Using the L word in terms of leadership

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air!

It really does make me wonder if the L word is one that is avoided in the workplace. But surely really good and inspirational leaders do exactly that i.e. “they share the love”?

A couple of years back when I said a few opening words at the start of the Awards Lunch & Ceremony I made the point that what came over loud and clear about all of our finalist leaders was that their passion and their care for others was embedded in all that they do. They were each totally passionate about their cause and vision and sharing it with others and engaging others in helping turn that vision into a reality. Equally important though is that these leaders genuinely care not only about their vision but importantly they also care very much about each of the people they work with and for. They treat everyone as individuals, care about what was happening in their lives as well as about their contribution to making the vision come to fruition.

That is what I mean by leaders “sharing the love”. Effective and inspirational leaders care deeply, not only about their vision but also about others and they show and convey genuine concern for them.

Rachel Clacher (Moneypenny co founder and director) told me about attending a really inspirational leadership event recently led by Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalffe, who I believe is based at Bradford University.

She and her team have done extensive research into what employees are looking for from their “local leader” – what they described as “The most desired traits of the local leader” as part of a wider research project. They were looking at leadership that employees are in daily touch with – rather than looking at the most senior leaders such as CEO or MD.

Their findings revealed that the top 7 most looked-for local leaders’ traits that employees looked for in leaders were:

  • Shows genuine concern for others
  • Seen as a communicator, networker and achiever
  • Trusts others to lead
  • Is honest and consistent
  • Is accessible, approachable and flexible
  • Is decisive, determined and ready to take risks
  • Is able to draw people together with a shared vision

(Source: Professor Beverly Alimo Metcalffe, Professor of Leadership, Bradford University School of Management)

Top of the list is “Shows genuine concern for others” – in other words what I referred to as “sharing the love”. To which I (as a mathematician) respond with Q.E.D.! This is exactly what we too have learned over the years of the Awards and our Judging Days.

It seems to me it is authentic leadership that is described by those traits highlighted – leadership that conveys passion and care, engages and generates trust and motivation. It’s the kind of leadership that helps turn a vision into a reality, I believe.

Here’s a VT link of a presentation by Professor Beverly Alimo Metcalffe which is well worth a watch:

http://www.staffgovernance.scot.nhs.uk/improving-employee-experience/dignity-at-work-project/dignity-at-work-video-guide/leadership-and-respect—presentation-from-professor-beverly-alimo-metcalfe/

How about sharing the love, giving recognition to another whose leadership engages you by nominating them for a Leading Wales Award? http://leadingwalesawards.co.uk/nominate/

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