All you need to know about being an effective Business Leader.
Whether you are a start-up, growing entrepreneur, or an established business leader; learning and continuous professional and business development should form a core part of your strategy for staying on the cutting edge in a dynamic global economy.
The easiest thing to happen especially to successful people, is the tendency to get complacent, and complacency is dangerous in business as it is in personal life. With this in mind, I enrolled in a business leadership program at Said Business School, Oxford University for a week-long intensive residential experience – High Performance Leadership Programme.
Here are my top key take outs (simplified and made relevant hopefully for you).
1. Take a 3 Dimensional View of Leadership
The starting point to leadership is 3 dimensional- Knowing. Doing. Being.
Knowing- what you need to do as a leader i.e do you have what it takes, the competences, the business knowledge, sector knowledge etc
Doing- what do you need to do to lead others? Are you motivating, persuading and influencing? These are the core tasks for all leaders.
Being- How and who are you as a leader? Your self image, self knowledge, core values, unique qualities, strengths, abilities and weaknesses? (I teach this slightly differently using the D.U.A.L principle- Discover yourself. Understand yourself. Accept yourself. Leverage yourself for impact and share a lot of these under the Ignite the Champion Within– BE YOUNIQUE series).
Bottom line, you need to know and understand the difference between your natural strengths, potential strengths, fragile strengths and your resistant limitations to function effectively as a leader.
2. Leadership Is About Vision
Without vision, you have no direction and are like a rudderless ship. Vision grounds and helps you set priorities. Vision helps you make a difference. Leadership is about making a difference. (See my notes on Vision here)
3. Become an Incomplete Leader
Understand that leadership is not about having all the answers. Leadership is a relationship and the best leaders surround themselves with good people. Rather than be good in all areas, better to be great in one or two and work with others who are great in other areas.
“It is hard to be world class in all areas.”
“While the best leaders are not well rounded, the best teams are.”
4. Leading in Crisis?
Does leadership make a difference? Yes it does. Leadership makes a huge difference especially when times are tough and opportunities are scarce. (Like now!). In times of crisis, leadership is even more important. (Especially in crisis prone terrains)
“Leadership is about creating the right conditions for people to succeed and achieve significant goals.”
5. Types of Leaders
What kind of leader are you? Are you a strategist? An influencer? An implementer? Or a relationship builder? Which combination are you? This is the homepage of leadership. Understand your personality profile and hone them to become more effective. Identify those who can help you in areas where you are weak.
6. Leaders Build Community
Business Leaders have a task of building a corporate/organisational community otherwise known as culture. You need to create two core elements, sociability and solidarity around a shared vision or goals. You need to see yourself in the context of a politician, a resourcer, a visionary and a winner to successfully build a winning culture.
7. The Importance of Positive Energy
Leaders need to do whatever they can to build positive energy and sustain positive balances within their teams and in their own lives. Are you enthusiastic? Do you generate positive energy? Do you know how to? (Subscribing to Tycoon Tuesday is a good place to start).
8. Two Leadership Models
Are you a tough leader? Do you lead by directive or are you an Empowering Leader? Do you lead by delegating and engaging? Which do you think is more likely to produce better results? You will be amazed. I personally found this very interesting.
9. The Power of Influence: What is your leadership reach? Do you understand the P.I.E model of leadership and influence?
P– Performance. The actual work you do, and the results you deliver.
I– Image. The impression others have of you.
E– Exposure. The people who get to know about your results and your image.
Do you know and understand the sources of Power? What currencies can you use to enhance your influence? Can you imagine how radically different your influence quotient would be if you understood these?
10. Powerful Presentations
Do you know the anatomy of a powerful speech? Can you give an effective elevator pitch in 2 minutes? What are the elements it should have? How do you show up when you show up? Do you understand the power of visualisation?
I am pretty sure that quite a few people will recognise some of these principles from Ignite the Champion Within programme. It was truly amazing to be the student/learner instead of the Igniter at this programme; but it was gratifying to note that the principles of success and leadership are universal. The difference that Oxford made, was in what they referred to as “evidence based” principles. Truly, the power of evidence makes you that much more confident and “Ignited”.
So there you have it. My week’s learnings condensed into 10 points. As you can imagine, there was so much more, and I can’t wait to share and teach these at the next Ignite the Champion Within sessions, and with my networks and team of champions at work.
To your Business Success.
PS: Enjoy the Album of my Oxford High Performance Leadership Programme here