As part of the work I do, I get a lot of opportunities to check in with business leaders. This allows me to take a ‘pulse’ on the issues of the day that are impacting them. Often becoming aware of patterns in the types of challenges we’re all facing.
We’re facing some of the biggest challenges in business and leadership for a very long time. The Covid 19 crisis is putting pressure on leaders across the spectrum, and no doubt you’re feeling that pressure too. Deciding what to do, and how to think things through effectively to make those decisions, has never been more important.
The UK has now been in lockdown for six weeks. That’s six weeks of only leaving the house for up to an hour a day, six weeks of supermarket fights for toilet rolls and flour, 42 days of journalists asking questions to cabinet ministers, and over 1,000 hours spent in close proximity to our nearest and dearest.
Do you wring your hands when it comes to telling people exactly how it is? Or, maybe you’re very direct and people shut down when you tell them things – so you’ve given up?
How often have you set yourself a goal that requires a consistent change in your behaviour, and then floundered once the initial willpower has worn off? This could be something you’re trying to do personally: ‘I want to run a marathon by December’, or professionally: ‘I want to stop problem-solving and be a coach to my team.
In all the coaching work I do with managers and leaders we nearly always have a very specific conversation about leading versus managing, and what the difference is. A good leader needs to be able to manage AND lead.
Back in 1992, (yes a long time ago!) I was promoted to Plant Manager of a Textile Mill – in charge of 120 people. Picture the scene: it’s Monday morning, I’m nervous about starting a new job. I walk through the door as the new boss and introduce myself to the receptionist who leads me to my office.
I’ve always been a little obsessed with Leadership. If you’ve been there and had to lead people it can become an obsession, working out that magic formula that will guarantee results (to get it done), and improve your ability to lead those people effectively time after time.