Leadership and Systemisation

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

I spend my time helping business owners systemise their businesses.  Systemising a business has leadership at its heart.  Here are some thoughts based on that experience and a recent IoD event on leadership:

  1. Leadership requires vision – but you do not need to be a visionary.  For leadership to work across an organisation, other leaders often need to buy in to, and live up to, another’s vision.  Managers implement the leader’s vision
  2. Leadership is about enabling people.  It’s about creating other leaders rather than just followers – although no business could survive without good followers.  It’s about demonstrating that teams win, not individuals.  Often, leaders will have to suppress their own egos to achieve this
  3. Leaders can be born – but leadership can also be learned through practice, management education and business coaching.  Some SMEs are not as alert to this as corporates, who understand that leadership, like other business skills, cannot be just picked up through trial and error
  4. Different situations require different kinds of leaders – although the most effective leaders can adapt their style to the situation.  It is possible to come up with lists of traits displayed by leaders but these lists usually suffer form being a) statements of the blindingly obvious and b) not a fat lot of use if you personally aren’t “driven” or “visionary” or whatever the particular researcher thinks you need to be
  5. Leadership requires success to thrive in the long-term.  Leaders have to be credible to those they wish to lead
  6. Leaders ask the right questions and listen more than they talk
  7. Leaders gain trust by giving trust
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