Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gordon Brown, A Man In Need Of Leadership Coaching

As Chancellor it was recognised that Brown was a details man but as TIME Magazine from April 2008 commented being a details man was not a bad attribute in a Finance Minister adding however the crucial rider that this is a weakness in a national leader whose job it is to discern and articulate the bigger picture

In newspapers, magazines and on the television we are bombarded on a daily basis with evidence of Mr. Brown getting caught up in day-to-day political decision-making and micro-management.

Increasingly the concept of Ministers actually being in charge of anything is being eroded as Mr Brown finds that no issue is too trivial, no crisis too small for him not to need to take charge of.

The problem is one that all executives have to deal with: without an empowered team behind the leader no company can forge ahead. If the MD is unable to delegate then he/she will never be able to find the time to focus on building the business

In the latest Leadership crisis it appears that Brown's cabinet were just won over by promises of a change in Leadership style and on 11th Jan the Prime Minister told MPs in a private meeting in the Commons:
'we are not a team of one, I am one of a team, we are all in this together.

Do we think he will change?
Not until his Values change, and that will never happen without outside intervention.

He needs to get a great coach

So how can MDs and CEOs become better Leaders?

Here are 5 pointers

1. Encourage excellence: You want your people to get better than you. That way you can sit back

2. Actively delegate: stop doing things because you know how to. People only learn from experience: this applies as much to you as to your team. If you consistently fill your time doing what you can, you will never get experience at doing anything else. If your team are never faced with new challenges they can't develop

3. Don't grab the limelight: when someone has had a success let them get the kudos. Put them in front of the cameras, let them have their triumph

4. Allow mistakes: we all fall off our bikes when we were learn to ride. Without falling we can't learn. Resist the temptation to interfere if they are not doing something in the way you would. Watch for the result and you may discover another way of doing things that achieves a better result

5. Recognise the effort: even if something doesn't work out, your manager may have bust a gut to get it done. Recognise that effort and be open: don't hold back from frank discussion. Explain why you feel the job could have been done better and listen to the response. Be prepared to change your point of view

But remember, if you really want to develop your Leadership Style you are going to find it so much less painful if you have outside intervention. Find yourself a Leadership Coach

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