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Building honest leaders

What values define your leadership?

Leadership matters; how can you be sure that you’re giving your team what they need, and getting the best from them in return?

Truly great leadership is innate – it’s something you either have or you don’t. Clearly, we aren’t all going to have those natural leadership skills – but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to be better leaders.

If you want your career to progress it’s important that you invest in your development, and learn how to access and evolve the traits that will benefit your workforce, bringing out the best in both yourself and those you lead.

One of the biggest concerns we see with developing leaders is that people struggle to be honest – whether that’s honest about their own weaknesses, or honest in their feedback about others.

We worry so much about trying not to offend people that we let negative behaviours slide, let lax workers ride the tails of others more efficient than themselves, and let weak leaders drift through meetings without implementing change or growth. 

Biting your tongue benefits nobody – and that doesn’t mean you need to be aggressive or relentlessly negative either – just honest.

How can you truly be a great leader if your team don’t feel that they can be honest about you, or trust that you are being honest with them?

Truth matters. It isn’t always easy to give honest feedback – or to hear it – but even the most critical of responses doesn’t have to be negative if there is truth and a plan for improvement in the midst of the criticism. Truth must, at times, be handled carefully – and it gives us a position from which we can improve – which is surely the point of leaders?

Truth also brings with it respect. If your workforce know that you will be honest, even when that honesty brings unwelcome news, they will respect you far more as their leader. They will respect that you don’t sugar coat the realities of the industry, that your feedback will always support the growth and development of the business, and that you have the best interests of your organisation in mind with every business decision you make.

Honesty works both ways, and a strong leader allows for honest feedback from their employees, meaning that they can offer responses that will develop your own position and skillset, enabling you to evolve in the role, continuously strengthening your own skills as well as bringing forward the whole team in your wake.

Business isn’t stagnant – or at least we hope it isn’t! In a world that is changing, growing and adapting every day, ever more and ever more quickly, your organisation has to be able to do the same – and that means that your workforce has to evolve too. As a leader, it’s important that you lead by example – which means investing in your development to benefit that of the business.

Honesty is just one of the key values and behaviours you should cement into the culture of your organisation

Development is a lifelong journey

Our leadership development programmes are designed to create a clear and honest picture of where your leaders already are, where they can improve, and then follow up all our training and mentoring with measurable proof that new learning has been applied to the workplace. Not only can we offer ways to support feedback on your leadership in a way that protect everyone’s feelings, we can also help you to understand where you have areas that can be developed, and create a programme of learning specifically tailored for your individual leadership growth, taking into consideration your own assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, and the feedback from those who work with and below you.

Leadership isn’t a game – but it can be enormous fun, particularly when you truly understand yourself and your workforce. An important skill for any leader to learn is to truly hear what your workforce are saying – and what the market and industry are saying, so that you can adapt your own approach to meet their needs. Call us today on 01234 757575 to learn how we can help you to become the very best leader you can be.

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