There is something about seeing sunshine for the first time after months of winter that revs up the mood and makes us more mentally sharp and open-minded. Thus, spring feels like a natural point in time for a new plan, a fresh start; for new beginnings or just a good old spring clean.
By way of example, this week we launched our 2017 embracing talent programme, where we assembled our leaders of the future. These people are getting ready to embark on learning new skills, knowledge and leadership behaviours.
Seeing these talented people at the beginning of their journey made me think about how often more experienced leaders take time out to review and refresh their own leadership skills. With this in mind, here are the top 10 things to look for in a good leader. How do you shape up?
1. Provide direction: Ultimately you need to lead, as well as manage. Motivating a team is an important skill but you also need to focus on what everyone is working towards and how that will be accomplished.
2. Confidence: It is important to have confidence in your plans, even if you have setbacks. Staying calm and confident, and role modeling positive behaviours is the best way to ensure your team follows suit.
3. Honesty: Always be honest and ethical. Promote honesty as a key value in your team. They will respect your integrity. Your team have to trust you and you, in turn, have to win and retain their respect. Being honest is a great way to do this.
4. Delegate: Work with your team to promote involvement and ownership, and work to your team’s strengths. Empower your team to achieve your shared goals.
5. Communicate: Ensure you provide clear direction and communicate the outcomes you are looking to achieve. This will ensure that everyone in your team is moving in the same direction.
6. Positive attitude: Ensure you create and share a positive outlook and provide motivation and inspiration to your team. This will nurture a culture of optimism.
7. Be persistent: Success does not come easy, so be persistent and resilient in order to achieve your goals.
8. Be open to ideas: Be prepared to listen to others and seek out new ideas. You are not the only one with these and a key skill for a good leader is to draw out new ideas and input from others.
9. Be yourself: It is important to find a leadership style that works for you and your team. Be authentic and understand how you as an individual can best have a positive impact and influence on others. Try to understand how they perceive you and always be clear in communicating your values.
10. Trust your instinct: As a leader you need to make decisions, use your judgement and trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, then it usually is.
So use spring as an opportunity to dust off your own leadership toolkit and refresh the key skills needed to be effective in today’s fast moving world.
Lisa Winnard is HR and business services director at Sesame Bankhall Group