Missing a link to leading better? Lead ‘to’ the Organisation.

by Rob Sheppard

[Approx. 4-minute read]

Let’s jump straight to the point…

…as a Leader/Manager, you will generally be accountable for:

  • Defining strategy
  • Designing organisational structure
  • Designing productive systems of work
  • Building workforce capability
  • Managing strategic relationships

If you’ve read our previous two articles, you’re already aware that achieving this list starts with Leading Self and Leading to Team.

But there is one final and important part in becoming a better leader – a ‘missing link’ of Leading to Organisation.

And it can be immediately practiced using TWO EASY STEPS

But first, what does Leading to Organisation actually mean when trying to support these accountabilities? We like a practical approach to that question.

It’s having a knowledge of the strategic goals of the business and leading by example in behaviours and using the resources that guide you and your team in reaching those goals.

Let’s look at these TWO key concepts in turn

1- Champion behaviours

Leaders/Managers are expected to be the champions of the way in which people work and behave in the workplace.

  • Do as I say and not as I do might still be around, but in a post-covid world of tighter labour markets and more globally connected workforces, good leaders are realising that being human, humble and empathetic is more necessary than ever to retain good people.
  • You must be the beacon for what these traits actually look like in the workplace – and by doing so, you can then more effectively hold others to account.
  • If you are practising Leading Self and Leading Team, you’re already starting to practice these important traits without even realising it.
  • And if you slip and fall from time to time? We think the best thing is to acknowledge this and show that you are holding even yourself to account before moving on.

Sounds simple we know – but only mindful practicing of this on a regular basis will be the ‘proof in the pudding’ for your team.

2- Know and use the resources

Leader/Managers must also be seen using the resources (tools and systems) the organisation has put in place to help teams.

  • And if there is a more effective way of using these resources? The Leader/Manager should be changing those systems so that they work more efficiently – or creating the space for the team to confidently make suggestions.
  • The successful Leader/Manager will be creating the environment where change can occur.

A good policy can help

We wouldn’t be great Hr types if we didn’t also point out a key resource in Leading to Organisation – the various policies that set the ‘Rules’ for the business.

Generally, it is these documents that will be relied upon when helping someone understand they’ve crossed a line and for explaining how they can improve. They can see the ‘resource’ in action with YOU as Leader/Manager showing the way.

But be warned…

  • There can be an important legal reckoning if you do not apply the “Rules’ or worse, you apply them haphazardly.
  • A regulator, like the Fair Work Ombudsman, might find that you have been unreasonable if you don’t apply them fairly (or at all).

Having said all this, if you’ve already started to practice Leading Self and Leading to Team, we can say that having to explain yourself to a regulator is likely never going to be something you’ll face.

This article ends our 3-part series on better leadership and has hopefully encouraged you to seek more information among the growing number of resources and tools for helping you be a better leader.

And if it’s all still confusing?

If you need help or have a sense this might be a future issue for you and your business, please click the link below and we’ll be happy to speak to you about any ideas this article has raised for you (or your team).

Thanks for reading!