At a recent NCEE Entrepreneurial Leaders module in Oxford www.ncee.org.uk/leadership,
I made reference to the work of Prof Rosabeth Moss Kanter from the Harvard Business School- one of my favourite leadership and change gurus to share some thoughts on leadership. The following are a few brief notes on six actions that an entrepreneurial leader (or in fact any kind of leader) can implement to keep projects, change and innovation moving in a positive direction.
Be there- don’t be invisible- turn up and put energy into what you are doing.
Make yourself available - your presence makes a difference.
Don’t hide in your office or behind emails or meeting.
Get out and about - both within your patch and also outside the university.
Take control of your diary and prioritise these activities.
Be mindful of your followers and encourage them and encourage them to do likewise.
Use the power of your voice and communicate with your team regularly.
Shape the agenda- be proactive to ensure progress.
Help people to understand what is going on- interpret and use language that is understandable to a wide range of audiences.
Be a thought leader - share ideas, don’t keep good ideas to yourself.
Be confident (even if you don’t always feel it) and credible- people often see what they expect to see.
Be the one to identify the problem and start to initiate ideas and actions- this helps to get things moving and keep plans on track.
Look at bigger things and consider vision, values and beliefs.
Know what you stand for and communicate that.
Be enthusiastic and motivated and able to elevate people’s thinking from the day-to day operational ups and downs.
Avoid getting too bogged down in the details.
Be mindful of and nurture the talent around you.
Create opportunities and take opportunities.
Work with people.
Be prepared to empower and delegate to encourage innovation and risk taking.
Collaborate and develop partnerships.
Find partners who believe in what you are thinking and doing.
Embrace the power of the team and always remember the most important word in the leader's vocabulary is “we” and the least important is “I”.
NETWORKING is only one letter away from NOT WORKING.
5. Never Give Up
Innovation and change can look like a failure in the middle- but do not give up.
Projects and ideas hit bumps in the road, change-resisters and critics start sniping and raising all sorts of reasons and objections as to why things won’t work and can create all kinds of obstacles.
Be resilient and determined.
Communicate endlessly to get buy-in and to get people to commit.
Find a way around the obstacles- be creative and entrepreneurial.
6. Lift others up
Recognise and acknowledge others.
Delegate and empower others wherever possible.
Let others share the success-they will remember and will support you again in the future.
Elevate others and enable them to develop and grow from the success.
Remember these six skills of leadership:
Show-up; Speak-up; Look-up; Team-up; Never give-up and Lift others up