Leadership in practice
What does a leader look like right now? (and always)
I got out of covid jail last week and started catching up with clients, peers and colleagues. It was great to reconnect and hear how their Christmas and New Year was. I was in awe of the great leadership messages I heard. It’s interesting to hear about different approaches.
5 qualities stood out for me.
Here are the best examples in my opinion.
1. Christmas parties and gatherings: 2 good approaches. 1. Ask people what they feel comfortable with and allow for private or anonymous polls so there is no group think bias or peer pressure. If they did go ahead, allow those who didn’t feel comfortable to elect not to go and send them a food gift so they didn’t feel excluded. The others cancelled because they didn’t want to risk ruining peoples Christmas break and celebrations. That is people first and I like it.
2. Consider everyone’s needs. Those that carried on working over Christmas did so on a back to basics principle. Work from home where you can. Do admin, caretaking, admin rather than kicking off projects or initiating new activities that require group involvement. Not everyone has a family to celebrate with and forced closures can be tough on some people. They were people led but didn’t put demanding expectations on people.
3. Keep connection. From January, a reconnection message of appreciation and acknowledgement of the current situation. Reiterate goals, mission and focus for the year ahead but no pressure or guilt on those who are isolating, ill or picking up the work of people who are unable to work.
4. Be kind. Above all, this is the good leader message I have heard the most. When leaders or bosses have been kind, considerate, understanding, human first, I see a genuine trust and respect for leaders in return.
5. Investment. Those people who were also seeing the leaders invest in the year ahead, whether that is in projects, learning and development, team days, growth plans, they gave people a sense of hope and motivation. If their leaders have hope and are willing to invest, they too have a feeling of being safe and secure.
A few bad behaviours were also seen.
1. Leaders only seeing the world through their own perspective and “forcing” that on others – (Anti WFH, Omicron isn’t that bad, no consideration for family responsibilities with isolations, creating divides between covid/vaccine wary and covid/vaccine confident). They didn’t consider others feelings.
2. Leaders only focusing on business outputs and goals and not flexing to the environment.
3. Leaders who don’t talk about anything other than targets.
The general message is this.
The good leaders in my opinion are the ones who are human first.
The people with these leaders have no plans to look for another job and are emotionally invested in the success of the company or organisation. They felt supported, cared for and loyal. They want the business to thrive. That’s what good leadership does.
We offer coaching for leaders who want to be more on the positive side of leadership. If it’s a behavioural change you want to see for the whole leadership team, then we offer leadership programmes, bespoke to your teams. Get in touch or look at our products and services to find what is right for you.