School of information risk management
Whether you are the managing director or a shift leader, the way you lead is the single biggest success factor for everyone you work with. Leaders change the organisations around them. They make a difference to the business, rather than just making the business work. Leadership is about what you do. It involves learnable skills that can be applied to the tasks that occur in every business.
This briefing tells you how to make leadership work in practice. It covers: * The leadership functions of a manager - and those of a managing director. * Leading a successful team. * How to achieve more as a leader.
1. Leadership at All Levels
Leadership is about creating positive change to achieve long-term objectives.
1.1 Leadership involves having a vision and setting goals , then moving the business towards them. * Making the best use of resources, including people's talent, is the key skill.
1.2 Leaders have to demonstrate the authority to lead. * For example, in a new job you should usually start by asking questions. You need a sound knowledge base and the confidence and trust of the people you will lead.
1.3 Leading a team means developing and motivating individuals and groups * This includes helping people find meaning and purpose in what they are doing, so that it is seen to be worthwhile. * Leaders create more leaders. By setting a positive example and allowing people to learn and develop on the job, you encourage them to take a more proactive role.
1.4 Leaders must often press ahead where managers see problems and back off. * For example, every new product idea will face a series of obstacles. A leader will facilitate the process of finding solutions. Managers at supervisor or office level may need inspiration and an opportunity to voice their ideas.
Where Do the Ideas Come From?
Most leaders have their best ideas almost anywhere other than in the office.
At work, there are too many distractions and you become immersed in everyday detail. Ideas come when people have time to think.
Time spent doing anything that brings you into contact with other people's thinking may spark new ideas. * Talking to business people and friends. * Reading books (many leaders get inspiration from biographies). * Paying attention to magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV. * Using web streams and Google Alerts to keep informed. * Using social media and networking.
Ideas can also come to you during time you usually think of as unproductive, from a business point of view: * At home - in the garden or the bath. * On trains and planes or stuck in traffic jams. * While walking, cycling or exercising. * While unconscious, when you decide to 'sleep on it'
2. Leadership from the Top
The managing director has a wider leadership role, which includes leading other leaders.
As a managing director, you should be aware of the following leadership responsibilities.
2.1 Create the vision, based on an understanding of strategic shifts and opportunities. * The vision need not be something you can methodically plan your way towards. * It must be worth the effort or it will not attract people and provide motivation.
2.2 Form the team and a structure that helps you deliver the vision. * For a new line of business, you need to decide your business model: this will determine the infrastructure, people and level of investment that you will need.
3. Communicating the Vision
3.1 As a leader, you are responsible for communicating the company vision. * The vision should inspire enthusiasm, belief, commitment and excitment in employees. * The vision should promote the unique strengths, culture, beliefs and direction of the organisation.
3.2 Company Vision Statements and Mission Statements articulate the vision clearly. * A Mission Statement defines the