5 ways to make leadership more effective

It is a recognised fact that the stronger the leadership, the more successful the organisation. The leadership team provides direction and steers the organisation on it’s improvement journey; navigating the best route, avoiding hazards and obstacles. Being a successful leader has evolved from an autocratic, being expected to “take full control and hold all the answers” to a more democratic transformational leadership style. This leadership style has involved leaders incorporating five key qualities;

  • Integrity and openness
  • Understanding the team
  • Motivate and inspire
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Vision and values

Being open and honest was once regarded as a weakness, a sign of vulnerability, but now it is a sign to others that you are ‘human’. The ability to talk openly and honestly about your own emotions and challenges provides integrity and guides decision making and behaviour. Having clear convictions, with a strong ‘moral compass’  provides clear direction. Accepting personal responsibility and acknowledging you don’t have all the answers and need the help of others inspires, builds trust and makes your team more willing to follow. 

The team you work with all bring different qualities and understanding the team is a true skill. The best leaders drive their team forward with passion, enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation, but only if they understand their team. Showing an interest and investing time engages your team and  determines their strengths, areas for development, and priorities.  

For team members to fully apply themselves, they need to feel valued and appreciated. It is important to find ways to celebrate the achievements of your team, even if it’s through a simple ‘well done’.  As well as boosting morale, it will also motivate them to continue giving their best. A good leader will work on understanding their team, encourage them to give their best and help them to feel empowered.  They want their team to have a sense of ownership and believe that what they’re doing is purposeful. 

Communicating clearly, concisely and tactfully is a crucial skill. Never assume. It is more than sharing information, listening and responding. It also includes sharing relevant information, asking thought provoking questions, embracing new ideas, clarifying misunderstandings, and being clear about what you want. Effective communication inspires the team. Involve your team in decision making by allowing them to voice their ideas and view their opinions. Exceptional leaders never speak first. They’re not compelled to talk the most in a meeting or lead with their ideas. Instead, they are willing to take a back seat and hear what is being said before adding their thoughts and ideas. Give the team the autonomy and authority to decide how to get the work done. Encourage them to ‘ think outside the box’ and be creative and innovative. 

A leader with clear vision has a clear idea of the direction that needs to be taken and what outcome looks like. The vision needs to be clearly understood by the team and how their efforts contribute to the ‘bigger picture’. Leading ‘from the front’ will inspire and encourage others to do the same. All decisions are vision and values led and will involve tough decision making. These decisions are made with conviction, taking responsibility and following it through. 

As well as providing direction, inspiration, and guidance, successful leaders exhibit courage, passion, confidence, commitment, and ambition. They nurture the strengths and talents of their people and build teams committed to achieving common goals. The most effective leaders have these traits in common. They continually reinforce how their efforts are making a difference, and encourage the development of their potential with meaningful goals and challenges.

How can SchooliP/CollegeiP/UniversityiP/Alto (referred to as iP) support effective leadership?

To explain how, it’s useful to focus on the concepts as outlined above:-

Integrity and openness - When a leader’s actions align with what they say, they become people that inspire others to want to follow them.  iP can support this concept by...

  • Ensuring the Whole organisation/Department Development Plans are visible to all staff to ensure total clarity of goals.

 

  • Using the Blog function to keep open channels of communication and to record them in one visible place e.g. whole school/departmental/small team communications such as  regular staff news updates/bulletins/morning briefings

Understanding the team - to determine their strengths, needs, and priorities and encourage the development of their potential with meaningful goals and challenges. iP can support this concept by...

  • Setting relevant personal objectives at the beginning of a review period in discussion with a line manager, and/or….
  • Allowing individuals to select from a list of relevant objectives at the beginning for their review period.
  • Encouraging individuals to set their own Action Steps to each personal objective
  • Actively encouraging staff to set their own Areas for Development for the short, medium and long term.

  • Embedding the CPD Request tool in your organisation to allow individuals to suggest relevant courses.
  • Using the CPD and Areas for Development tool and reporting functionality to anlayse and make use of the expertise and talent within the organisation to coach and support colleagues.
  • Using the Succession Planning tool at close review to discuss future ambitions and career moves.

Motivate and inspire - For people to stretch themselves and contribute their best efforts, they need to know their work will be valued and appreciated.   Listen and get feedback from your team regularly.  Frequently and consistently recognize achievements. iP can support this concept by...

  • Conducting regular check-ins between the line manager/collaborator/other colleague using the Interims Review tool.

  • Alerting wider communities within your organisation of individuals/teams success and wins on the Sharing feed.

Communication and Collaboration -  Involve more people in decisions to create shared ownership and boost employee engagement. Communicate clear goals and deadlines to your team, and then give them the autonomy and authority to decide how the work gets done. iP can support this concept by...

  • Using the Blog function to keep open channels of communication and to record them in one visible place e.g. whole school/departmental/small team communications such as  regular staff news updates/bulletins/morning briefings
  • Sharing of information, documents, plans, reports etc. to relevant colleagues using the share tools.

  • Adding extra collaborators to an individual’s Work Area to collaborate and offer support.

Vision and values - Reaffirm your long-term goals as they will guide your short-term decisions. iP can support this concept by...

  • Ensuring the Whole organisation/Department Development Plans are visible to all staff to ensure total clarity in longer term goals.
  • Using the Blog function to keep open channels of communication and to record them in one visible place e.g. whole school/departmental/small team communications such as regular staff news updates/bulletins/morning briefings.

As explained, there are many ways iP can be utilised to support effective leadership, taking into account the five identified areas:-

  • Integrity and openness
  • Understanding the team
  • Motivate and inspire
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Vision and values

If you would like to find out more about any of these ideas and how to implement them in your organisation’s iP system, then please don’t hesitate to book in a FREE and UNLIMITED online training session with your Account Manager here

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