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Do you have the Leadership skills to make the ‘Rich List’?

Leadership and the Rich List

The 30th Sunday Times’ annual Rich List has recently been printed, which ranks the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in the UK.

List compiler Robert Watts said, "Today’s super-rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs. We are seeing more people from humble backgrounds, who struggled at school or who didn't even start their businesses until middle age."

A record 141 women made the Rich List, up from nine in 1989.

With the release of the list, we ask the age old question - ‘Are leaders born or made’? And, what are the skills that many of these business people possess that make them great leaders, and enable them to enter this elite list?

In this blog we will consider

  • What are the attributes that make a great leader?
  • How does the Situational Leadership® model assist business professionals in honing their leadership capabilities?
  • How GBS Corporate Training helps professionals develop their own leadership skills, and L&D professionals in gaining the knowledge and ability to deliver Situational Leadership® in their own organisation

What are the attributes that make a great Leader?

Successful leaders, including many on the 2018 Rich List, are the power and intellect behind their organisations. They are the visionaries charged with steering their brand around pitfalls. They must know when to seize opportunities and how to rally employees to work hard toward their company’s goals.

Effective leaders transcend the title of “manager” or “boss”. They have found a way to achieve the right combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance, probably with a healthy dose of luck and timing.

Great leaders command a room as soon as they stand to speak. They aren’t afraid to crack a joke — but they also know when to get down to business. Their door is open to everyone, regardless of rank or position. People are eager to learn from them, and are mobilised by their missions and vision. And great leaders make the impossible happen every day, igniting passion and innovation throughout an organisation.

It may seem like some people are just gifted with these skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice.

So, whether you just want to be the best leader you can be, or whether you have ambitions to make the Sunday Times Rich List one day, thinking about your proficiency in displaying the following attributes is the first step on that journey.

Here are some of the key skills that great leaders possess:

1. Drive

The best leaders have an unstoppable forward momentum - passion, initiative and determination. They know where they’re going, and they move mountains to get there.

What elevates their leadership is their ability to inspire others to share in their drive as well. The combination of passion and inspiration characterises many great leaders, from Steve Jobs to Nelson Mandela.

2. Expertise

Knowledge is power, and leaders who inspire confidence know what they’re talking about. They’ve done their research, and they come armed to meetings and conversations with facts, nuances, and the possibilities at hand.

According to a Harvard Business Review report “Leaders must always be prepared to adjust their strategies to capture emerging opportunities or tackle unexpected challenges” (Leading Now: Critical Capabilities for a Complex World). Thinking strategically is an ongoing process that involves assessing the business environment.

Teams respond to their knowledge with trust. A great leader believes that they should never stop learning about their organisation, field or industry. They are always looking to improve.

3. Flexibility

Following a detailed plan is often key to successful projects, teams, and companies. But more often than not, even simple plans go astray due to unforeseeable circumstances or delays. The best leaders take these changes in their stride, knowing that remaining calm and leading with a strong direction can save the day.

Being a visionary means understanding that continuous change is occurring all around you, so what worked in the past may not always work now. Successful leaders will practice being adaptable and agile as they implement new strategies and allow their business models to evolve over time. This brand of flexible thinking — knowing that there are many paths to success — is characteristic of fantastic leaders.

4. Generosity to people and building great teams

Whether with time, charity, or praise, (and often with all three), the greatest leaders are often also the most generous.

Bill Gates is a great example of the power of generosity. Not only is he respected around the globe, but his foundation works to eradicate poverty and improve education around the world.

Great leaders also display generosity in their mentoring or coaching. They share credit with their teams and recognise a job well done, celebrating accomplishments both big and small. These are the people who put teams at ease, inspire trust (even in uncharted territory) and command loyalty. They are great leaders because of their willingness to share time, knowledge, and credit with their teams.

Successful leaders build on the people around them. Team building is essential to leading a diverse and unique group of people with distinct personalities, motivations and skills. This is essential when fostering innovation, effective communication and achieving organisational goals. Great leaders will recruit and develop the right team, creating an unstoppable force that will drive their organisation’s success.

5. Excellent Communication

Powerful leaders know when to talk and when to listen. They are effective communicators and are able to clearly and succinctly explain to their employees everything from organisational goals to specific tasks.

If people don’t understand or aren’t aware of your expectations, they will fall short, so the more specific you can be, the better.

