Leadership in Business
Originally Published Aug 12, 2020
Leadership doesn’t come naturally to most of us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be an exceptional leader. Strong leadership is the key to success in any industry and it’s the skill you should be most focused on when starting a business or establishing yourself on a career path.
Skills like resilience, confidence in the workplace, empathy for your co-workers and a willingness to learn are all important aspects of a strong leader and cultivating these skills requires encouragement and practice.
Here, we’re exploring how to encourage leadership in your business, where leadership training goes wrong, and how building habits is the best way to create leadership skills.
Encouraging Leadership Within Your Team
Strong leadership takes training. Leadership is not born but made and it takes consistent practice to hone leadership skills. The question is - how do you train your employees to become strong leaders?
Here’s a good place to start.
Half the time you spend with your staff should be focused on the person themselves. Who are they? Where are they going? How can they be better supported? The other half should be spent on the processes. How are they performing? What does the data say?
By only focusing on only one or the other, you’re missing a huge opportunity for growth within each individual. So, take a more holistic approach to their leadership development.
Additionally, leadership needs to be supported at every level of an organisation, not only in the ‘leadership’ roles. After all, when strong leadership skills are cultivated in every individual, the culture of the organisation will inevitably shift in the right direction.
We’ll talk more on why this organisational shift is important in the next section.
At Physio Inq, for example, we share monthly leadership memos, tailored to each level of the organisation. From one-on-one feedback for practitioners to structured guidance for regional managers, we find that encouraging leadership throughout the ranks is a win-win for everyone.
When Leadership Training Goes Wrong
As we’ve seen, leadership training is important since leadership skills are learned and don’t come naturally to most. Most of us have participated in some sort of leadership training. But do they really work?
After spending tonnes of money on these kinds of leadership training programs, many businesses don’t see much of a return on their investment.
Plus, almost three-quarters of over 1,500 senior managers at 50 organisations interviewed by CEB in 2011 were dissatisfied with their companies’ learning and development programs. (Harvard Business Review , 2016)
So, what’s gone wrong?
The truth is, organisations as a whole have a lot more power over an individual’s behaviour than we might expect. By only focusing on training the individual but neglecting the structures within the organisation as a whole, you’re doing your business a huge disservice.
For example, if an employee comes back from a powerful training course into an organisation that doesn’t encourage them to practise these newfound leadership skills, the individual often reverts back to old habits.
Therefore, it’s clear that by creating good leaderships habits within an organisation and encouraging employees to practise these habits, you’ll have the best chance of seeing actual behaviour change for the better.
Building Leadership is About Building Habits
As with many things in life, building leadership skills comes down to creating habits and sticking to them consistently. It’s the only way to combat slipping into old patterns.
It takes more than reading one book on leadership to create measurable change. Reading countless books on leadership and having a never-ending flow of business books on your bedside table is a much better strategy.
At the end of the day, you’ll never stop learning how to be a good leader. So, it’s important to enjoy the process and accept that there isn’t a final destination.
Leadership is an Essential Skill
Leadership skills are arguably the most important skills to have in any business. It’s clear that organisations with a culture that encourages leadership are the most robust. Especially as we navigate our “new normal” in the world of work, strong leadership is more essential than ever.
By focusing on both the person and the data to encourage leadership in your staff, cultivating leadership at every level of your organisation, and practising the habits that lead to leadership success, anyone can become a strong leader.
Check out Founder and Pinq Business Partner, Jonathan Moody speak about his experiences at instating leadership at every level of Physio Inq.
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