Leadership is in part a functional activity (what leaders do). Good leaders will be well planned, they will set clear direction & goals, and they will seek to provide the resources needed to achieve those goals.
It is also though very much a behavioural activity (what leaders are seen to be doing). Leadership behaviour is often copied and even aspired to by the people around them, and subconsciously by those that follow them. This can be a force for good, however, there is also the risk of organisations condoning and propagating the wrong behaviours. The ones that disengage the workforce.
“It is usually the behaviour that is copied or role modelled by others, less so the function.”
Many leaders get this of course and fully accept this level of responsibility as being part of their role. Some however just don’t realise it. We regularly experience examples of leaders either not understanding the impact of their behaviours on others. They may not even be aware of it or are not being sufficiently ‘mindful’ to be able to change it.
What does this mean for leaders?
Great individual leadership starts with a person’s level of self-awareness. Great leaders are partly those who have a good understanding of self. They know their natural strengths, their pronenesses and their ‘default settings’.
They know how their behaviour typically impacts on others. They know who they may clash with unless they try harder to accommodate styles that don’t naturally sit well with them. They know how they react under pressure, and they know they can’t lead everything, so they know when to ask for help and when to follow another leader.
“Great leadership starts with great self-awareness”
How can this translate to great leadership behaviour?
We believe that to be a great leader in the modern business world you do have to be interested in the people around you, the people you are actually leading.
There is much modern research that says the single biggest differentiator of a great leader is their high emotional intelligence and a focus on people and relationships.
Being aware of self is a key part of this, and it provides an anchor point from which the leader can then connect with others, and flex to maximise each situation. There are a number of critical behaviours and skills that leaders need to do this effectively which we at PDW can teach you.
Some people have some of these as part of their character, such as being curious, being brave or being impactful. Others have to work at these things, and many of them do not necessarily come naturally.