What makes a Good Leader?

13th June 2017

I have recently been involved in the launch of a new national leadership development workshop. This training course helps both established and recently appointed senior managers fine-tune their focus on leadership.

As new insights are gathered from each set of workshop participants, I’ve identified some key leadership themes as follows:

The Big Picture:

What is the end result that you are striving for and how are you going to get there?   If we consider that leaders set the direction and are accountable for taking others with them, this is a major opportunity to keep people focused on what is most important.

Using the Leadership Development workshop itself as an example, the attendees should know:

If a leader has lost sight of the big picture then how (& what) are they communicating to their team when it comes to day-to-day tasks?  The communication will often occur by default rather than being proactive and highly focused.

In a similar vein, business values and visions can sometimes seem disconnected from the day-to-day, becoming just “poster content”. However, combined with effective leadership behaviour, they offer the potential for so much more.

Self-Reflection:

Every Leadership workshop will almost certainly require some ‘pre-course’ or ‘in-course’ self-reflection of you as an individual. You are often directed to start your sentences with “I” –   not to refer to those other groups of people, who may or may not have done something to contribute to your business.

If you know the big picture – and the strategy in place to deliver that – then you can move any improvement agenda forward. As a leader, can you describe your role in this respect?

Answering Challenges like a Leader:

Several times during the Leadership Development workshop, I ask participants to consider an issue or an approach and give an opinion.  An example is: “Is Zero Harm right for your business?”   The response to these types of questions is highly insightful – they almost always focus on the practical, transactional or managerial response to the topic. They are less often answered from a leadership perspective i.e. someone who has an overall responsibility for direction setting, manages key risks and delivers high level performance management.

Are you ready to be challenged and respond like a leader?

Speak the Language of “You” Not the Language of “Posters”:

Maybe we feel like we are compelled to communicate only in business-speak. During self-reflection, do people really know what it is that you want?  If so, how? Do our own words demonstrate the personal and emotional connection that we have made with a topic?

Making a Personal Commitment:

Commitments made during workshops or training exercises often have the longevity of New Years’ resolutions. Sometimes the quality of leadership behaviour evidenced by participants is clear, “as soon as I have written something, I can be on my way home”.  Alternatively, a participant may stay back and chat to you for 20 minutes at the end.

Both leadership behaviour styles speak volumes…

Is this about Health and Safety?

You will have noticed that I didn’t use the words Health & Safety within this article.

Strong leadership does not discriminate on which issues it applies to.

If you are interested either in participating or running a Leadership Development workshop for your business or if you would like to discuss any of the points raised above, we would very much like to hear from you. Contact us at darren@darrenbroadheadconsulting.com or on +44 (0)7710 024013.

We look forward to taking you and your business forward on your journey to leadership excellence. Read more about us on www.darrenbroadheadconsulting.com

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