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Leadership Behaviours

The 9 Leadership Skills and Behaviours are:

  • Leaders prompt the questions to help shape / re-invent the future.
  • Leaders horizon scan, learn from outside and adapt.
  • Leaders respond to events with agility in a timely way.
  • Leaders harness and create capacity.
  • Leaders build and own strong relationships politically, externally and internally.
  • Leaders inspire staff and value their efforts and resilience.
  • Leaders have a shared collective ownership.
  • Leaders set boundaries, non negotiables, and hold each other, staff and partners to account whilst encouraging autonomy and conscientious risk taking.
  • Leaders take accountability for running the business effectively balancing performance and cost.

 

Leaders prompt the questions to help shape / re-invent the future

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Take time to make sure that you are asking the right questions
  • Give time to planning
  • You can make decisions that are imperfect (it is allowed)
  • Prepared to ask stupid questions
  • Do not be afraid to be wrong and admit it
  • Go out of your way to speak to others
  • Invite in your critics
  • Explore the uncertainty
  • Coaching approach
  • Jumping to solutions
  • 80% telling
  • Fixing things that are not broken
  • Ask the question, but ignore the answer

 

Leaders horizon scan, learn from outside and adapt 

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Using evidence based practice
  • Being aware of what is happening nationally and regionally and across all sectors
  • Understanding what is happening on a wider scale from customer needs and demands
  • Looking for new ideas
  • Being open and receptive to learning
  • Being prepared to take a “calculated” risk
  • Being upstream and ahead of legal change
  • Being on the front foot
  • Understanding the consequences of potential change – based on a good understanding of your base data
  • Being agile and changing quickly when things go wrong
  • Not just doing what has always been done
  • Not waiting to react until it is on your desk

 

Leaders respond to events with agility in a timely way

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Anticipating problems and issues
  • Dealing with “dilemmas”
  • Being ready to react / respond
  • “Thinking on your feet”
  • Taking action
  • Working at pace
  • Being on the front foot
  • Being responsive
  • Positioning
  • Producing adaptive strategies
  • Recognising when something has gone wrong and changing quickly
  • Being “on top of your game”
  • Being on the back foot
  • Being process driven
  • Being complacent
  • Working in a silo mindset

 

Leaders harness and create capacity

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding the parameters of our capacity
  • Getting that our success relies on us galvanising the wider capacity – partners, workforce, volunteers etc.
  • Know who is best placed to lead and empower them to do it
  • Identify internal leadership capacity
  • Willingness to empower
  • Understand and spot talent available
  • Find ways of growing talent
  • Inward looking
  • Using the same people (usual suspects)
  • No succession planning

 

Leaders build and own strong relationships politically, externally and internally

Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Have a genuine recognition (humility) of the roles of others
  • “Walking 100 miles in our politicians’ / partners’ shoes”
  • Understanding the political mindset
  • Understanding what partners want without losing focus on outcomes (working through barriers of context and language)
  • Building on a shared sense of purpose / outcomes
  • Creating shared ownership of risk
  • Use team members with particular skills / relationships
  • Use the word “sorry” when we are wrong
  • Use of authority rather than influence
  • Personalise relationships
  • Opting out of politics

 

Leaders inspire staff and value their efforts and resilience

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Inspiring = motivating teams and staff Engaging with staff – communicating the why / what / how
  • Walking the floor
  • Providing clarity
  • Setting expectations
  • Providing the sense of vision / direction
  • Doing what you say – following through
  • Giving feedback which is constructive and honest – this in turn leads to learning
  • Recognising staff contributions
  • Recognising and encouraging team strengths
  • Saying “thank you”
  • De-motivating behaviours – being inconsistent, lack of clarity, vague, indecisive
  • Poor communication
  • Giving impression of being bored
  • Adopting silo focused approach – “secret squirrel”, “secret garden” – egocentric
  • Repetitive

 

Leaders have a shared collective ownership

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Being aware of issues
  • Communicating and sharing what you are doing
  • Making sure there are no surprises
  • Being able to describe the purpose of the council as a whole
  • Owning the “big picture”
  • Identifying how can contribute to other areas – being collaborative
  • Overt collaborative style
  • Being proud about working for the whole council
  • Encouraging shared collective ownership with own teams and by providing a role model and key information
  • "Not my problem”
  • Silo thinking
  • Not being aware of how the council operates overall
  • Not knowing what going on
  • Not sighted on wider council issues and dilemmas
  • Walking into political issues without being aware
  • Pushing people out of your service area – putting up barriers to your area

 

Leaders set boundaries, non negotiables, and hold each other, staff and partners to account whilst encouraging autonomy and conscientious risk taking

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Using your common sense
  • Being clear on expectations and the council’s operating framework – the core rules and “givens” that must be adhered to
  • Setting boundaries / operating parameters for self, team and staff – conscientious risk taking
  • Reducing straightforward and at times ineffective compliance
  • Being clear about and understanding the consequences of actions
  • Balancing consistency, fairness and transparency
  • Working collaboratively – sharing accountability and ownership
  • Being sighted on issues and decisions
  • Making sure there are no surprises
  • Tackling poor performance and behaviour
  • But tolerating genuine mistakes which are not due to incompetence
  • Over controlling
  • Being risk averse
  • Demonstrating a blame culture
  • Micro managing

 

Leaders take accountability for running the business effectively balancing performance and cost

(Describe what leaders would practically do well if they were effective in this area?)

  • Knowing, understanding and monitoring key management information (focusing on outcomes): (Cost, Performance, and Staff)
  • Carrying out effective business planning and business case development – watching out for any unintended consequences
  • Proactively tackling issues – e.g. poor performance of staff and contractors
  • Taking responsibility for communicating core rules and “givens” that must be adhered to. Being clear about the consequences of non-compliance and being accountable for following it through
  • Looking for opportunities and (encouraging the team to) for cost savings and efficiencies
  • Not controlling budget
  • Being unaware of what is happening
  • Putting barriers up to suggestions – resistant to change
  • Tolerating poor performance

 

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