The role of a Leadership today is viewed very differently compared to a generation ago. In the last 20 years a new way of looking at leadership has emerged which views leadership as much more complex. However, irrespective of how operating environments have changed, I still see leaders behaving in ways today that are similar to how I was managed (good and bad) and it makes me wonder about what those great managers/leaders did, and would they still be effective today.
One Boss I had, when working at the Civil Service College in London, Ray Nash, created an environment for me that allowed me to be the best that I could be. So, what did he do? We had regular meaningful conversations individually and as a team that left me informed and inspired. If I was asked to describe what separated him out as a great Boss, I would say it was his ability to make you feel that you were important, his courage in letting you try out new things, his desire to deliver well for the organisation and to create a team ethos that was supportive and fun.
So, what made the conversations Ray had with me and the team so memorable?
- He really listened
- He was calm under pressure
- He was non-defensive
- He was straightforward and honest
- He was supportive
- He did not abuse his power or authority
- He treated everyone with dignity and respect
- He shared information and kept people informed
- He valued the ideas and expertise of others and was open to joint solutions
- He supported continuous personal development in his team
- He provided clarity on the day job and enthused about future possibilities
- He demonstrated courage in taking unpopular stands
I did not know anything in those days about Emotional Intelligence and the Leadership Development models I worked with then made no reference to this element of Leadership, yet when I reflect on Ray’s leadership behaviours, I believe he operated with high Emotional Intelligence. I’m sure he had his off days, but I know, that when I worked for him I loved my job and what I was doing, I was growing in knowledge and experience and I was the happiest and most motivated I have ever been as an employee. Ray is retired now, but I am positive that his “way of being” would work equally well in today’s pressurised working environments.
So, in today’s pressurised environments, it is important that we help leaders to be more aware of how they think, what they say and how they show up every day, whilst never forgetting that they are human and make mistakes. As Daniel Goleman says, “Quite simply, in any human group, the leader has maximal power to sway everyone’s emotions…how well leaders manage their moods affects everyone else’s moods, which becomes not just a private matter, but a factor in how well a business will do.” So, as a developing leader, how do you build an authentic and connected leadership presence that has a positive impact on your team and colleagues?
At the Houston Exchange we work with individuals and teams to start or continue their leadership learning journey by working towards an authentic and connected presence which begins from the inside out. We work with the latest thinking in Leadership Agility, using a range of methodologies and tools to facilitate deep learning leading to long term behavioural change.
We are licensed to administer and interpret The Leadership Agility 360, and Leadership Agility Accelerator created by Bill Joiner of Changewise. These online self-assessment and development tools help you assess your level of leadership agility. The Leadership Agility Accelerator is a self-assessment and development tool, based on research underlying the award-winning book, Leadership Agility. It focuses on three areas where increased agility pays off in greater success:
- Leading organizational change
- Leading teams
- Pivotal conversations
They also guide you in choosing specific leadership agility practices designed to (a) take you to your next level of agility and (b) help you be more effective in accomplishing what you’re trying to do as a leader.
We also acknowledge the work of renowned systems psychologist and family therapist David Kantor, whose theory of Structural Dynamics helps us to help leaders in their communication with peers, bosses and teams. By raising personal awareness using the Behaviour Profile tool, we can help leaders significantly improve the quality of their face to face communication in any context with any individual.
Our clients value our ability to help individuals get clarity, boost their effectiveness and contribute more powerfully to their organisations. In addition, our work with them enables them to share this brand of powerful coaching more widely across their organisation.
To find out more click this link.