Leading in troubled times is a common business theme at present, with the usual emphasis on charismatic, hugely successful entrepreneurs telling us (it’s always telling) how we should be doing things differently.
However, we thought we would offer a different perspective on how anyone in your organisation can add significant value by demonstrating leadership behaviour.
- Taking responsibility is a leadership behaviour. Whether that’s for a problem, for a customer issue or for a particular situation by taking responsibility you make the first step towards improving things.
- Being Pro-active looking for what needs to be done rather than waiting to be told what to do is showing leadership.
- Admitting mistakes accelerates learning and avoids repetition of the same problem. Hiding mistakes creates the opposite effect. Leaders own up.
- Being positive about change Nothing will improve if things don’t change. Leadership behaviour is at the heart of any effective change process.
- Representing the culture So many people talk about ‘the culture’ as being the problem, without realising they are the culture. People who say the culture can be changed, one behaviour at a time, are showing real leadership.
- Owning their circumstances. Leaders do not recognise the victim complex. They believe their circumstance, good bad or indifferent, are of their own making. Either accept them or change them – whinging doesn’t cut it. This makes them very pleasant company. Leaders improve morale.
- Developing their role into something more than the job description. Trying new things, challenging orthodoxy, volunteering and supporting others are all deeply connected to leadership.
- Learning new things. If your own rate of learning is just ahead of the amount of change going on around you, you will automatically start leading. Why? Because you will have a point of view that other people (customers, colleagues, senior managers etc.) will want to listen to. You become an interesting person.
Everybody can behave along these lines and so demonstrate leadership characteristics Organisations where a significant minority are deliver significant competitive advantage over organisations where leadership if left just to senior managers.