Suc­cess­ful Busi­ness Lead­er­ship

Ind­hira Ghandi said that "lead­er­ship at one time meant mus­cles but to­day it means get­ting along with peo­ple", and there is a great deal of truth to that, al­though more is re­quired – as a leader you need to in­spire and mo­ti­vate your staff to de­liver more t

Insurance - - CONTENTS - by Lee Dun­can

Lead­er­ship does not al­ways need to go hand in hand with man­age­ment, but for the vast ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses, you can't af­ford a sep­a­rate leader from your man­agers. Lee Dun­can points out that it is not merely hav­ing your name printed as “CEO” or “Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor” that counts. He high­lights some key qual­i­ties for lead­ers and stresses the im­por­tance of walk­ing your talk.

Be aware that lead­er­ship does not al­ways need to go hand in hand with man­age­ment, but for the vast ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses, you can't af­ford a sep­a­rate leader from your man­agers. Some key qual­i­ties for lead­ers are in­tegrity, hon­esty, hu­mil­ity, courage, com­mit­ment, sin­cer­ity, pas­sion, con­fi­dence, pos­i­tiv­ity, wis­dom, de­ter­mi­na­tion, com­pas­sion, sen­si­tiv­ity, and a de­gree of per­sonal charisma. As the leader you will have to make eth­i­cal and value judge­ments, along­side the tech­ni­cal and busi­ness de­ci­sions that come with man­age­ment. It's not just about hav­ing your name printed with "CEO" or "Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor" next to it – you have to walk the talk. The rea­son for this is that lead­ers who can demon­strate per­sis­tence, de­ter­mi­na­tion con­sis­tency will bring out the same qual­i­ties in their teams. On the other hand if you demon­strate in­con­sis­tency, a lack of in­tegrity and a hap­haz­ard ap­proach to work, your team will fol­low your lead in that, too. Flip Flip­pen's Per­sonal Con­straint The­ory says that ev­ery leader is the cap that lim­its the per­for­mance of his or­gan­i­sa­tion. If you are dis­ap­pointed in the way your busi­ness is per­form­ing, look in the mir­ror – you have a lead­er­ship prob­lem. Want to blame your staff for do­ing ev­ery­thing wrong? Ask your­self who hired them, trained them, built the sys­tems and pro­cesses they use, and who ul­ti­mately man­ages them. The fin­ger is point­ing at you, not them! If you doubt this, I strongly rec­om­mend

read­ing Flip's "The Flip­side" book, which will tell you a great deal about im­prov­ing your­self to im­prove your life. It's not just your po­si­tion that gives you au­thor­ity as a leader; it's also the qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ships that you build with your team. You see, as a leader you get your au­thor­ity as one side of an ex­change, but if you fail to de­liver the goods and don't live up to your staff's ex­pec­ta­tions, they will re­ward you by per­form­ing like drunken slugs. Lead­ers who take the time to de­velop a pow­er­ful vi­sion for the busi­ness with their teams have the up­per hand over their com­pe­ti­tion, be­cause they'll fol­low you un­til the ends of the earth, work­ing longer hours for less pay and with a pas­sion that can­not be bought with mere money. A strong leader will be fol­lowed into the trenches by his peo­ple, be­cause he un­der­stands that lead­er­ship is about be­ing the best and show­ing that tak­ing the high road is what sets the tone for the rest of his team. Win­ston Churchill in his lead­er­ship of the Bri­tish dur­ing the bomb­ings of the Sec­ond World War was in­spi­ra­tional. Who could not have felt ex­cited, hon­oured and even priv­i­leged to be on Win­ston's team. In the same way, Ap­ple has Steve Jobs, the charis­matic and vi­sion­ary leader who un­der­stands what it means to be Ap­ple. He has ef­fec­tively cre­ated and po­liced a set of core val­ues that define ex­actly what the com­pany is. As a con­se­quence of the creative en­vi­ron­ment that he's cre­ated, the busi­ness rein­vented it­self and de­liv­ered the iMac, the iPod and now the iPhone. Peo­ple won­dered whether or not the iPhone would catch on, but of course we now know that Jobs' abil­ity to de­liver prod­ucts that peo­ple sim­ply adore, a kind of prod­uct lead­er­ship, is unim­peach­able. On the other side of the fence you've got Mi­crosoft and Bill Gates, a man once de­scribed as "para­noid" I be­lieve, in that he would never rest on his lau­rels, al­ways wary that Mi­crosoft could be­come the vic­tim of an­other up­start com­pany, just like Mi­crosoft over-hauled IBM, which suf­fered from a lack of real lead­er­ship for many years. Now while you're won­der­ing how to de­velop your­self to have th­ese qual­i­ties, start to think a lit­tle deeper. Think what hap­pens when you don't want to work any­more – who will be your com­pany's leader then? How are you go­ing to grow th­ese peo­ple to help you? That's where busi­ness coach­ing can come in – to ei­ther men­tor you in grow­ing your staff, or to coach your tal­ent di­rectly for you and help them to grow to re­place you. Which­ever way you go, don't make the mis­take that so many make – if you like the feel­ing of be­ing in­dis­pen­si­ble to your own busi­ness, you're build­ing a trap for your­self, too.

Ap­ple has Steve Jobs,

the charis­matic and vi­sion­ary leader who

un­der­stands what it means to be Ap­ple. He has ef­fec­tively cre­ated

and po­liced a set of core val­ues that define ex­actly what the

com­pany is.

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