Values Insider: What does LEADERSHIP mean to you?| Social Policy
In the last of our values insider sessions, we asked our Digital Director, Ric McHale, what he strives for in his leadership. Here he gives a breakdown of the 12 great leader qualities he tries to live by.
“I don’t profess to be a great leader, but I do aim to be effective in what I do and work each day to develop and support my staff wherever I can. Below is a list of qualities I really respect in leaders:
1. Be an Effective Communicator – First and foremost be sure to communicate key facts, developments and instructions to staff. Spending the time to communicate effectively will pay huge dividends, ensuring staff are clear on direction and successes.
2. Develop a Successful Vision – Take the time to understand, research and equate the current company situation, what is it capable of, what are the staff capable of, where can you get to? Define goals and milestones and if it’s clear, authentic and realistic then other people will want to come with you on the journey.
3. Answer the ‘Why’ For Your Staff – A manager or leader who simply tells people what to do or even worse simply demands it will not generate respect. Take the time to explain why you are embarking on something, answer questions and concerns until people can see what’s positive for them and the company. This approach will get buy-in but also enable staff to develop themselves and their careers.
4. Champion Training and Development – It is critical to invest in people’s growth. With my team this is daily learning of 15 minutes on a subject of their choice, often working towards a qualification. They also share skills with their team in weekly whiteboard sessions. Wider than this it is good to have a dedicated learnings individual in the business who can ensure key, business wide learnings are encouraged and achieved.
5. Be a Great Listener – Leaders are known for their talking! But a great leader listens effectively. This is great for building trust and respect, also it is vital to identify inefficiencies or ineffective processes in the team which could be vital to resolve to achieve your vision.
6. Share Success – Be gracious and quick to congratulate, your staff work hard and deserve praise. Nothing is more demotivating than achieving your objectives and goals but that go unnoticed or ignored. Take the time to thank your staff and ensure you communicate business success. Try a weekly roundup email with 3 bullet points from each team to communicate success.
7. A Positive Approach – Everyone gets down, but this can’t be your typical outlook and on those occasions when you do, it’s vital to collect your thoughts and bounce back. A great leader influences their team in a positive way, they are an optimist and relish new challenges and whatever is around the next corner.
8. They Empower Those They Manage – A natural and effective leader knows that empowering their staff is the best strategy. I love to help my staff reach their goals and aim higher in their potential. It is vital you create a work environment that allows for this.
9. Integrity and Honesty – Be true to your word and this will encourage those you manage to do the same. If something you said you would achieve hasn’t happened be sure to go back to staff and explain why. This inspires confidence.
10. Passionate About What You Do – For many work can be a drag, something that they have to do to enjoy their actual life. However great leaders love their work, and this is contagious. Sure some days will be tough and some days you won’t bounce into work, but enjoying your work and being passionate about what you do rubs off on your staff and those around you.
11. Confident Outlook – A confident outlook is vital for when the inevitable times when things get tough. Confidence is also vital for decision making and is something your staff will respect and follow. A faltering or unsure boss does not inspire followers.
12. Being Curious – Often a sign of lack of confidence, people won’t ask questions because they don’t want to be perceived as if they don’t know what they are doing. On the contrary though a great leader is curious and asks questions. Why are we doing it this way? Could there be a better way to do this? Being curious drives the desire to learn, which in turn drives this increase of your skill set, making you a more effective leader.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in the values insider sessions! It’s been great finding out how our colleagues from across the business interpret our values 😊