Positive leadership qualities are so important for the success of a business. So Doreen Yarnold asks: Why do so many companies just focus on those leadership qualities of a manager – and not the whole staff?
Future-proofing your organisation against the impact of the kind of tumultuous and continuous change that is so prevalent across the global commercial landscape these days, should be on every boardroom agenda.
Why do the majority of organisations only start focusing on leadership skills and qualities when someone takes on the position of manager?
The answer in most cases, is that’s the way they have always done it. But it doesn’t have to be like that, and indeed shouldn’t be, if CEOs and their management teams are serious about laying down seeds for future growth.
In some organisations, albeit a rare and progressive few, leadership qualities are encouraged, talked about, developed and nurtured at all levels and with all staff.
When staff operating at every level know and understand there are expectations of them to demonstrate leadership qualities (leadership of self) and they are actively encouraged along those lines, while those same staff are seeing these qualities at every level of the organisation, they become drawn in to ‘the way things are around here.’
There are some caveats though. Your recruitment process has to be robust enough to ensure you really are recruiting the best you can afford. Most businesses recruit for knowledge and skills, but you should also recruit for qualities (human/leadership) too.
When these qualities and behaviours become culturally and environmentally embedded throughout the very fabric of the organisation, this is when the magic happens.
You wouldn’t let just anyone walk through the front door of your home, and you shouldn’t let just anyone join your business either. Trying to turn the wrong people around can often be an emotionally and psychologically draining experience.
When someone joins your business and leadership qualities have been a major part of their recruitment process, and those qualities get reinforced by their manager and is spoken about and demonstrated daily by colleagues and peers, it becomes really difficult for them to cut against the grain. They get caught up in the climate and environment these qualities create.
Qualities are so important to so many aspects of business culture they should never be glossed over. They fuel the environment that people have to work in; they determine how people feel about their job, how they feel about themselves, their colleagues, their boss, the organisation and not least the results they are targeted to achieve.
Qualities are not about what happens in an organisation, they are about how they happen. How leaders do what they do. How they say what they say. How things get done. How results are achieved. How messages are communicated. How people are developed. How I am made to feel about my job, my role, my worth, my results.
If you are really serious about future proofing your organisation, developing leadership qualities at every level, and with everyone involved, won’t do the whole job, but will be a major contributor towards getting there.
Read more: Five ways for maximising your team’s energy