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Shay McConnon

McConnon International Ltd


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The leader as a worth creator pt3


Shay McConnon concludes his three-part feature on leadership.

Developing leaders

People are often promoted to managerial positions because they are technically good. This role requires new and complex skills of motivating, influencing and empowering. We don't inherit these skills, we are not taught them at school and many of our work models are inappropriate. Your company principles of leadership psychology, stifling energy and creativity, in effect, wasting the human resource.

Much money and time is invested in headhunting and recruiting senior people who, once appointed are often left to their own devices with limited support from the company. A leadership culture goes beyond any one individual. It is a set of attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that somehow 'belong' to the organisation. People may come or go but the leadership culture remains. It is powered by significant people who model respect, openness, trust and collaboration. These attitudes engage and motivate the staff. For such a culture to work requires the organisation to value such a leadership model and to put time and energy into creating it and maintaining it. It doesn't just happen.

Traditional leadership

Traditional leadership was often autocratic. The 'my way or the highway' style is still to be found in the workplace. These people engage in one-way communication, seek to control and are prescriptive. This is a disabling and disempowering model. They seldom win minds or hearts.

Rather than create an organisation of leaders, they create resentment and resistance, eroding the worth of the business. The true worth of an organisation has to lie not only in profits and fixed assets but also in customer and employee satisfaction and particularly in the quality of its leadership. The leader is at the heart of delivering performance and improving the worth of the business and its people.

The leader of leaders

This person recognises that leadership is complex and that it is difficult for one person to be 'getting it right' for his colleagues no matter how many leadership courses he has attended. He encourages people to view leadership as a partnership and to take responsibility with him for leading and being led.

  • He creates a culture where people are open, welcome feedback and connect with each others' needs.
  • He engages staff in taking ownership for their issues.
  • He leads by infection rather than fear.
  • He is able to motivate and move audiences, often in 'quiet' ways.
  • He manages relationships rather than people.
  • He will speak the truth skilfully and respectfully
  • He welcomes feedback.
  • He builds bridges not barriers. You will find that people smile when he walks into the room rather than when he leaves the room. 

The leader knows when to be charismatic and when to be quiet. She knows when to be directive and when to be consultative. Through her fluency of styles she will always be growing worth. Growing the worth of the individual makes good human sense and it also makes good business sense.

High self-esteem is the fuel for performance. The leader provides high-grade fuel, which results in outstanding performance. In these ways, the people and the business become an appreciating asset. This is her measure of success.

Leader as worth creator

Above all the leader is a worth creator. He ensures people have a worthwhile job to do. He makes it worth their while to do this job properly. He creates worthwhile relationships with his people. He gives people hope and belief in themselves. A lot of leaders want people to feel good about them. Great leaders get people feeling good about themselves.

Leadership in this sense is too important to be left in the hands of people in authority.

Read part two here

Read part one here

Shay McConnon is an inspirational, entertaining speaker with a powerful business message. He is a leading authority on leadership and culture issues and he has developed a unique blend of magic, humour and common sense in his keynote presentations. He is the founder of McConnon International Ltd, an international Consultancy group that specialises in creating winning relationships in the workplace. He is the creator of "An Even Better Place to WorkTM". He is the author of 17 books on personal development. His latest, Resolving Conflict, has been published in nine different languages

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Shay McConnon


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