give credit for good ideas.  And an Economist study, "Innovation: Transforming the way business creates", found that the best way to encourage innovation is through "public recognition by leaders". Recognising people and achievements not only boosts employee motivation and trust - it spurs innovation too.

If you would like to examine your leadership qualities, then please contact me through Nicholl Consultancy.

Until next time - be successful!