The toolkit to be a better business leader

My toolkit to be a better business leader was the result of studying for my MBA and drawing on the wisdom from the many business commentators.  It is a high level overview and its purpose is to navigate leaders in the right direction as I found there was no exact kind of leader that one should model themselves.  To be a better leader encompasses a range of competences; an awareness of ones emotions and self; and effective communication.

 

Competences include the underlying personal factors of a leader such as character traits, patterns of behaviour and cognitive mindsets.  It was DuBrin et.al (2006) that provided the framework from which a leader can measure their personal traits against that of the researched list identified as traits of a better business leader.  That intelligence can be used in conjunction with the Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model to aid in an understanding of a leader’s behavioural match to their followers.  Then Gosling & Mintzberg (2003) came from a different perspective to illustrate the five mindsets that leaders should move between and integrate into their behaviour as an all-encompassing competence.

Emotional awareness encompasses qualities such as having an awareness of oneself; ability to self-regulate; motivation; empathy; and social skills.  It was Goleman (2004) that provided a framework of emotional competencies and his contention was that leaders who were emotionally aware have a tendency to provide a nurturing and encouraging culture within their organisations.  Whereas Caruso & Salovey (2004) explored a leader’s disposition in the context of influencing others and identified that an awareness of one’s mood assisted when dealing with followers, problem solving and communication.

Self-awareness involves reviewing and analysing feedback about oneself to improve personal effectiveness as a leader.  It was Drucker (2005) that stated performance comes from strengths not weaknesses and that leaders should improve their strengths as this generates a higher return on investment than bettering their weaknesses.  In contrast, England (2002) described The Johari Window where the contention was that too much of the time leaders ignored their weaknesses unless they had the self-awareness to reflect and see that inability for themselves.  An ability to reflect is aided by the use of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that identifies a leader’s preferences, ways of thinking and how they interact with others.

Communication encompasses awareness for positioning or influence; and the ability to use communication to influence others.  It was Brenneman (1998) and Gerstner (2002) that illustrated in their situations how communication was paramount to explain what mattered to turn their organisations around.  In contrast the Centered Leadership model outlined the capability to focus on the networks required by leaders as their research indicated that leaders needed to manage their connections differently with newer ways of communication for the digital age.

 

“The picture emerging from the neuro-science labs is that you ignore your gut at your peril.”

Morse, G. (2006). Decisions and desire. Harvard Business Review, 84 (1), pg 51.

A final thought to ponder; does an awareness of one’s effectiveness of Gut feel fit within a toolkit for a better business leader?  Possibly, however it is an awareness that is utilised in all of the components of the toolkit.  It maybe discouraged in organisations as there are many quantitative and qualitative frameworks, models and tools to use to arrive at a justifiable decision, however the business leader is not immune to the pressure of ignoring his/her gut as such an awareness of its effectiveness can provide a competitive advantage.

Advertisements

About Timothy J. Lakeman

TIMOTHY LAKEMAN is passionate about business owners THRIVING not striving – strategically; financially; and operationally. Timothy’s passion for business stems from having observed his entrepreneurial father in many failed businesses over a number of decades. This fuelled his commitment to ensure all business owners that he works with have a thriving business. Timothy Lakeman has 20 years’ experience working with small to medium sized businesses in the capacity of a senior executive and also as a business owner himself. He has worked throughout Australia, Asia, Middle East and India, and in a variety of industries including Media, Construction and Technology. Timothy is able to draw on his international experiences from a cultural and diversification perspective to drive change in any business to maximise its profit potential and to create a valuable saleable asset into the future. Timothy utilises the practicality of an in-depth financial understanding from being an experienced Chartered Accountant with the academic theories of his Master of Business Administration to partner with business owners to implement and take their businesses to the next level. Timothy loves being a Judge and Mentor as part of the RMIT University Business Plan competition as it allows him to meet and assist the business owners of the future leaving a legacy of Thriving. He also publishes a Business and Entrepreneurial blog discussing the issues relevant to business owners. Book in for a 2 hour free no obligation discovery session with Timothy to take your business to the next level! View all posts by Timothy J. Lakeman

One response to “The toolkit to be a better business leader

  • Andrew McIntosh CPA, Optimize Business

    Hi Timothy, nice blog. Do you think that anyone (assume basic education requirements, etc) can be ‘trained’ to be a business leader? You raise some interesting ideas above and I can think of several examples of where leaders have failed (or perhaps thats too hard…. not done as well as they could have), in business because a lack of emotional awareness of how their actions impacted those around them, particularly their team.

    I am blogging at otpimizesbiz.com and would be pleased to have you as a reciprocal follower if you like what you read. Regards, Andrew.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: