I was fortunate to hear a number of captains of industry talk on leadership.  They were well qualified in their field and were corporate leaders with experience in a variety of large corporates and enterprises giving their experiences and views on leadership and management.

I thought I would outline a few key takeaways and perhaps there are a few hints and tips that you can use in your organisation and leadership group.

  1. Disruption – it’s a good thing…

It’s important to allow information disruption into your business and a good leader encourages disruptors.

Conflict isn’t always a bad thing – it is often an important part of being an authentic leader. And don’t forget, authenticity is one of the best ways to progress your career.

  1. Alignment – its critical….

You can never have too many leaders if you have alignment.

Some of the best leaders in business aren’t in management positions – do you know who fits into this category in your business? There is a difference between being in agreement and being aligned.  You are better off being aligned!

  1. Power – don’t let it go to your head….

This is concept is often misunderstood – the less power you have, the more authority you have. Power is a tricky beast – the more you use it – the less you have!

  1. Leadership Styles – it takes all types…

Ensure you listen and open all channels for feedback

All people want to be valued and heard but especially, Millennials want to be affirmed for what they do – often. Don’t be rubbish at giving feedback! When you do give feedback – make sure it’s ‘scaffolded’ feedback. Make sure you are getting four-way feedback – from clients, peers, subordinates, as well as self-reflection. Ensure you get out and work/walk the floor to understand the ‘pulse’ of the organisation.  You are missing a massive opportunity to understand your business if you don’t.

  1. Sage advice on life lessons….

Everyone needs to have a mentor – make sure you have at least one.

Lead your life – don’t manage it. The person who you’ll learn the most from is yourself.  But it’s how you respond that counts…

“There’s no success like failure and failure is no success at all” – Bob Dylan

Its ok to have self-doubts, but be rational and don’t beat yourself up! Make sure you develop deep listening skills – it will get you through a lot of those tough conversations.

  1. Don’t forget Culture!

Remember, 90% of Private Equity look at the culture of an organisation before they invest.

You need madness (& fun) in an organisation – this creates space for dynamism & creativity. “You don’t knock culture up on a Wednesday afternoon.”

Finally, it was agreed that leaders should inspire a sense of trust through the organisation. Be Resilient! Leaders are often in the ‘eye of the storm’ – they are the calm amongst the chaos.

What other inspiring leadership qualities do you think are the most relevant for these times?

Richard Dunks – Executive Consultant

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