Great People Grow with Good Leadership

Leadership comes in many styles.

Some good, and some well, let’s just say not so good.

I would like to focus on this topic, by exploring leadership in an open format, and hopefully along the way, help inspire and influence those already in a position of leadership, as well as help shape those future leaders to come.

Before you start

About this post:

  • 10 – 20 min average reading time
  • Suitable for beginner through to advanced

What you will gain reading this post:

  • Understand what is Leadership
  • Be aware of different Leadership styles
  • Determine what is Good and Bad Leadership
  • Examining yourself in Leadership
  • A challenge to undertake if you are in a Leadership position

What you can do to help support:

  • Like, comment and share this article
  • Follow this blog to receive notifications of new postings

Now, let’s get started.

What is Leadership?

Let me begin by asking you the following:

  • What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word leadership?
  • Is it a term you respect, aspire to be, or have problems with?

The definition below is how I imagine most people think about leadership.

You refer to people who are in control of a group or organisation as the leadership.

As defined in the Collin’s Dictionary

The issue I have with the above definition is the word control.

Control of an organisation, place, or system is the power to make all the important decisions about the way that it is run.

OR

If you have control of something or someone, you are able to make them do what you want them to do.

As defined in the Collin’s Dictionary.

The definitions above invoke a negative connotation, and are not good practises of leadership, they have been creating challenges for quite some time.

I believe the definition below is a much better definition

  • It’s a suitable way to understand leadership
  • It is more qualities/actions focused rather than control/manipulation focused
  • They can be effectively measured.

Leadership refers to the qualities that make someone a good leader, or the methods a leader uses to do his or her job.

As defined in the Collin’s Dictionary

Now let’s further explore these qualities.

What are the different qualities?

Quality

Insight

Reflection

Awareness

Self Aware

Self-awareness is the ability to recognise self as an individual separate from the environment and others.

Others Aware

The ability to perceive a situation and/or individual based on fact, being concerned and well informed about a particular situation.

Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses?

Are you able to remove personal feeling from the situation to get a genuine understanding? 

Are you able to determine when you are not in the right mindset?

Do you have strategies for managing yourself when you are not in the right mindset?

Are you able to detect when people are not in the right mindset?

Do you have strategies for managing people when they are not in the right mindset?

Foresight

The ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future.

Are you able to look past the present?

Do you prepare knowing there will be change?

Do you collect data to help provide more accurate predications?

Do you move with the times, and at the right time?

Collaboration

The ability to work with people to produce an outcome.

Do you have trust in your colleagues?

Are you open and seek input from people?

Do you seek input not only from peers, but experts?

Do you involve people that are junior?


Do you seek and engage outsider input?

Do you validate outcomes with people?

Do you invest in people?

Trust

The ability to be reliant and confident by showing integrity, strength, action, honesty, etc., as a person or while in a situation.

Do you have trust in people?

Are you reliable and confident?

Do people trust you, do they believe you are reliable and confident?

Do you guide others with their best outcome in mind?

Are you transparent with people?

Humility

The ability of having a modest or low focus on self importance.  It is authentic and genuine, and keeps the ego in check.

Do you value your own opinion above others opinions?

Do you give praise to those doing the task?

Do you perform actions with the expectation of gaining a reward?

Do you genuinly care about others growth or the effects it has on how you are percieved? 

Do you look for, acknowledge and reward the silent achievers?

Communication

The ability to impart or exchange information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

How do you share your knowledge?

Can you communicate to different audiences?

How is your presentation skills?

Do people understand the imformation you impart after communicating it?

Listening

The ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.

Do you interrupt others?

Do you feedback what you understood?

Do you take notes?

Do you give your undivided attention to people?

Integrity

The ability of being honest, having and adhering to strong moral principles.

Do you stay true to your morals?

Do you do what is right?

Do you challenge toxic behaviour?

Do you remain honest behind closed doors or when pushed in the opposite direction?

Are you transparent with people?

Coaching

Is the ability to develop a person through supporting them in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.

Do you invest in people?

Do you hiring people and develop them?

Do you support learning?

Do you give people experience?

Have people you have coached been promoted?

Non Abusive Authority

Is the ability to show authority without invoking abusive behaviours such as fear, guilt etc

Do you accept responsibility?

Do you support failure?

Do you have supporting reasons for decisions?

Are people honest with you?

Do people approach you?

