“I do recommend this book as a valuable contribution to the subject. There’s a lot of good advice and questions to ponder as we strive to be the best leader we can be.” The Yorkshire Times
Leadership occurs throughout organisations and is not defined by a title or pay but instead by the attitudes of a few people who act in a way that exemplifies leadership; this book helps new/aspirant leaders to deal with the practicalities of leadership and help them develop a blueprint to remain effective in the future of work and with a changing workforce. Order your copy here.
If you have a Job Description, the chances are that it will contain a list of competences you need to do your job. As leaders, these competences will probably focus on communication, teamwork, delegation, customer service and achieving results. They are probably under-utilised, not measured, not review for your job or for you and in short, a worthless collection of text. If you’ve not got as far as looking at a leadership framework then I’ll provide a foundation for a leadership framework you can mould to your own business.
The culture of an organisation is not measured in how many ping-pong tables a business owns. It is not about free sweets or breakfast. (The free food is there to get you in early so you can do more work without extra pay; the food is cheaper than the overtime payment!) Culture is a subject that has as many viewpoints as there are authors. My own view is that culture is difficult to measure, it’s possible to shape, it cannot be owned by one person and it absolutely has a direct effect on the outcomes of a business.
Networks are the life blood of a successful leader. In turn, networks support business success but they are not the sole reason for business success. For anyone about to turn to the next chapter, let me assure you that networking is not just about joining a golf club…but this could be part of your network. There are a terrific number of opportunities now available online to supplement the existing face to face networking opportunities at conferences, professional bodies, charitable foundations or as part of a local sports team. The online opportunities are even greater and growing by the day.
It is impossible to escape change. You can move to Alaska and live in a wooden hut, but the ever-changing environment will still show you that change is unavoidable. In our personal lives and business lives, we experience change daily. On some days, we may want to scream out “stop changing while I catch up with the last change”, but it will never stop. I emphasise this because not enough people are accepting that change is necessary and whether we want it or not, it is happening.
High Performing Teams
When you think of high performing teams, what comes to mind? For many people, they jump straight to a sports team as the outcome is easy to measure. This chapter examines what constitutes a high performing team and how a leader can create and lead a high performing team.
The way we lead has changed forever. The old structures which included command and control were arrangements put in place in the industrial revolution to help business owners see that everyone was at work and being productive. People were treated as a commodity to be traded and worked until they could no longer meet the performance standard and they were replaced. Employee experience was irrelevant, communication was through barked orders and understanding of a vision was zero. People worked to stay alive.
Communication is the way that great leaders stand out from ordinary leaders. I often find that great leaders are strong orators and writers but they always have a standout preference. What you can’t afford to do as a leader is be fantastic at speaking and poor at writing or vice versa. You must have a high baseline on both.
Customer Driven Leadership
When was the last time you experienced fantastic customer service? Not just the superficial ‘have a nice day’ but real, deep seated customer service that you feel ran through a business and their products or services? Now ask yourself, how did that make you feel when you had that experience? I expect that you may have identified one example of great customer service relatively quickly but what if I asked you to do it again now? I suspect it would be a lot harder because the customer service you thought of initially remains with you because it is so in-frequent.
For most leaders, when they became a leader nobody sat them down and really explained how to behave and what to do. The context in which you lead will change throughout your career and will be driven by location, demands of the business, local culture and your own personal circumstances. Here is a leadership creed to help provide a basis for your leadership which is taken from the chapters within this book. You can add to it as your leadership skills know but this will always be here as your reference.
Zest – Leadership for a new generation of leaders
If you’ve not got your copy of Zest, order it here from Amazon.
The book contains more resources including case studies and diagrams along with detailed descriptions of the resources available here.