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10 Great Reasons to Embrace “People Centred Leadership”
There are as many different styles of leadership as there are people. Sometimes we have difficulty agreeing on how to apply leadership principles, and even greater challenges identifying them. It’s not until you accept the basic principles of a certain general style of leadship that you can narrow in on the what and how of that particular leadership style. Over the years I have begun to refer to leaders who place their team members before themselves and view their role as serving to enable the best from their people as “People Centred Leaders”.
In future articles, we’ll delve into some of the specifics of the characteristics that make up a People Centred Leader. For now, here are 10 Great reason to embrace People Centred Leadership.
10. Legacy – What we leave behind defines us as human beings, as leaders and as managers. Legacy is more than just a memory of what we were like. Often great leader leave a culture behind that seeds their organization with behaviours and attitudes that continue long after their name is gone from the memory of the people in the organization. As leaders grow in their leadership style, they become more and more aware of how crucial legacy is. How do you want to be remembered?
9. Ownership/engagement – People Centred Leaders drive ownership and engagement down to their front line team members. To do this, leaders give team members the ability to control their contributions to the organization. In exchange team members commit themselves to the organization in a willing partnership where they freely accept accountability for success or failure within the scope of their influence. Engagement can not be mandated. Only the leader has the ability to define the level of engagement that team members accept within their organization. In the end, engagement drives customer service and customer service drives customer retention which is a major component of sales, growth and profit.
8. Learning Culture – Organizations that embrace leaders who are people centred tend to have a learning culture that is based on tolerance for mistakes. Some of the greatest opportunity for exponential learning occurs in circumstances that allows for people to take chances and learn from those things that don’t work. People Centred Leaders allow their people to grow in managed risk taking opportunities.
7. Commitment – People Centred Leaders have a greater sense of commitment to their team members. It’s amazing how a subtle characteristic like commitment is so readily picked up and felt by a leader’s team. When they know you’re in for the long haul, the concept of waiting because “this too will change” disappears. People begin to accept proposed change and work with the leader to make progress on change that makes a real difference.
6. Communication – A behaviour of People Centred Leaders that seems to fall out naturally is that they intuitively know that continuous, direct and honest communication benefits all concerned. Communication doesn’t become a one way river of information from the leader to the team, but rather a bi-direction exchange of ideas and opportunities, centred around what is best for the organization.
5. Shared Vision – People Centred Leaders share their vision all the time. It’s not just a yearly Power Point presentation or a poster on the wall. Attention to vision drives not only a view of the future for the team, but also the reality of the present and what must change to achieve the vision. A team that is focused on the future, all pulling together is an unbeatable recipe for success.
4. Balanced customers, team members, share holders – People Centred Leaders understand that the foundation of every successful business is equal partnership between the 3 pillars that hold the business together. Many businesses sacrifice the “team” to achieve short term gains with their customers or shareholders. People Centred Leaders know intuitively that this spells disaster. A team that becomes dysfunctional because of leadership that concentrates on customers and shareholders will result in a business disaster.
3. Drives creativity and innovation – People Centred Leaders create cultures that support creativity and innovation. These two factors often become the difference between survival and extinction in today’s business world. Organizations that generate creativity and innovation stay abreast of their competition.
2. Motivations is self driven – Team members who are engaged in the business or organization, who believe in the vision and who are lead by People Centred Leaders are usually self motivated. They require significantly less supervision and management. This mean more time for leaders to concentrate on supporting the team rather than managing individual performance.
1. Integrity and honesty – People know when they’re being lead by a leader with integrity and who is honest with them. They respond accordingly. People Centred Leaders accept accountability to be ethical in everything they do. I call this the Quid Pro Quo Factor. What goes around, comes around. If you’re in leadership for your own self serving reasons, your team will respond in kind. If you treat people with honesty, respect and trust, they’ll be there supporting you when you need it.