Only 10% of CEOs are natural leaders who guide staff by example (Source: Inc and Harvard Business School). That is an interesting statistic. Are you one of the 10% or one of the 90%? Take our Leadership Quiz and find out.
Over the last 8-10 months, there has been the opportunity for business leaders to rely on their natural style, or to embrace new skills and new ways of working. In our experience, those that have invested in developing resilience and management-by-outcome skills have fared better with the constantly changing environment.
It is no surprise that we aren’t all completely natural CEOs – it is a very tough job. For most of us, we are keen to develop all our working skills, and leading is one of those crucial skills to develop to keep our organisations on track. The concept of servant leadership has risen to the fore over the past 30 years, which is based on putting your people ahead of your profit or your power. So why not take our short leadership quiz to see how you and your senior team score and then read our practical tips to become a better mid-tier business leader right now in the midst of all of this uncertainty.
For each statement give yourself a yes, a no or a maybe.
1. Having worked alongside your senior team through the pandemic, you are confident they are all a great fit, you wouldn’t change anyone.
2. When you aren’t around, your senior team are perfectly capable of leading the business in the right direction.
3. You and your team all have the same energy and optimism to drive your business forward despite the challenging times.
4. You and your senior team make time to develop your leadership and coaching skills, have worked on your resilience and remote management skills, and believe in putting your people ahead of your profits.
5. You are perfectly capable of hiring new, highly effective senior leaders, remotely or F2F, as and when your business needs them.
1. It is sometimes lonely at the top, but you have access to all the support and challenge you need, even in times of crisis.
2. You regularly seek feedback on your leadership style and consider yourself to be a work-in-progress.
3. You actively look after your physical and mental health, now as much as ever.
4. You are clear where you are going and how to get there.
5. You know you are consistent with what you say and how you act.
Given this isn’t a teen magazine quiz, we have no gold leadership stars on offer. On the upside, hopefully anywhere you honestly scored a ‘maybe’ or a ‘no’ can provide a little food for thought.
“Natural leaders” – that small 10% – will demonstrate how to behave through their own actions. That is much harder than just telling people what to do! Leaders need to lead by example, knowing they are closely watched by their employees who want to see if they practice what they preach. They look to serve and develop their people, rather than grind people into the ground for their personal gain.
In our role as part-time People Directors we stand shoulder to shoulder with the CEOs and Managing Directors at our clients, helping them to navigate the often-lonely world of leading a mid-tier business. Providing feedback on whether they are really walking the talk is a key part of what we do.
One of the ways this works really effectively is where we act as a conduit for feedback from the team, often alongside working-style profiling tools, real-time feedback and encouragement about how to lead from the front. Busy CEOs have a whole host of pressures on their time and emotions, and a dedicated people-focused resource translates CEO management speak and good ideas into something that can be embraced by the team, building productivity and engagement rather than detracting from it.
So where do you get your challenge and translation support from? If you don’t already have a feedback mechanism built into your business – a constructive but plain speaking People Director, a 360 feedback system, or a trusted partner who you really listen to, consider how you can get back into that headspace. Henry Ford’s quote “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” holds true for leadership, as much as it does for everything else.
If you scored any Maybe’s or No’s in our leadership quiz and it has raised some questions for you and your leadership team, call us on 020 3239 3307 or email [email protected] to arrange an initial no-commitment conversation with your local Regional Director on how a People Director can support you.
Alternatively, we are holding an online CEO panel discussion on 26th November where we will be talking with our clients about ‘leading through adversity’ including; Finding the right line to walk between empathy and true leadership; Preparing for the months ahead; Practical tips on being a better mid-tier business leader.