Developing Leadership behaviour – with a smile!

I had the privilege of training recently with Marshall Goldsmith , focusing on Leadership behaviour.  Marshall has specialised in this area for many years and coached leaders of many large organisations.  He is extraordinarily open and generous with his knowledge and ideas so we had a wonderful couple of days.

Why should leaders change behaviour?

Good question!  People in leadership roles have often achieved their success because of (and let’s face it, occasionally in spite of) their behaviour at work.  They are good at many aspects of what they do, so why not just keep on doing it?  Probably we could all give our own unique answer to ‘why change?’; my answer is this.

  • We learn continuously through our working life and as leaders we have a responsibility not only to achieve results through our own efforts but increasingly through the results of others. Our behaviour affects them, and our whole team is affected as a result.  Any change or improvement that we can achieve is therefore amplified many times over through the business.
  • We are often unaware of the effect of our behaviour on others. We know what we think about it, but rarely what they think about it.  How often do most of us ask for feedback?
  • We have a responsibility to get the best out of other people; good people expect to be challenged and to develop in their work. If that’s not happening effectively, why would they stay?
  • ‘Generation Y’ are more mobile, digitally connected and live in a ‘knowledge rich’ online environment. Unemployment is low in many parts of the UK, and especially in the Wessex area.  Retaining good people is key to business success.
  • When people leave a job it’s often because they think they can find a better boss in the next job. People leave people.  Our job as leaders is to be worth staying for.
  • Being ‘nice’ is not enough. Being good may not be enough.  Being inspiring and great might be.

Marshall works with people at senior levels in big organisations.  They know stuff.  Lots of stuff, and lots more than he does about how to manage their organisation.  At the same time they’re still people, people who recognise that there’s room for improvement in all of us.

After a fabulous and thought-provoking couple of days with Marshall, a few thoughts to take away:

  • Changing leadership behaviour is simple.
  • It may not, however, be easy.
  • Leaders have to want to change and be prepared to work at it.
  • We have to engage the team in making change happen; trying to do it on our own is doomed.
  • Follow-up is critical to keep people on track with change.
  • In most organisations, in most countries, employee engagement is low. Leadership sets the tone.

If you’re a leader and would like to find out how to change leadership behaviour – look out for my next post on this subject

If you’d like to find out more about changing leadership behaviour please give me a call on 01672 512001 or drop me an email

About Nigel Scott