What type of leader do you want to be? This was a question posed by William Montgomery, CEO of TEN, at the Future Leaders careers evening.
Everyone has the ability to enforce positive change. Why? Because ideas change the world. How you communicate those ideas, how you get buy in from colleagues and stakeholders, will determine how much movement there is with your idea. The skill you must learn is how to create a compelling story to bring people along with you.
William’s five tips on enforcing positive change:
1. Keep speeches to 20 minutes maximum.
Martin Luther-King, Steve Jobs and John F Kennedy all completed their key speeches in between 15-18 minutes. This is the optimum time because it is long enough to get a message across, but short enough to keep people’s attention.
2. Adapt to the situation.
There is no ‘perfect leader’. We all have examples of good and bad leadership, the key is for leaders to be flexible and to adapt their behaviour to the situation. At times they need to be visionary and at other times they need to be detailed. Sometimes they need to be reliable/conservative, while at other times they need to take risks. Different situations demand using different skills, and a good leader will be able to adapt to the situation.
3. Be honest.
Research undertaken by TEN over the last 14 years has shown that the top five characteristics of a good leader are always the same, and the very top characteristic has never changed. According to this research, honesty is the most important characteristic, followed by someone who is forward-looking, competent, inspiring and intelligent.
4. Good leaders have high Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence can be split in to two keys sections:
- Interpersonal, which looks at how you interact with others. This is further broken down in to empathy and social skills.
- Intrapersonal, which focuses on what is happening in you. This is further broken down in to self awareness, self regulation and motivation. Get to know what influences your behaviour (the Birkman Method is a good example of a behavioural assessment).
A key aspect to this is knowing when to do the right thing and importantly for leaders, knowing when to delegate.
5. Avoid key flaws that can derail even the most competent leader.
TEN analysed 11,000 appraisals and put together a list of 10 flaws that derail leaders. They were:
- Lack of energy and enthusiasm
- Accept own mediocre performance
- Lack clear vision and mission
- Have poor judgement
- Don’t collaborate
- Don’t walk the talk
- Resist new ideas
- Don’t learn from mistakes
- Lack interpersonal skills
- Fail to develop others
The talk finished on one final note…
Live your life by design not accident.
Think about where you want to go – visualise where you want to be in 10 years time and think back to where you were 10 years ago – and develop the skills, qualities and characteristics to help you get there.
The ACT would like to thank William Montgomery at TEN for speaking to the Future Leaders group. To read and sign up to William’s newsletter please visit askten.com/newsletter
Information about the Future Leaders group is available at treasurers.org/futureleaders
Our thanks also go to Brewer Morris for hosting the event.
— Damilola Onamusi (@DamilolaACT) December 6, 2017