Learning Point: Understanding Why a Good Team Needs a Good Leader

If you want to have successful teams in your organisation, make sure you have successful leaders. 

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.  In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

  • Trust
  • A commitment to their staff as well as the task
  • The willingness to support and serve the team
  • Inspirational leadership, combined with energy, enthusiasm and appropriate expertise
  • The guts to take responsibility rather than pass the buck
  • The glue to make the team come together and operate as a team
  • A willingness to have fun!

I’ll explain each of these in more detail.Continue reading

Personal Refection Questionnaire

As a leader, how you behave has a major impact on others.

This questionnaire is designed to help you gain some further insights into your behavioural preferences and their impact on others.

It is based on the belief that the greater our self-awareness the more effective, positive and beneficial our impact can be.

The questionnaire is in three parts:

Part 1: Emotional Intelligence;

Part 2: Personality Preference;

Part 3: Action Planning

You are asked a series of questions which you are asked to score, reflect upon and create an action plan for improvement.

 PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONNAIRE

Building Trust – An Article by Stephen Covey

Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information.

In this article, Stephen Covey  explores the concept of trust within leadership and in our society at large.

Consider the loss of trust and confidence in the financial markets today. Indeed, "trust makes the world go 'round," and right now we're experiencing a crisis of trust. This crisis compels us to ask three questions. First, is there a measurable cost to low trust? Second, is there a tangible benefit to high trust? Third, how can the best leaders build trust in and within their organizations to reap the benefits of high trust?

Most people don't know how to think about the organizational and societal consequences of low trust because they don't know how to quantify or measure the costs of such a so-called "soft" factor as trust. For many, trust is intangible, ethereal, unquantifiable. If it remains that way, then people don't know how to get their arms around it or how to improve it. But the fact is, the costs of low trust are very real, they are quantifiable, and they are staggering.

In 2004, one estimate put the cost of complying with federal rules and regulations alone in the United States -- put in place essentially due to lack of trust -- at $1.1 trillion, which is more than 10% of the gross domestic product. A recent study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that the average American company lost 6% of its annual revenue to some sort of fraudulent activity. Continue reading

Key Findings from the London Business School Inaugural Leadership Survey

This inaugural survey aims to capture the leadership and development challenges that people in organisations face and how those issues can affect the effectiveness of organisations.

It also looks to establish what executives see as the: top leadership challenges facing their organisation most important skills for successful leaders, reasons why leaders fail to reach their potential ¢ most useful training and development programmes, key talent management challenges, including the effectiveness of training and development.

Key Findings:

The five toughest challenges facing leaders today are employee engagement, effective strategy execution, talent management, driving work across organisational boundaries and encouraging collaboration across the organisation.

80% of respondents said change in their companies is mandated by senior management.

10% of respondents said change was driven at a lower level and later “blessed” by senior management.Continue reading

Communication with Power – Putting Leadership on Parade

Many of the defining characteristics needed for effective leadership -- like having a vision, integrity, commitment and resilience – are innate.

Happily, another quality, as essential for success as the others, can be learned. It is the ability to mobilise a fire-in-the-belly effort among employees to help the leader realise ambitious goals. This quality can be acquired by observing the behaviours of leaders who deploy these skills, by being coached or incrementally with "stretch” efforts by the leader to generate the needed employee commitment.

The power of the leader’s position alone cannot command enthusiasm and dedication from today's workforce. Instead, employees must be convinced that the leader’s objectives are achievable, understand that meeting the goals will provide a personal payoff and be inspired to make their own full force contribution. To generate the needed support from everyone in the organisation, the leader has to put their leadership on parade:

He must be visible, crystal clear about his message and take every opportunity to demonstrate, live and in person, his passion for his goals. Unless he shows how deeply he cares, few others will care and his plan may be seen as another flavour of the month.

Some leaders believe it is sufficient to communicate their goals to the workforce through the organisation's internal media: employee publications, intranet, video conferencing, etc. -- the more sophisticated the technology the better. Many have become enamoured with blogging because it makes possible instant communications with large numbers of employees, assuming they make the effort to log on.

All this is useful because it allows for repetition of the leader's message, which is essential for making an impact. But using media is not a substitute for interacting with employees face to face. Media cannot convey the intensity of feeling the leader has for his plan nearly as well as human contact does. The very fact that the leader is there, that he has left the comfort of the office to communicate with employees, gives the message importance.Continue reading