Fifteen Leadership Lessons from Five Inspiring Leaders
The recent Leadership Conference in Guernsey proved to be a lively and entertaining event, with plenty of conversations being sparked by our thought-provoking talks.
Over a week has passed since the event, the dust has settled but my mind is still buzzing. Five very diverse leaders spoke and everyone brought something different to the stage.
Matt Bird reminded us that leadership isn’t just about giving direction - leaders need good relationships to be effective. Guy and Julia Hands shared their personal insights on leadership and making tough decisions, while Dr Lesley Dickie from Jersey Zoo encouraged us all to be more disruptive. Last to take the stage was Major General Patrick Marriott who amused the audience greatly but also left everyone with a simple mantra to rely on when we, as leaders, are under pressure.
We hope that in years to come many of those business leaders who attended the recent Leadership Conference will look back and recall some of the lessons shared by our speakers. Here are just a few of the lessons and ideas I took away from the evening:
- Fostering meaningful relationships with stakeholders is a far more effective basis for business success than focusing solely on the numbers. Great leaders build relationships throughout their career.
- Great leaders have a serving approach; they are interested in and respectful of people regardless of position and status.
- Diversity fosters creativity. Effective leaders intentionally seek connections with people from different backgrounds, different industries and with different experiences to their own.
- Leadership requires humility; you cannot be responsible for hundreds or thousands of employees and think your life is more important.
- Leadership requires sacrifice; dedication and focus cannot be spread thinly.
- Having someone to shoulder the burden of leadership shares the pressures but you must have your objectives completely aligned to really pull in the same direction.
- Creating a strong company culture is key and that comes from being consultative with your staff.
- Disruption in business can be good. A change in perspective is healthy and sometimes you need to break the mould.
- Take personal responsibility; Make a decision and press forward even if others don’t agree with you, but be prepared to fail and admit you were wrong.
- You need to have both mission-enabling and mission-delivery people in a leadership team.
- Leaders must act in the right way, with integrity; we must lead by example as you can’t compel people, only persuade them.
- A good leader will embolden people under their charge; reassurance and encouragement are key.
- Leaders must be positioned where they share the risks with those whom they lead.
- Leaders know how to position themselves in the middle to keep the company together, harnessing the energised to motivate and pull others forward.
- When you are not sure what to do in a pressurised situation ‘do as you ought to do, not what you want to do’.