Management, Management & leadership

What does it mean to be a leader?

Leadership - position, personality or behaviour?

Leadership and leadership development have filled the pages of many text books and autobiographies for many years and yet good application of some of the key principles and behaviours remains less rather than more common. Read on for some insight into this key area – Book your Management and Leadership Fair workshops now, from just £35.

Verb or noun?

One of the key questions to consider is whether we view the word Leadership as a noun (a position or a personality) or a verb (a behaviour)? Of course it is both but over the last several decades the world of thinking and practice around leadership has moved away from the heroic leading from the front model (appropriate at times) to a far more distributive and collaborative approach. This has major ramifications for how individuals see themselves and their roles and for how organisations consider accountabilities, structures and the way they shape their culture.

Is there a silver bullit?

Many books, models and consultants will market themselves as having the magic answer to how to be a great leader and achieve high performance. There are of course fundamental areas where it matters in terms of leadership; Purpose, Communication, building confidence in others, Innovation etc. However leadership is character specific and context dependent. It is for each of us to find the best way to navigate how we can act, grow and develop to be the best we can as a leader.

Where do I start?

There is a great deal of good practice and research and case studies from which we can learn and draw underpinning principles and helpful models. Recent research into the distinctions between Good and Outstanding Leadership by The Work Foundation has provided not only some powerful themes underpinned by in depth analysis but also piloted practical ways for individuals to explore, practice, reflect and improve on how they are as leaders.

The key stages to getting better at anything are;

  • The willingness to accept that improvement is possible or required
  • Openness to seeing “how” different approaches, thinking or behaviours “could” work
  • Applying some of these in practice
  • Reflecting and gaining feedback
  • Reviewing if and how to adopt , practice and enhance these approaches

If you wish to explore these themes further come and join us at the DSC Management and Leadership Fair on 15 – 16 February 2016, and gain some insights into good practice, share ideas with others and spend some time working on where you are as a leader and how you can improve.