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Effective Leadership ?

10 August 2017 - by Geoff Ribbens

Leadership a Social Property

Leadership is not, and never has been, a ‘quality’ of the leader. Leadership is a social situation where team members, (or even voters) “willingly and enthusiastically accept the authority” of their manager.

Although the behaviour of the “leader” is important it is not as important as the perception of the team members. Leadership is a perception of team members based on their experience and expectations. Before the General election in June, Theresa May was perceived as having strong leadership ‘qualities’ and Jeremy Corbyn had few leadership ‘qualities’; the situation is now reversed. May and Corbyn have not changed, what has changed is people’s perception.

All this is obvious, but leadership training still seems to concentrate on the myth that leadership can be coached or trained without vital information about the team’s perception. It is probably because leadership training is big business, but it could be much more effective if the manager via the coach/trainer knew the perception of the team members. The ‘Leadership Pathway Audit’ published by is an online questionnaire that goes to team members based on 60 different forms of authority split into 12 key dimensions. For trainers and coaches the cost of the team survey and report is only £50. The report goes to the trainer/coach who would charge to deliver the feedback. Business Enlightenment just publishes diagnostic tools, the client or coach does the rest.

How others see us is a great motivator for change.

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