There is a myriad of articles and blogs on the benefits of competent people leadership, how to be a more effective leader and the devastating impact that poor people leadership can have on a team and an organisation.
Prior Gallup polls have suggested that a minor 13% of the global workforce is actively engaged in the work they do. That means that a whopping 87% of the workforce is either passively or actively disengaged in their day-to-day work. This may come to some as quite a surprise.
What we know very clearly is that effective people leaders have a significant and positive effect on the people they lead and the organisations in which they work. Research from the Potential Project suggests effective people leaders demonstrate three consistent traits:
Compassion: The act of helping. Moving from empathising with a team member to actively assisting them with a problem. This could mean re-assigning some of their work, providing additional resources or allowing flexibility in their work schedule.
Selflessness: The most effective people leaders are selfless. They consider the needs of the team before their own needs. In reality, this could look like a leader taking on some of their team members’ work, rescheduling their own diary to help their direct reports or rolling up their sleeves and helping the team to perform when required.
Mindful: High quality people leaders are present. They are aware of how team members are going on a day to day basis. In meetings, they turn off their phone and are 100% present with the people they are leading. They are attuned to the dynamics and interpersonal relations of each team member, and they are likely aware of any issues team members face not only at work but also in their personal lives.
The question that many people ask is whether people leaders are born that way or whether they are nurtured? There is evidence to suggest a genetic link to leadership. But we also know that with training, support, feedback and deliberate practice, managers can significantly improve their people leadership skills and capabilities.
Developing your people leadership skills will have a pronounced effect on your team, their engagement and their overall performance.