A few weeks ago, I wrote about what makes an effective team, but let’s be honest a team is only as good as their leadership. Without a great leader a really motivated and effective team, can become disheartened and disengaged quickly.
A lot of people write about good leadership and what it takes to be a leader, but very few people will tell you how hard it can be. To do it well it takes time, effort, energy and perseverance. You need to be continuously learning and building your skills.
I often had my direct reports come to me and say, “but I am a great manager, I was very clear about what I wanted them to do.” And this is true. This is good management – set clear expectations and timeframes, communicate them to your staff. This will be enough to make you a manager. But it doesn’t make you a leader, that takes more.
So, what are some of the features of a good boss, a leader of people? Google recently released their “10 Habits of Effective Bosses” list based on a ten-year internal study.
Can you picture a boss who has ticked all of these boxes? Think about the best boss you have ever had… Probably not, it’s a big list, and bosses are human too. When I managed a large government communications team I know I struggled to not micromanage, and I didn’t always have a clear vision I could share with the team (and many others on the list). Being able to be all of these things takes a lot of work, but it should be something we are aspiring to get to.
Some people will be reading this thinking it’s all BS. I go to work, I tell people what to do, I set the work program and manage the team. I don’t need to do anything else. And that’s true. Just a note for those people though, that approach is not inspiring for anyone. Not your staff and not you.
Here is my challenge to all of the managers out there. What is one thing from this list you can focus on this week? Don’t know? Ask your staff. Scary hey? Start a conversation, it may open your eyes about where you need to improve. Then commit to it. Tell your staff what you are going to do and ask them to call you out when you fall back into old habits. Engaging your staff will help show them you are serious about improving and want to be a great leader, even if it is a journey you are still on.
What does this have to do with comms?
Wondering why a communications person is writing about leadership? Because from a great team, comes great outcomes. A great team comes from great leadership! A lot of these traits (technical skills, collaboration, decision making) also makes you a great communications leader in your organisation. I am always up for a chat about what else you can be doing to improve your communications leadership – so reach out, let’s chat about how you can increase your communications value.
You can read more about the Google study at https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/google-spent-a-decade-researching-what-makes-a-great-boss-they-came-up-with-these-10-things.html