Articles

Legitimate Leadership Should Be Done, Not Just Talked About

June 14, 2017 - By Wendy Lambourne, Director, MA Industrial and Organisation Psychology Registered Psychologist with SA Medical & Dental Council

Most managers who are introduced to the Legitimate Leadership Framework gain the following insights:

  • Only when managers are in the relationship to “give” to their people rather than “get” results out of them will their people willingly go above and beyond in pursuit of the company’s objectives.
  • This “giving” is not a giving of money. It is a giving of genuine concern for the individuals (care) and enablement of them to realise the best in themselves (growth).
  • It is two drops of essence, care and growth, which gives those in authority legitimacy, not money.

At the same time, leaders are not necessarily clear as to what caring for and growing their people means practically. They want to know what they can DO to enhance their legitimacy as leaders.

To this end, we have found the following 20 ideas on getting started on the road to legitimacy to be useful for those in authority who would like to work at becoming people that others “want to” rather than “have to” work for.

20 Ideas On Getting Started

  1. Get to know your people as human beings, not just human resources.
  2. Make yourself available to your people.
  3. Set up one-on-one meetings with direct reports in which you suspend your agenda for theirs.
  4. Ask each of your people what, if they got it from you, would enhance their contribution – and deliver what you can.
  5. Demonstrate genuine concern for personal circumstances while still holding people accountable for their contribution.
  6. Take away the obstacles/reduce the administrative “stuff” which takes managers away from serving their people and non-managers away from serving their customers.
  7. Clarify and agree with each of your people what s/he is uniquely accountable for.
  8. Do not tolerate mediocrity but rather set and insist on high standards.
  9. Audit less and “watch the game” more.
  10. Push decision-making authority, and with it accountability, as far down the organisation as possible.
  11. Stop checking on everything that people are doing; trust your people more.
  12. Respect the line of command.
  13. Build some leadership measures into the scoreboard.
  14. Spend time coaching people in your team.
  15. Demonstrate gratitude (praise and reward) for what people have given.
  16. Ensure that people are making more decisions independently of you than they were making six months ago.
  17. Ensure that people’s reward matches their contribution; make the consequences to those who have gone the extra mile significantly greater than for those who have been careful.
  18. Consistently censure for carelessness and discipline for deliberate malevolence.
  19. Give people regular, honest feedback which enables them to be the best that they can be.
  20. Remove people who are incapable from their roles, it is the caring thing to do.

When leaders do one or more of these things their people undoubtedly trust them more, are more willing and more loyal to them. Most importantly, those leaders are perceived to be doing “care and growth”, not just talking about it.

Wendy Lambourne
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