The Golden Rules Of Leadership – #1 Authenticity

When talking about Leadership I often say, it is about ‘us’ not ‘me’. I believe that, at its most impactive, Leadership is externally focused on those you have responsibility for, and the quality of performance they deliver. I am able to empathise with business leaders and executives on many levels as a direct result of my experience and CPD.

My expertise enables my client to evaluate and visualise their working environment, with the benefit of my supportive, objective and challenging style. This delivers the required changes or adjustments in their thinking and behaviours, benefiting themselves, the team and their business. This article concerns the inner workings of the Leader.

Simply put, words, behaviours, and actions of the Leader, are not aligned. This creates fear, distrust, even contempt amongst others in the team. Why does this happen?

It is said that ‘animals smell fear’. In the same way, I believe that people ‘smell a fake’. What do I mean by that? Simply put, words, behaviours, and actions of the Leader, are not aligned. This creates fear, distrust, even contempt amongst others in the team. Why does this happen? There are a number of reasons:

These include Insecurity and a lack of belief in their ability to fulfill the requirements of the role as Leader. In my direct experience, the worst ‘Leaders’ were those whose principal concern was to avoid challenging or difficult decisions; those who blamed others for not having the benefit of ‘hindsight’ when the situation was fluid;those who were ‘evidence gatherers’ for their next promotion or assignment ( falsely claiming credit for the work of others); micromanagers with a desire for a perfection of outcomes that was unrealistic; those who were known as ‘Olympic Torches’ in that they rarely left the police station to go to the scene of the action.

In essence, these Faux- Leaders, were invisible to those they had responsibility for. The team was unknown to them as PEOPLE. They did not care. The corrosive impact of these negative behaviours and mindset on the team was a breakdown in trust and transparency with the Faux-Leader. sic Quality of performance, morale, sickness all suffered.

It does not have to be like this. In my view, Authenticity, allied with an appropriate mindset and behaviours transforms the experience of being a Leader. Leadership with its associated responsibilities becomes a refreshing responsibility, rather than an onerous series of tasks. In other words, I performed a role as a Leader, whilst remaining true to my values as a person.

The benefits to the organisation were a high quality of performance, delivered by a team who embraced decision making and challenges, knowing that they had my support. This was realistic and made possible because we knew each other as PEOPLE.

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Tony Munday
Tony Munday
TONY developed his expertise during his Police career of 34 years. Whilst a Senior Leader, for 15 years, he recognised the challenges and pressures faced by Leaders, including those which were of his own making. Tony was a ‘maverick ‘as a Leader. He became accredited in, and practiced, coaching as a Leadership Style, and Situational Leadership (adopt a style relevant and appropriate to the context). This was unusual amongst colleagues and peers, who maintained a firm adherence to a ‘command and control’ style, on most occasions. Tony recognised that it was impossible for him to effectively lead and micromanage. In order to develop appropriate trust and motivation amongst those he had responsibility for, he ensured that he knew the person behind the role. This enabled Tony to effectively performance manage, with fairness. Where appropriate, Tony practiced a ‘service’ style of Leadership. He saw his role, as providing the strategic direction, the environment, setting the values and developing the people, so they took responsibility for delivery of their own and other’s performance. The subsequent trust gained, enabled Tony to save significant time compared to peers who micromanaged. Tony used this time on strategic planning and development of people, enabling them to maximise their potential, including out of his teams or departments. This was unique amongst his peers. Many peers behaved as if the first responsibility of their team was to make ‘them’ look good. This stifled development of their teams. Tony’s teams and departments consistently outperformed their contemporaries.

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