Are you a micromanager?

Results Oriented

Is the ability of a person that focuses on outcome rather than process used to produce a result.

Do you make the vision clear?


Do you make the mission clear?


Do you remove roadblocks and red tape?

Intellectual Authority

Is the ability to have the authority of arguments that prevail by virtue of good reasoning and do not depend on coercion or convention.

Do you have factual support for your reasoning?

Do you address the reasoning of other people?

Pragmatic

The ability to deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Do you think outside of the box?

Do you enhance processes that interfere with practicality?

Do you work with constraints while analysing ways to make progress?

Conflict Resolution

The ability to interact through informal or formal processes that two or more parties use to find a peaceful solution to their dispute.

Do you instigate resolution?

Do you seek resolution?

Do you understand the conflict you are trying to resolve?

Persuasion

The ability or process of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do an action based on believe of the benefits to all.

Do you understand what the persons concerns are?

Do you understand what the persons trying to achieve?

Do people understand what will become achieved?

Do you understand how you can support people?

Conceptualisation

The ability or process of forming a concept or idea of something.

Can you see what others cannot?

Can you understand concepts with a limited amount of details?

Can you clearly articulate your concept?

Can you provide data to back your assumptions and support the concept?

Stewardship

The ability of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organisation or property.

Do you take ownership of what you have been given to produce?

Do you grow people to take care of it while you are unavailable?

Do you empower others be able to steward?

Empathy

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Do you understand what people are feeling and going through?

Have you had training to understand mental illness?

Do you support those in difficulty?

Passion

The ability to have a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

Do you care about what you are doing?

Are you fullfilling your emotional needs?

Do those around you sense your passion?

Do you spread enthusiasm?

Commitment

The ability to dedicate to a particular organization, cause, or belief, and a willingness to get involved.

Do you believe in what you are doing?

Do you hold yourself accountable?

Are people working with you commited?

Positivity

The ability to action and ensure the presence of bettering a situation, while matching this with attitude.

Do you keep a positive attitude?

Do you work towards bettering the environment?

Do you work towards bettering the culture?

Are people around you aware of your positivity?

Innovation

The ability to change and takes attention and resources away from efforts to achieve short-term goals.

Do you work towards strategic goals?

Do you understand what people are trying to achieve in short term goals?

Do you have a strategy and roadmap?

Diplomacy

The ability to recognize and value differences in order build social capital and form trustworthy relationships with other parties, that requires honesty and respect.

Do you respect people?

Do you show respect to people?

Do people trust you?

Do you over promise and under deliver?

Do you respect opinions and information that is different from your view?

Do you know how to perform stakeholder management?

Are you transparent with people?

Resilience

The ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with disruptive changes and adapt.

Does the environment and atmosphere control your mood?

Are you open to change your tactic or strategy to deal with a situation?

Are you able to manage pressure pushed onto you?

Are you able to separate your feelings from the situation?

Do you provide clear expectations when dealing with situations?

Freedom

The ability to support free reign within boundaries that have been set, according to best judgment.

Do you set clear boundaries and expectations?

Do you micromanage?

Do you allow people to work how they see fit?

Do you support flexible working?

Flexibility

The ability to modify their style or approach in response to uncertain or unpredictable circumstances.  To be able to adapt to changes as they come, overcome challenges, while still achieving their goals.

Do you support flexible working?

Do you modify your tactic, strategy and roadmaps to support circumstances?

Do you achieve results?

Do you hold people accountable, including yourself?

Praise

The ability to praise people that drives and motivates people to continue doing the kind of work you want to see. The power of praise in the workplace is very important.

Do you promote people through praise?

Do you elevate people to be better visible?

Do you praise the silent achievers?

Do you offer rewards?

Do you support and activly promote?

Do you invest in people?

Tactful

The ability to deliver a difficult message in a way that considers other people's feelings and preserves relationships.

Do you know how to deliver difficult messages, both from you or passed down through you?

Do you burn bridges?

Do you create conflict?

Are you transparent with people?

Do you treat people with respect?

Social

The ability to manage both perspectives and self-awareness needed to drive both business and social impact.

Do you interact with people, that are not just your peers?

Do people know who you are and approach you?

Do you work on building a culture?

How are you perceived?

What do you think about the leadership surrounding you? do those leaders:

  • Inspire / Encourage / Grow / Invest in / Respect / Trust you?

