With many organisations and businesses facing change on a much bigger scale due to technological advances, political upheaval and economic uncertainty, the pressure is on leaders and how they can help steer a safe course through change.
However, while there is a focus on effective leadership qualities, this can mean ignoring a crucial element: other people.
Mark Cushway, visionary entrepreneur and leadership coach, explains why successful leadership depends as much on those being led, as on leaders.
The Privilege of Leadership
“Leadership is a privilege, and this privilege comes from how others see you. In other words, it is earned, not taken for granted.”
Making the most of any given situation, leaders must inspire and enable others, and this becomes the measure of their success.
“It is all about getting the best out of people, which is why so many good leaders have themselves been inspired by the leadership they have experienced.”
“Leadership is a legacy, a continuum. It can shape a whole approach to business and form a lasting ethos, but only if a leader can bring people along and rely on their loyalty and self-motivation.”
“To get people’s support behind you, you must put their needs ahead of your own.”
“As a leader, your influence is defined not by yourself but by others. Therefore, the secret to great, effective leadership is other people.”
Make Others Feel Valued
Successful, effective leaders appreciate and acknowledge the people who work for them, and with whom they collaborate.
“Giving credit and recognition to people is essential for leadership. Everyone wants to feel valued. Empathic leaders recognise this and act on it. And never, ever, take credit for the work others do.”
This should be a cultural trait, where recognition is an embedded quality in the workplace.
Give Others the Power to Act
“The temptation for many leaders, especially if they’ve started the company on their own, is to want to make all the decisions by themselves. Developing your business means giving away control to others, empowering them to make decisions.”
People have their own unique qualities and strengths. Utilising these effectively means giving others more responsibility.
“Letting your people make certain decisions on their own helps grow and maintain trust in your business or organisation”
“This trust builds confidence and acts as a powerful motivational force.”
“A workforce that feels trusted, and rewarded, is going to be more engaged, and more productive.”
Them, Not You
Ego can be a difficult thing in business. On the one hand, many driven individuals have the egos necessary to spur them on to succeed. On the other, too much ego impairs effective leadership.
“The good leader learns to let go. Some people will be better at key tasks than you are so give them the freedom to excel at what they do best and encourage them to develop their own careers”
“The focus on other people should extend to knowing about them, understanding what drives them, and what might be holding them back, because this might ultimately be holding your business back too.”
“The more you invest your leadership skills in putting others first, the more everyone benefits, and your business can thrive.”
To discover how you could strengthen your leadership skills and qualities, please visit markcushway.com.