When I worked for Barclays in a leadership position, I had the opportunity to bring my teenage daughter to work for a week, as part of her school studies. During the week, Beccy met many people in my 30-strong team, getting an insight into what they did and also helping them with some of the tasks that needed to be completed.
At the end of the week, I asked Beccy how she had found the experience. She said she had found it extremely positive. I then asked her if she had any questions. She said, “Yes, you have an office and I noticed that you keep your door open almost all of the time but are very rarely at your desk, why is that?”
My reply was simple, “I am doing my job.”
The main focus of those who are successful leaders, is building positive relationships. They support the development of individuals, create high-performing team cultures and excel at stakeholder management, all of which cannot be effectively achieved by sitting in an office behind a desk.
Whilst leaders need to develop their team strategy, purpose, vision and goals, this should only be about 20% of their time, with the other 80% focussed on building positive relationships and a team culture that supports achieving business objectives.
As a leader and also working with leaders, helping them to create high-performing teams, I have been able to study and understand what these leaders do that helps them in their focus on relationships. I have identified four things that they excel at.
1. They know themselves.
Usually by using a highly-regarded psychological assessment tool and coaching. They understand their strengths and challenges, their communication style and decision-making preferences, how they are likely to lead others and blind spots. In doing so, this supports them in…
2. Knowing their team.
As a leader, it is vital to understand who you have in your team. Do team members have complementary skills? Who is good at what? How effectively do they collaborate with each other? What other people may you need to call on who are not part of your team? How effectively do they work as a team?
3. They adapt their style.
The old adage rings true, “Different strokes for different folks.” You need to know what motivates and engages individuals, how they like to be lead, their challenges and how they can be supported to overcome these and adapt your leadership style accordingly.
4. They build a team culture that supports success.
In the Team DyNAmics© Model I have created, based on my knowledge and experience of working with leaders and their teams, I have identified 16 elements that leaders manage effectively to achieve high-performance in their team. They also review these regularly, discuss challenges with their teams and support their teams in developing ideas and practical solution to overcome these challenges.
And does the above correlate with what team members want? Yes is the answer. I undertook a survey via LinkedIn, asking the question, “What attributes did they want to see in their leaders?”. The top four answers were, Visionary, Passionate, Empathic and Honest. All of them relationship based.
Personally, I believe that in some instances, the technological revolution that has occurred over the last 30+ years, has had a detrimental effect on leadership, with some leading through technology.
We must not lose sight of the fact that success is not achieved through programmes, software, charts or apps but through the positive relationships that we build with others that enable us to work collaboratively with others to achieve win-win outcomes, hence why leaders need to focus on succeeding through relationships.
Wishing you continued happiness and success in both work and life.
Yours behaviourally, Nick
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