What are different Leadership styles?

Here are leadership styles that create and promote good qualities.

Alignment can be more than to just one, however your likely to find a strong alignment to one while having a softer alignment to multiple.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership occurs when the leader’s main goal and responsibility is to provide service to their people. A servant leader focuses on the people that are directly below them, rather than the company as a whole.

Strategic leadership

Strategic leadership is a leader’s ability to visualize, plan, lead, and make the best out of the resources they have to execute strategies efficiently and successfully. They marry their strategic plan to their strategic management.

Affiliative leadership

An affiliative style of leadership puts people first, concentrating on creating a harmonious working environment and building emotional bonds. The affiliative leadership style requires lots of empathy and the ability to build relationships through a range of communication styles.

Coaching leadership

Coaching leadership can be characterized by collaboration, support, and guidance. They are focused on bringing out the best in their teams by guiding them through goals and obstacles. This leadership style is very much opposite to autocratic leadership, which is focused on top-down decision making.

Bureaucratic leadership

Bureaucratic leadership is a common form of management in which leadership is based upon fixed official duties and adherence to a system of rules. … Leaders are subject to a system of behavioral and technical rules that define the scope of their authority, dictate certain actions and constrain certain actions.

Cross-cultural leadership

The act of guiding, supporting, motivating, and shaping the way people think globally is called cross-cultural leadership.

What style are you aligned to?

Servant leadership is my favourite style. Where I find myself least drawn to is Bureaucratic leadership.

Servant Leadership is what I am particularly passionate about, and what I have aspired to grow into over the years. While seeking and growing my understand and capabilities in other leadership styles, in particular Strategic and Coaching.

How can you measure Leadership?

There are many well written articles that discuss the benefits of measuring leadership.

Here are some links to articles that articulate benefits as well as some strategies for measuring.

Some of the best leadership I have experienced, understood the importance of measuring themselves, and activity took it upon themselves to gather accurate outcomes.

Let’s explore some of these measures

Engagement

  • How supportive are those around you to the vision/mission you are trying to achieve together, and do those around you understand what you are trying to achieve together?
  • Do you spend time with those around you, not just other leaders?
  • How do you treat others, and how do others treat you?
  • Are you supporting those around you, and do those around you feel supported?
  • Do you coach/train/invest in those around you?
  • Are you producing good leaders?

5 Personal Benefits of Employee Engagement – Decision Wise

These are all questions you need to ask yourself on a regular basis.

  • Engagement is personal more than professional.

Lack of engagement is a measure you can gather through sources such as surveys, but for it to be effective you must have and demonstrate leadership qualities, otherwise you won’t receive honest and accurate results.

Growth

  • Is your area showing employee growth, or are those around you leaving?
  • Are people being promoted?
  • How are people’s attitudes, are they passionate?
  • Do people feel invested in, are you growing people helping them to achieve their goals, along the journey?

Helping people achieve their goals is very important, I have been fortunate to be able to coaching team members, while ensuring that their career goals are addressed, this has included supporting people restart their careers as well as change their careers and grow in their current career.

Team building is something that I value and strongly believe in. 

When recruiting it is important to build a team with foundation built on good culture and attitude. Technical capability is important but should not be the focus, when building up a team look for team members that are positive and willing to learn, have a can-do attitude and are flexible and you want to grow and invest in.

Feedback

  • Do you action feedback?
  • How is the customer experience?
  • How are your employees moral?

Trust, Integrity and Honesty is crucial in order to gather feedback through sources such as 1:1’s, and you must have and demonstrate leadership qualities. Once you have gathered the feedback it is important to them demonstrate how you are going to address it and follow through, doing so will grow your customer experience, employees moral and overall health of the people you work with.

What Leadership flaws should you avoid?

I encourage you to read through this with an open mind, and if you identify with any of these, to see them as learning opportunities.

Inferiority

Insight

Reflection

Indecisive

The lack of ability to make decisions quickly and effectively, resulting in not providing a clear and definite result.

Do you have the knowledge required to make decisions?

Do you become a bottleneck, or do you invest in people to decide in your absence? 

Do you sit on the fence, or hold back from making decisions?

Stubborn

Having determination to not change your attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

Does you ego drive your behaviour?

Can you admit and accept fault?

Do you prevent progression due to not wanting to back down?

Blame others

To blame a person for something and hold them responsible for something negative that happened.

