Articles

The Cost Of Living Versus The Cost Of Leadership

September 29, 2022 - By Tony Flannigan, Associate, BSc (1st Hons) Naval Architecture MSt Manufacturing Leadership

2022 has seen inflation go from 1% to 10% in many countries, and it is still rising. So the cost of living has dominated headlines as people struggle to make ends meet financially. Money (pounds, dollars, euros, or whatever) is the currency people are focused on.

In these difficult times, obviously leadership is ever more important. But what is the currency of leadership?

At Legitimate Leadership, we ask people: ‘Who is the boss you would go the extra mile for?’ In response, a room of 15 or so people will always generate a massive list of qualities of a great boss – such as ‘listens to me’, ‘empathetic with me’, ‘consults with me’, ‘stretches me’, ‘gives me killer feedback’, ‘develops me’, ‘coaches me’, ‘knows me’, etc, etc.

A list of 100 or so things a perfect boss must do can easily be generated in this way. This is obviously daunting to both new and existing leaders – as they realise what their teams expect them to be like!

And while it is indeed a daunting list, there are a couple of things that help:

  1. This list of amazing qualities required can be boiled down to two things which are easier to remember, namely: the person I work for willingly is someone who Cares for and Grows
  2. Luckily you don’t need money to be the boss who does these things. Nor do you need anybody else’s permission to be the boss who does these things. They are simply a choice of how you spend your time.

Care and Growth of your team are the price of being a great leader and the currency required is not money or anyone else’s approval. There is a price to pay though, and the currency is one of the rarest commodities: time!

Great leaders invest their time with their people in three key ways:

  1. Team communications to have alignment on purpose, vision, goals, strategy etc – that is, the big picture of where they fit in.
  2. One-on-one sessions to first build strong relationships (Care), and then to describe in utter clarity what ‘good’ looks like in terms of the person’s individual contribution to the big picture and to give regular feedback on how they are performing to that standard (Growth).
  3. Watching the game to ensure the quality of one-on-ones is the highest possible in terms of feeding back current performance and constantly raising the bar on what people are capable of doing and being.

Average leaders constantly underestimate how much time it takes to both know their people and to describe what it would take for them to be as good as they can be both at work and as human beings.

Good leaders are brutal with how much time they create and protect to spend with their people as described above.

How you use your time is a choice. It takes courage to make time for your people as high a priority as time with your boss or colleagues or customers. Every time you postpone one of these three key activities above you are sending a message to your team that your own agenda is more important than they are.

Time is the currency for Care and Growth, and Care and Growth in turn are the enablers of phenomenal people who will go the extra mile for great leaders in testing times.

Tony Flannigan
Ian Munro

Leading Remotely? Make Growth A Priority!

Ian Munro

Ian Munro

November 2022 – Question Of The Month

Ian Munro

Bartleby

Why The Fuss Over Quiet Quitting?

Bartleby

Tony Flannigan

Accidental Or Deliberate Growth?

Tony Flannigan

Emma Jacobs

Middle Managers – From Motivating Staff To Maintaining Company Culture, Demands On Them Intensify As They Juggle The Expectations Of Employees And Senior Leaders

Emma Jacobs

Ian Munro

October 2022 – Question Of The Month

Ian Munro

Ian Munro

Stop Complaining And Start Leading – An Overbearing Sense Of Entitlement Isn’t Good For Your Employees Either

Ian Munro

Tony Flannigan

The Cost Of Living Versus The Cost Of Leadership

Tony Flannigan

Wendy Lambourne

September 2022 – Question Of The Month

Wendy Lambourne

Wendy Lambourne

Innovating Leadership

Wendy Lambourne