You, as a manager, hold the responsibility for both the welfare and productivity of your employees, which is why you are the one that is held accountable in the face of workplace difficulties.
Poor management is often blamed for an unsatisfactory bottom line, high employee turnover, low well-being and poor performance. Although most managers aim to perform well as leaders, some fall short each day. However, the question remains: what constitutes a good leader, and what defines good leadership?
At People & Performance, we would rather discuss effective leadership than good leadership. And we believe that the recipe for good leadership consists of several ingredients.
Good leadership is about behaviour
‘Good leadership’ is a frequently used – and misused – term, and the challenge is that the definition can be a little vague. In fact, at People & Performance, we would rather refrain from talking about good and bad leadership. We want to talk about behaviour. Behaviour that increases employee engagement and impacts business performance.
Good management always depends on the context. When leaders are blamed for challenges in the workplace, it is often because they fail to lead in a way that fits the context in which they operate. Therefore, a good leader can be expanded beyond general competencies.
Good leadership is effective leadership
Effective leadership is leadership in which the leader acts in a way that is appropriate to the context. Therefore, one must have a flexible model of an effective leader. Instead, the leader will have different colours and shapes depending on the context. However, we can define four categories of behaviour that the effective leader must be able to bring into play.
People & Perfromance runs leadership development programmes for a wide range of the country’s largest and most successful companies at all levels of leadership.
Our approach combines research and experience to make the results work in practice.
4 characteristics that make you an effective leader
When we at People & Performance work with leadership development and leadership measurement, we work with 4 categories of behaviour:
These categories all impact a leader’s overall performance, and the effective leader must be able to bring them all into play.
1. Leading – Inspire and Motivate
The image of the sound, solid or effective leader is archetypal. A good leader is typically illustrated by a charismatic man who steps onto the beer crate, delivers a speech and leaves a group of passionate employees. After the applause ends, the employees return to their seats and work like never before. But inspiring and motivating employees is about much more than that.
We call this an inspiring leader. It also means communicating a vision – setting direction and purpose, so everyone understands and pulls in the same direction.
2. Managing – Plan and Execute
An effective manager can ensure that the business runs and tasks are executed. Managing is about focusing on day-to-day operations and ensuring that people perform, and the business keeps up. This involves, for example, prioritising daily tasks and planning and following up on objectives.
3. Structuring – Structure and organise
Leadership in practice is often about structuring. Structuring refers to the management tasks that must be performed to create or adapt a framework so that employees can perform their functions appropriately without wasting too much time. For example, it can be organising the work itself or documenting procedures – tasks that many managers do not dream of doing when they come into the office on a Monday morning but also play an essential role in employee engagement and departmental performance.
4. Changing – Create change
An effective leader must be able to operate in a changing reality. Changing is about changes that can come from within and outside, and the effective leader can manage or initiate both types. Whatever type of change either hits or is created in the company, the effective leader must be able to relate to the managerial task and act constructively.
Good leadership can be learned
Good management is, therefore, the exercise of effective leadership in a reality that is often in a state of constant change. The effective leader must be able to lead in different disciplines depending on the context – both those that are about inspiring and motivating as well as those where the task is to create and communicate structure and ensure the general running of the business.
It is far from given that a leader – and a human being – is equally comfortable with all aspects, but leadership skills are not something you are born with. Leadership is behaviour, and behaviour can be learned, trained and developed.
Tailor-made leadership course
At People & Performance, we run leadership development programmes for all leaders. Our tailor-made leadership courses aim to develop you as a leader. Our training programmes are tied to research; all our consultants have years of experience. This is your guarantee of a leadership development programme that works in practice.
Please find out more about our approach to leadership with our e-book; for example, Say goodbye to “the good leader” or contact us for a tailored quote.
Download our e-book “Say goodbye to the ‘good’ leader”
Download our e-book “Say goodbye to the ‘good’ leader” and learn how to become a more effective leader.
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