Do you accept responsibility for the outcomes?

Do you throw people under buses?

Do you misuse or misrepresent information?

Poor Delegation

Under Delegate

Not delegating of an assignment or authority to another person to carry out specific activities.

Over Delegate

Always delegating of an assignment or authority to another person to carry out specific activities

Do you trust those around you and believe in their capabilities?

Do you always offload all your work?

Do you invest in people growth and capabilities?

Over reactive

To respond emotionally or forcibly more than is justified.

Do you attach to much emotion to your situations?

Do you take situations personally?

Do you envy people?

Bias

An inclination or prejudice for or against a person, especially in a way considered to be unfair.



Who do you place in positions around you?

Are you open to be challenged?

Do you mostly bring onboard friends or a closed group of collegues?

Do you exclude people rather then invest in them?

Empty Promises

A promise that is either not going to be carried out, worthless or meaningless

  • Promotions

  • Opportunities

  • Outcomes

  • Growth

Do you mislead those around you?

Do you offer opportunities to those already employed before going external, and set them up for success?

Incompetent

Not having the necessary skills to do something successfully.

Are you qualified to be in the leadership position you are in?

Do you provide people with experience, or turn them away due to lack of experience?

Have you invested in people to ensure they succeed?

Do you have a succession plan?

Untrustworthy

Not able to be relied on as honest or truthful.

Are people open to approach you and discuss difficult topics?

Are you able to remove your own desires and provide genuine advise?

Do you put your agenda first before others?

Are you transparent, or exclude information?

Lack of action

Failure to act

Do you action feedback in a timely manner?

Do you follow through with promises?

Do you value and treat everyone as equal in terms of importance?

Do you neglect people because they don't directly impact your success?

Lack talent retention

Lack of ability or willingness to keep talented people and reduce turnover by fostering a positive work atmosphere.

Do you invest in people?

Do you have a clear career progression path and process?

Do you trust in people and allow them to get experience?

Do you hire people for long term investment?

Are you priorities correct, or are you to busy for people?

Are you up to the challenge?

Do you remember what your experience was like throughout your career?

I am sure it involved proving your value and worth on many occasions, to build up reputation and relationships.

Do you remember how hard it was to build up those relationships?

You will often hear, your career is your responsibility, but in my opinion it shouldn’t just have to be yours alone, there are influences that you cannot control and having sponsorship and support is vital.

Now, imagine if those people in leadership positions, genuinely cared and they:

  • Approached you via a 1:1, not just scheduled regular sessions.
  • Acknowledged your successes and learnings through failures, they had observed.
  • Took the time to understand your career progression.
  • Believed in your capability based on facts about your current role or past experiences.
  • Understood where you needed to develop and grow.
  • Informed you they will invest time in you, providing you real experience, and grow you.

My challenge for you is to be that leader!

  • Identify a person you work with or have in your team.
  • Examine their successes and learnings through failures.
  • Understand their career progression.
  • Set a roadmap and timeframe with that person.
  • Allow them to undertake tasks providing them with real experience
  • Allow them to dedicate time each week to undertake those tasks

Now, ensure you follow through, either

  • Give them a secondment with a fixed timeframe that leads to promotion if the position is already available, or inform them that a position is not available if it isn’t before commencing the process.
  • Encourage them to apply when the opportunity arises and be a sponsor for them and that position.

The best you can offer a person as a leader is your mentorship and investment to grow and succeed.

You won’t regret it!

You will find that doing so will result in…

  • Retaining talent
  • Building a capable culture, team and remove bottlenecks
  • Have people dedicated to the vision and mission
  • Build meaningful relationships
  • Feel good seeing others grow.

Be the leader you wanted and needed throughout your career.

Conclusion

Leadership is not management, and leadership can be independent from management or together.

  • Hire people you are going to invest in to grow
  • Allocate time to ensure you can invest in people
  • Don’t prevent career progression due to lack of experience
    • Attitude and willingness is most important
    • Experience can be gained but it MUST start somewhere
    • Give people you have hired that experience, be it on the job or by investing in them before the opportunity presented itself
    • Set them up for success.

Finally, Good leadership is tough, ensure you take the time to also recharge yourself.

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Author: Robert Leggett

I am a passionate, pragmatic and focused leader for people and technology. I love to converse in Spanish, play video games and spend time with my family.

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