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Lead and inspire

Published on Saturday, 05 Jul 2014
Marc Burrage is regional director of Hays in Hong Kong

Charismatic executives are not just born, they are made. If you have recently been promoted and are now leading a team, you have the chance to transform yourself from a competent manager into a true leader. But it's all too easy for leaders to slip unconsciously into poor behaviour without realising it.

Sometimes people are so keen to prove their leadership skills and make a difference they forget to stop and think. This leads to poor leadership, affecting their team and leading to rising turnover. It also has a negative impact on their career prospects in the longer term. Here are a few tips to help you avoid falling into unconscious leadership mistakes.

Firstly, be yourself. Respected and successful bosses are unique when they lead and don't just try to replicate others.

Consider your leadership performance in terms of coercion, reward and inspiration. Be a role model and use your unique expertise to lead and inspire your team.

Learning what triggers stress enables you to modify your behaviour and remain calm under pressure. It is important to recognise these triggers in your team so you can predict their likely responses and provide assistance.

Next, leaders should always be willing to seek honest feedback. Ask for appraisals from trusted contacts inside and outside the business who will give honest opinions.

Good leaders avoid the narrow-minded view that if an approach works in their country it will work in another. Cultural sensitivity is an important competency for leaders today.

Last but not least, find the time to exercise. Keeping healthy builds personal resilience and enhances decision-making capabilities and effectiveness.


Marc Burrage is regional director of Hays in Hong Kong

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