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It Starts with good Leadership!

The business benefits of having engaged employees (basically those who are excited about and committed to their work), have been well known for decades. However, progress towards improving the state of play in this area has been lamentably slow. I am convinced that a key reason for this is that too many managers lack the leadership skills necessary to motivate their teams. It is not that they are inherently bad people (mostly!); they just don't know how to lead. Add to that the relentless surge of activity and an unending deluge of emails and other communications, and learning how to lead rapidly falls down the list of priorities. "Sorry", they say, "I have too much real work to do."

The problem is that if you are an executive or other leader, this IS your real work! Developing your direct reports and teams, and boosting organizational health, is core to helping your business succeed. Just working harder and longer as demands increase will clearly fail at some point. The days of regular 'command and control' leadership have long gone: whilst there is a time for being direct, the modern business world more commonly needs an empowering and motivational approach so that everyone in the organization will work proactively and with initiative to achieve success. Merely being 'The Boss' will never accomplish this. At best, that approach will produce grudging or fear-filled compliance.

How will you know if your staff are engaged? A confidential survey could obviously help, but here is a list of highly-engaged behaviours helpfully noted by Gallup following recent research (

  • Despite obstacles, the engaged do not often let problems become an excuse for inaction or a barrier to performance.

  • They seek ways to operate at their best, and as a result focus on their strengths. They spend less time trying to do what does not come naturally to them.

  • They are intentional about their engagement. They plan and independently, proactively try to improve their engagement rather than expecting someone else to engage them.

  • They take accountability for their performance instead of blaming others when things do not go as planned.

Incidentally, Gallup note that only 15% of employees are engaged, so there is an opportunity here to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Good leadership is the first key step towards sustained business success. It provides engagement, direction and energy, and it makes working lives more enjoyable resulting in many attendant benefits. However, it does not just happen. Let us help you to become the leader you want to be, and to develop boards and other teams that are agile, resilient and engaged.

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