The old style of leadership is gone! Think back to the General of the Army and how he controlled the troops. He, and his trusted aides, would plot the campaign to attack the enemy from the relative comfort of his tent. And then he’d stand on the top of a hill and the order would be given to the troops below to ‘advance’ or ‘fire’. And anyone who refused an order was shot or sent down. This method of leadership worked… for those times!
Leadership still needs to be driven from the front, it’s just that things are different now… people are faced with more challenges, there’s more technology, tasks can be more complex, we require our people to be more self managing, and as a result we require a different kind of leadership command from the business owner, the manager or the team leader.
The 3 must have lead from the front tools required for today’s leaders are:
1. Superb Self Awareness
Leaders need to know their own personality style, how they operate in the world, how they perform under pressure, how they deal with issues… you cannot understand others and how they are different unless there’s a sound knowledge of how you operate, warts and all! Leaders achieve more when they are able to model the kind of responses required in today’s working environment. No longer is it ‘do as I say, not as I do’. Every two years a leader needs to invest in further professional development or mentoring to keep current with today’s people management strategies.
2. Excellent Emotional Resilience
Humans are complex in their thinking and feeling. They are not robots and often do not perform well when experiencing stress, anxiety or emotional overwhelm. How a person copes in the workplace when dealing with emotional issues related to home life, for example, can vary from situation to situation, though most will under-perform as they are unable to give their full attention to the work at hand. A good leader needs to recognise the signals of stress and must be emotionally resilient and robust themselves.
3. Exceptional Engagement
Leaders need to engage and connect with their people. They need to get amongst them, as it’s no longer sufficient to bark orders from the tent! A good leader will spend a healthy proportion of their time out in the field, amongst the employees, the clients and or the customers. Time spent engaging and being fully present by listening, asking relevant supportive questions and seeing different perspectives, will pay dividends. Your troops will sense that engagement and will be more likely to give of their best.If you have enjoyed reading this please feel free to share with others. If you would like to know more about the 3 skills required for modern leadership contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.outcomesunlimited.co.nz