Defining Leadership

How to Avoid Leadership Famine in These Demanding Times

Jan Springthorpe asked:

How strong is your organisation on leadership? Do your managers have what it takes to become the leaders of the future or are you facing a leadership famine?

There has always been a need for leaders in every industry, in every organisation, and in every business.

In recent times, the spotlight has fallen dramatically on leadership and everywhere we look there is a call for more leaders, better skills and greater leadership capacity. The need for leadership just got sharper and is being more keenly felt. So what’s the problem?

Business is changing. Competition is fierce, customers are demanding and choice abounds as organisations jostle for market position. E-commerce and the relentless march of technology have created an unprecedented challenge for many organisations in an environment of constant change.

Without vision, commitment and leaders with the ability to inspire, drive and influence, many businesses will struggle to succeed.

There is much concern about the shortage of skills in the UK (for example, the Leitch Review of Skills), the lack of leadership capacity and the warnings of a performance crisis looming for British business.

And what are the reasons? Ineffective managers, poor performance going unchecked, low capacity to influence, lack of vision and sense of direction, senior people too far removed from the front line, failing to understand the needs of customers and employees. Does this sound like your organisation?

To achieve success, cope with change and survive difficult times it’s vital to have leadership at all levels in your organisation. How can people follow if there is no leader in every part of your organisation?

Some people have what it takes at one level but not at another. All of your managers need to be given the scope and opportunity to learn how to lead, to develop leadership capacity and to ensure that your organisation has strong leadership capability for the future.

Take this simple test and find out how your leaders shape up. Give your leaders marks out of 10 for each of the following statements. In my organisation, leaders at all levels:

1. have a clear sense of direction

2. know exactly where the organisation is going

3. communicate openly and often

4. are great listeners

5. earn trust in all that they do

6. promote innovation and creativity

7. motivate people to develop

8. influence and inspire people to do their best

9. give away control

10. encourage ownership and responsibility

Total out of 100 =

If you scored your leaders between 80 and 100

Well done – you certainly are in good leadership shape and ready to face whatever lies ahead.

If you scored your leaders between 60 and 80

Not bad – but there is still room for improvement.

If you scored your leaders between 40 and 60

Oh dear – you are really going to struggle unless you take action NOW to assess your managers and develop their leadership capacity

If you scored your leaders less than 40

Start to panic! You are facing LEADERSHIP FAMINE unless you act IMMEDIATELY and come up with a leadership strategy!

Now is the time to groom, nurture and prepare your junior and middle managers for their leadership roles in the organisation. Take stock of who you’ve got, what they are capable of and what they currently can’t do. Find out who to develop and how to develop them.

Who has fantastic potential? Who is unlikely to make it as a leader? Use individual assessments results to create a development plan for your managers and future leaders. You must start now if you want to survive in business!

5 steps to great leadership

Step 1

Create clarity about what good management and excellent leadership look like for your organisation.

Step 2

Define the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour that managers and leaders need.

Step 3

Find out if they have what it takes to through individual assessment.

Step 4

Put in place a leadership development plan, shaped by the needs of individuals and their assessment outcomes.

Step 5

Run a coaching programme for your key leaders to build and strengthen their leadership capacity.

Wouldn’t you like to see improved performance, increased productivity, higher standards, better quality products or services, meeting all of your strategic and operational objectives? How are you going to do all of that without well trained, effective, skilled and talented managers with the right attitudes and behaviours?

Leadership development should form an essential part of management training and begin early in a manager’s career – as soon as they are given responsibility for people and performance. What’s the point of waiting until they are about to step into a senior position only to discover that they don’t have what it takes?

Do your managers act as leaders, thinking about the future, imagining how the business will look and doing “back from the future” planning to make sure it happens?

What do you have right now that tells you that there is leadership potential for the years ahead in your business?

We believe that every person who is expected to lead should be coached, trained and prepared for the task of leadership.

We don’t believe that leaders are born and not made.

We know that leadership capacity can be created through personal assessment,

coaching and training.

Start your leadership development efforts now and make sure that your organisation will not suffer from leadership famine!


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