How Executive Coaching can have an impact on your Leadership skills
What skills should a great leader have? Stephen Fry’s Duke of Wellington was once posed the question in an episode of Blackadder. “The ability to shout. Shouting, shouting and yet more SHOUTING,” bellows the uncompromising military commander, to hilarious effect.
We’ve all had bosses who seem to style themselves on military leaders, however treating the workplace as a battle ground is something which few respond well to. Leaders need to take tough decisions and act quickly, but that shouldn’t instil a culture of fear amongst employees. Mistakes are part of an individual’s growth, as well as a company’s.
One person who has made his fair share of mistakes, while also knowing a thing or two about what it takes to be a real leader is Richard Branson. Walk through any of the Virgin offices around the world and you’ll really struggle to find somebody who has seen the company’s Founder raise his voice when the going gets tough. High pressured situations need to be handled, all whilst keeping your eye on the businesses real goal.
“What leadership boils down to is people. Whatever your style, whatever your method, you need to believe in yourself, your ideas and your staff. Nobody can be successful alone – and you cannot be a great leader without great people to lead. You have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Nobody respects a leader who doesn’t know how to get his hands dirty and innovate personally. The trick is in striking the right balance between empowering your staff and being an example for them to follow,” explains Branson.
“Of course, there will be times when strong and decisive leadership is necessary, to make sure the right moves are made. If you place the emphasis on getting the little things right, and address the everyday problems that come up, you can encourage a culture of attention to detail. You can also have a lot of fun with these relatively tiny issues, whether it’s dealing personally with customers’ complaints or surprising your front-line staff with a visit.”
So what qualities do you respect in a leader? Do you prefer somebody who is ready and willing to muck in with the rest of the workforce, or perhaps you like to follower a leader who takes a more overarching approach? Maybe you are a leader yourself, in which case, what lessons have you learnt about managing staff in the correct way?