Dec 08 2016
Management skills: how to go from being a good leader to a great leader

Guest blog by David Goodman

Are you looking after your portfolio?If you want good results, tell your staff what to do. If you want great results let them tell you what they are doing.

People who deal in stocks, shares and currencies are constantly seeking ways to increase the value of their portfolio. That’s their job. What about your portfolio, your stock of Human Capital? How do you add value to your company by making sure your stock performs better?

As a manager, your most important task is making sure your team delivers on their targets. Their success is your success. However, engaging with your staff team is like opening a Russian doll. Each time one is opened a smaller one is found inside and each layer represents a different level of commitment. Each level of commitment represents increased productivity. It is easy to open the larger doll, but it gets more difficult to open the smaller ones.

Open the first doll and you’ll find people are doing their jobs, targets are met and standards are satisfactory. This is bronze medal level. Open the second doll and staff are exceeding job expectations, targets are often surpassed and there is a culture of achievement. Well done. This represents a silver medal. But it’s what you see when you open the third doll which is fascinating. Here you will find staff who take personal responsibility for their accomplishments. They set the bar high and are willing to give what it takes to achieve it. They are going for the gold medal. At this level of performance they don’t need direction. The role of management is one of support, keeping them focussedandmaking sure they have the resources they need to complete their task. Sounds great? It is, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it is out of your reach. Every leader has the responsibility of doing what they can to create a high performance culture.

Why not have a go with a member of your team. I’m taking it for granted that they know what is required of them and they have the resources to deliver. If so, these are the three key steps to great results.

  1. Communicate. Make sure they know the contribution they are making to the overall goals of the organisation. Purpose is a great motivator. I’m always amazed when staff are unaware of how their effort fits into the wider organisational picture.
  2. Trust. If you want good results, tell your staff what to do. If you want great results let them tell you what they are doing. Choose carefully who you are going to trust. First and foremost they must be able to do the job to the highest of standards. They must also be reliable, dedicated and passionate about what they do.
  3. Appreciate. Praise their work. This will fill their ‘emotional bank account’ on which they will draw in order to deliver outstanding results.

A key concept of greatness is that it comes from within. However much you motivate a member of staff, unless they ‘own’ the challenge, they will never deliver greatness.

Nobody has achieved greatness by following in the footsteps of another. Many have achieved greatness by doing it their way. It takes a strong leader to stand back and let them.

Whether you’re taking your first step into management, or want to improve your management skills to become an exceptional leader, our Management ladder courses will equip you with the knowledge and expertise to help build your skills and confidence in your role.

Here at the Centre, we offer three levels of ILM accredited management training:

Moving into management - taking on your first management role

Moving up in management – extending your management skills

Moving from manager to leader – taking on a senior management role

We also offer a range of other management courses including Budgeting for non-financial managers and Influencing skills.

About David Goodman: Following an international career in Israel, Peru and England, where David held senior positions in a number of organisations, David has over 25 years' experience as a coach,consultant and trainer focussing on enhancing performance and productivity with individuals, teams and organisations.

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