Are You Really A Leader?

Edgar Schein is quoted as saying the the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture.

Of course, leaders come in all sorts of varieties, and lead all sorts of communities. In business, leaders are sometimes the people who created the business, or may be those who inherited it; they may have been promoted or recruited in to their position of leadership.

However a business leader gets there, how they perceive their role will define how the people they lead see them and react to them.

A true leader is someone who engenders trust, empathy and loyalty, encouraging staff to think for themselves; to use initiative; to develop themselves and others around them and to carry the entire business forward.

A leader who seeks to impose rules and to stifle creativity or originality in their staff doesn't match up to Schein's definition of a leader at all, but may be a director, or a manager perhaps, or have some title that might mean a lot to that person, and may achieve the results they desire in the short term, but will fail to create a lasting and enduring legacy of excellence.

Indeed, the true leader in a business may not even have a position of authority or a job title, but might lead 'from the shop floor'.

Take a moment or two to consider; are you a leader? Is there a culture within your business that you manage or nurture? If the answer is no, then it might be time to think about what kind of culture you would want if you were to trade places with one of your own staff, and set about creating it.

It's my belief that a coaching culture is the most productive possible way to improve all aspects of a business, and that the leader who creates and manages such a culture in their environment is a leader who deserves the title, and should carry it with pride.

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