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Behind the Leadership and Management Model


In this special feature for TrainingZONE, Richard Gray, Director of Consulting at Esensys Ltd talks about some of the key issues they examined when creating the recently-launched Leadership and Management Model on behalf of Investors in People UK.

Leadership, off the shelf, or bespoke to your needs?

If you peruse most of the current popular titles on Leadership what you find are attempts to define a "one size fits all" model of good leadership. However, common sense alone should tell us that this is a foolhardy quest for a mythical Holy Grail. Firstly, people are different and so will want different things from their leaders. Secondly, the leadership style an organisation needs will depend on a huge number of variables such as the organisation¡¦s life cycle, its culture and the changing demands of its customers.

How can a static one size fits all model possibly cope with these different needs. This was one of the key findings that we came to whilst creating the new Investors in People Leadership and Management Model.

We started by analysing the research conducted by the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership (CEML). We tested some of the key conclusions with a wide range of private, public, not for profit, SME and Multinational organisations. What we found was a huge variety of interpretations of what Leadership and Management means. So one of the early conclusions was that leadership needs to be defined in the context of the organisation or group in question.

Therefore, instead of trying to create a one size fits all definition the Leadership and Management Model focuses on the key issues an organisation should consider in building its own unique approach to Leadership and Management.

The Model asks organisations to define what they require of their leaders and managers. This definition should consider:

  • The organisation's aims and objectives
  • The organisation's desired culture
  • External best practice
  • Social responsibility.

  • As well as encouraging a unique organisational definition of leadership and management, the Model also asks how the definition should apply to all leadership and management roles i.e. how it differs between levels and roles in the organisation. This again tries to re-enforce a philosophy that the right leadership and management style depends on the unique circumstances facing each individual.

    Having defined what good leadership and management looks like the next step for the organisation is to use this definition to select, develop and performance manage all leaders and managers. The definition is of no use unless it is actively used, valued, has true meaning to the people in the organisation and is delivering improved performance.

    Michael Porter's recent lectures about the state of the UK economy highlighted the poor state of management skills in the UK. If the Leadership & Management Model is adopted with enthusiasm and commitment it could be the perfect catalyst to re-energise a unique UK approach to Leadership and Management.


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