The Situational Leadership® model assists business professionals in honing their leadership abilities

Developed by Dr Paul Hersey in the late 1960s, Situational Leadership® is frequently referred to as organised common sense. Dr Hersey’s original Situational Leadership® model is based on the relationship between leaders and followers and serves as a framework to analyse each situation based on:

  • The amount of guidance and direction (task behaviour) a leader gives
  • The amount of socioemotional support (relationship behaviour) a leader provides
  • The Performance Readiness® Level that followers exhibit in performing a specific task, function or objective

At its core, leadership is influence. Regardless of position, a leader is anyone who is able to influence others. Effective leadership is necessary to create and sustain a high-performing organisation. Poor leadership can create a host of issues that undermine a company’s performance, including mismanagement of resources, high turnover rates and diminished returns on investment.

The fundamental underpinning of the Situational Leadership® model is that there is no single "best" style of leadership. Effective leadership is task-relevant, and the most successful leaders are those who adapt their leadership style to the Performance Readiness (ability and willingness) of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence. Effective leadership varies, not only with the person or group that is being influenced, but it also depends on the task, job or function that needs to be accomplished.

With application by organisational leaders, first- line managers, individual contributors and even teams, Situational Leadership® utilises ‘task specificity’ to serve as a mechanism through which leaders maximise their influence-related impact.

Benefits of Situational Leadership®

  • Is a multidirectional model that can be leveraged for influencing up, down and across the organisation
  • Creates a common language of performance
  • Accelerates the pace and quality of employee development
  • Is a repeatable process that your leaders can leverage to effectively influence the behaviour of others
  • Utilises task specificity to serve as a mechanism through which leaders maximise their influence-related impact
  • Addresses situations where people are developing or regressing
  • Situational Leadership® considers the entire lifecycle of a typical employee – from a new recruit who needs direction and support to learn new skills, to a seasoned employee performing tasks he or she has mastered long ago
  • Regardless of an employee’s age or skill level, the Situational Leadership® model provides leaders with a framework to appropriately engage and influence follower behaviour

Grow leadership skills in your organisation with GBS Corporate Training

Effective leadership development programmes are critical in any industry, both in the public and private sectors. With so much at stake in today’s competitive business environment, organisations cannot ignore the importance of developing their leaders and the impact it can have on the business.

Companies must equip their leaders with the tools and resources they need to have the skills to navigate the demands of an increasingly diverse workforce and evolving global marketplace - and that starts with effective leadership development.

The Situational Leadership® model is arguably the most recognised, utilised and effective leadership and influence tool in the history of the behavioural sciences. The model can provide leaders and managers with the tools necessary to influence others and to help them appropriately cultivate and exercise their power to influence and affect change. As organisations strive to be more nimble and respond to changes at the speed of business, leaders are essential.

GBS Corporate Training is the sole UK provider of Situational Leadership® training

GBS provides a series of Situational Leadership® training courses related to different applications of the model. We help leaders learn to appropriately balance their task direction with proper relationship behaviour, which helps to maintain high levels of consistent performance across team members.

Situational Leadership®: Building Leaders

This two-day instructor-led workshop emphasises active learning through application-based activities and participant interaction, to ensure learner engagement in the classroom.

Situational Leadership® is a proven model of effective leadership that has endured the test of time. It’s a practical approach which helps staff become more effective in achieving goals and shows you, as a leader, how best to respond to their performanceneeds.

Upcoming courses:

Situational Leadership®: Building Leaders

Situational Leadership® is a proven model of effective leadership that has endured the test of time. It’s a practical approach which helps staff become more effective in achieving goals and shows you, as a leader, how best to respond to their performance needs. 

This two-day instructor-led workshop emphasises active learning through application-based activities and participant interaction, to ensure learner engagement in the classroom.

London: 24th – 25th May 2018

London: 2nd – 3rd July

Situational Leadership® accreditation

Situational Leadership® accreditation can be awarded to an organisation’s internal trainer(s) who successfully complete(s) this three day Situational Leadership® programme.

The accreditation is designed to equip trainers with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver licensed Situational Leadership® within their own organisation. The first part of the accreditation process involves experiencing the Situational Leadership programme® as a participant. They then undergo a ‘teach-back’ where they prepare and deliver an agreed section of the programme.

London: 24th - 26th July 2018

Whether it’s up, down or across the organisation, effective influence skills can enable leaders to positively influence the behaviour of others, make strategic decisions, manage conflict, and affect change.

Leadership training on influence can be a powerful way to equip leaders with the tools to better understand why their own attempts to direct behaviour succeed or fail. Armed with this knowledge, leaders can more effectively collaborate across the business and move the needle on organisational performance, and if they want to, help them on their journey to being on the next Rich List.