Inspiring people to great performance takes effort and imagination – Your Leadership Brand is a huge part of this. Our people leadership and communication expert, Kirsty Mac, shares with us her thoughts on being a really great leader and her tips on how to build your leadership brand:
Working in the field of leadership you discover many different leadership models, types and theories. What I think is also important is getting people to think about their leadership style, their leadership brand.
The things I’ve seen from the truly great leaders that I’ve worked with, and had the delight of having conversations with, is that they really observe and notice, they can see what’s happening in their team and they listen. It’s the whole question around do you listen or do you wait to talk? Those leaders who really take the time to listen are those who really make a difference and will find that this is reflected back in the conversations they have with their teams.
We’re all so busy, especially within leadership roles, that we often forget and just want to tell and make sure someone else does something, however, there’s such a gift in just taking the time to listen to someone. More often than not we just want to tell our part of the story.
I think it’s important to think about whether you’re being observant, what are you listening for, and then we become delightful at having brilliant conversations that really matter. Let’s start avoiding those surface structure conversations and start talking about what’s going on – let’s get down to a place where we can really talk about what really matters to drive transformational change and behaviour. This human to human connection is important and, in some circumstances, lost. We talk about B2B and B2C and where is H2H? Let’s start asking the great questions, listen to what’s really happening in our organisations and then let’s do something about it.
Fantastic leaders will be aware of the impact that they have, having a self-awareness, knowing what their true worth is, what guides them and what their contribution to the organisation is – this is gold dust for the individuals and teams around them. These leaders are congruent with all that they put across, you just know who they are, a really great leader, someone solid in the foundation of themselves.
The environments that we work in are so paradoxical in their nature, you’ve got to do this then you’ve got to do that, making sure you have a big global vision, but also work locally, you’ve got to look at the numbers, but also be creative and innovative. There are so many tensions that hold us but actually as a leader you know what your contribution is and what your identity is, taking the time out to find out about others. That’s when you will have that huge impact on others, on teams, on the organisation and then further out.