Written by Sandra Banister, Director at The Leadership Circle Asia Pacific
A CEO is not an island. Achieving real, long lasting success is a team effort. But if a leader doesn’t have the support or trust of their team, problems can arise very quickly.
Not gaining the trust of your team can make a leader’s job very difficult. Low productivity, high staff turnover, dysfunctional teams, poor customer service and low quality outputs are all symptoms of a workforce that doesn’t trust or respect its leaders.
To be a successful leader isn’t so much about what you know but how you are with other people. Employees want a leader who thinks and cares about others as people rather than be treated as widgets or as problems to be solved.
Trust inspiring leadership is more to do with your behaviours than your actions. The relationships you have and the way you treat people has more impact on the performance of your teams and the overall success of your business than how you might have negotiated with a supplier or client.
Building trust is not a technical challenge and it requires a long term commitment. What is required is a change of mindset and behaviour: how you think, what you value, how you work, how you connect with people, how you learn, what you expect from life, and how you manage frustration. This is the type of change that needs to be built over a period of time, it cannot be switched and off.
CEOs today need to invest in themselves and their teams. What’s required is an evolution in leadership, where our leaders can master softer skills such as relationship building and self-awareness.
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The leadership behaviours most trusted by employees include >>>
Emphasizes Team Relationships
This is the realm of true leadership. The strength of connections with other people, the ability to build teams and function across boundaries is the foundation of solid leadership.
It is not just about the relationships of those at the top but a leadership mindset that understands cohesive team relationships across an organisation are pivotal to achieving successful outcomes.
Real achievement requires dialogue between parties. Successful leaders know how to have the courageous conversations needed to resolve difficult performance issues in a way that strengthen both outcomes and relationships.
Doesn’t Exercise Excessive Control
A leader who takes excessive control is reacting to fear or anxiety which shows itself as a need for perfection, an exaggerated driven stance or heightened ambition. This behaviour hinders engagement and loyalty from employees.
Being a flexible leader is about being able to consider multiple points of view, not just one’s own. Remember that you too are a work in progress and while you are trying to make sense of your own behaviours and those of others, you are by no means the authority on every topic, we learn constantly from those around us.
They Don’t Play It Safe
Safe leadership is effectively playing not to lose. Safe leaders easily fall into a reactive cycle of only solving problems or making decisions when under threat so as to get back to a ‘safe’ state. Employees tend to respect courageous leaders with a strong vision.
There is a part of us that wants to do something great but know it involves pushing the status quo and changing and reinventing how we do business. There is no safe way on this path. Generally the higher you go in an organisation, the more caution you are likely to exercise and the safer you play it because mistakes get bigger and the fall is further.
Helps To Develop Other Leaders
It is not enough for only the CEO to be a good leader they must also foster leadership among their teams to really push an organisation forward.
Leadership development is the development of increasing perspectives and helps people to grow into larger, more complex version of themselves. By focusing on developing the leadership in our teams we can start to increase the capacity for change resulting in higher levels of strategic thinking and implementation, closer knit teams and more successful business outcomes.
Don’t treat people as problems to be solved but as thinking partners, as human beings, people who are expanding, growing and changing.
About The Author
Sandra Banister, a director of The Leadership Circle Asia Pacific, consults in the areas of leader development and enterprise effectiveness. She explores the workplace as one of the major centres of learning and growth for adults, and supports them to think about their work and their workplaces in ways that help them gain new perspectives and capacities to make positive changes. Sandra draws on a wide range of theories and research to make complex and important ideas become useful and practical.
About The Leadership Circle Asia Pacific
The Leadership Circle’s leadership and development program is the first to offer integrated assessment and development tools with workshops, training, research and support technologies that provide a pathway to evolved leadership. The Leadership Circle believe that business leadership will set the agenda for the planet’s future. Its clients are in government, finance, technology, legal, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, media, consulting and not-for-profit sectors, including the largest apparel, hotel and fast food chains in the world.www.theleadershipcircle.com