Follow The Leader?

Leadership  Display (c) R Dennison June 2013

Leadership Display (c) R Dennison June 2013

Let’s assume you have an organised approach to planning your life and you are pretty content with things at the moment.  You have a happy home life.  You are good at your job.  Family and friends sustain you.  What could be the only cloud on your horizon during the working week?  How about the attitude your boss displays towards you?

The Work section of the Guardian newspaper regularly features descriptions of bosses who aren’t effective leaders.  They aren’t helping to solve problems, since they are busy creating them.  Here’s an example.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/work-blog/2013/jun/07/how-delegate-responsibility-remain-successful

Others are reported to be less than effective as they are: leaving new recruits to fend for themselves; stringing staff along in periods of restructuring; and in one recent example, oversharing details of an individual’s personal life after being asked not to

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/work-blog/2013/may/31/how-stop-boss-mentioning-sexuality#start-of-comments

It seems that there is a real gap into which development opportunities could fit.  Those opportunities would help people-managers become more competent leaders and more confident in delivering better results through people.

His or her goal could be as simple as, ‘Listening carefully to what colleagues want and, where possible, helping them achieve good results afterwards’.

Perhaps a degree of empathy would also help.  If the boss was to ask herself, ‘what does my leadership style feel like to my staff?’ they might be able to fine tune it to better effect.  Here’s an interesting reflection on the role of empathy in the workplace from the BBC.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20257373

The relationship a leader has with colleagues isn’t like the one with family, or friends.  However fine tuning the relationship by: listening carefully; supporting consistently; and being more self-aware, it can still be a respectful and productive one.

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