16 Apr 2013

Why all the fuss about workplace leadership?

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by Maree McKeown

For anyone who has ever been under a manager who has not handled their people well will immediately understand the dangers of poor workplace leadership capacity. Not only does it undermine individual performance, which impacts negatively on business performance, but poor leadership can also lead to higher levels of sick leave, stress leave, staff turnover and on the list goes.

The positive take-away is that managers can work on their leadership skills, including managing their people. This is not to say every individual who engages in leadership development will morph into the perfect leader. But I do believe everyone can improve their capacity to lead if they so choose. Where leadership development fails is when managers refuse to engage in reviewing and challenging their own leadership style or only give it lip service.  You can’t expect to turn up to a 3-day program or engage in years of theoretical study and expect to come out as a great manager without taking the learning and applying it back in the workplace effectively. I liken it to playing golf. I could provide you with the best golf coaches, training books and DVD’s in the world, but unless you actually pick up a club and give it a swing you will never know how to play golf properly.

So, if you are reading my comments and are still asking yourself what all the fuss is regarding workplace leadership then I suggest you sit back and take a good look at your own leadership capacity and of those around you. For others who are interested in developing their leadership skills be mindful you don’t need to morph into someone you’re not, just tweak the edges a little!


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