Guest blog by Fiona Lander, Head of Professional Development at APSCo
Last month I gave a presentation on leadership at the Recruitment Agency Expo. For those of you who were unable to attend, here is a summary of the key themes:
It’s perhaps needless to say that the world of business is changing. As such, the way we manage our people has to develop to reflect and relate to this. The leaders of today will find themselves managing five generations of professionals with very different ideas and ideals – traditionalists, baby boomers, gen-x, gen-y and soon gen-z will work alongside each other and will all have different needs, frames of reference and work styles. Not unexpectedly, this changing professional landscape throws up complex challenges for those in management or leadership roles.
So what leadership styles work?
There are many styles of leadership, here are 6 easily recognisable ones;
- Commanding leaders, such as Alan Sugar, who give clear direction
- The pace-setting leaders, like Bill Gates, who set goals and encourage their teams to reach for them
- The visionary leader, who moves people towards a shared vision, like Richard Branson.
- A coaching leader will develop individuals for the future by encouraging them to try new things – Walt Disney for example
- Affiliate leaders, such as the late, great Anita Roddick, create harmony and build emotional bonds based on loyalty and trust
- Democratic leaders like Nelson Mandela forge consensus through participation
We all have a natural de-fault style but can use different styles with different people and in different situations. In today’s multi-generational, multi-cultural, ever dynamic environment , leaders must have a full toolkit of resources at their fingertips, including a range of different leadership styles to draw from.
Irrespective of leadership style, professionals who are responsible for a team must be able to demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence. There has always been a trend for recruitment organisations to promote the big-billers on their teams into management roles in order to retain their star talent – despite the fact that these individuals may not all be cut out for a leadership position. They may not be ready for (or even want!) the role, or equipped with the right skills for such a position and the impact this can have on the teams around them can be counterproductive.
According to leadership expert Professor Steven Sonsino, people are more likely to be disaffected, disengaged or de-motivated by their managers than motivated or inspired. Engaged employees deliver and careless communication has a 61 per cent impact on behaviour and therefore performance.
With this in mind, decision-makers need to allow time and money to invest in the development of their managers. Raising self-awareness and giving front line managers and leaders great resources and enhanced skills, like engagement and management communication, as well as the more traditional core competencies, will pay dividends. According to employee engagement guru David McLeod, engaged employees deliver 50 per cent higher customer loyalty, 50 per cent higher sales, and 27 per cent higher profits – all figures any business owner would find attractive.
So, instead of simply moving star talent into a new management position, businesses may want to consider ways to offer them choice and also reward top performance with non-leadership seniority.
The current economic climate, globalisation and the transition of demographics in the workplace are throwing up complex challenges for today’s managers. But through training and development, we can nurture change-ready leaders who not only lead by example but who also have finely tuned awareness of themselves and those around them, resulting in engaged, high performing teams for your organisation.
To view my presentation and all those from the Recruitment Agency Expo please visit:http://ow.ly/iS6g8