Get more insight from HSO's Microsoft technology experts
Dynamics Matters Podcast Ep 82: How to create a team of leaders
With special guest Rebecca Fox, Head of Learning & Development, HSO
✔ Why small changes can lead to big transformation
✔ Giving front-line staff the tools to do their job
✔ Why repeatability is key to closing the skills gap
Welcome to episode 82 of the HSO Dynamics matters podcast.
Your regular sonic dive into the world of Microsoft technology related matters and much more besides.
And I’m your host, Michael Lonnon.
There’s lots of content floating around highlighting why it’s important to have good leadership in an organisation. It is an important topic. Rather than jump on the band wagon I had a chat with HSOs Head of Learning and Development, Rebecca Fox, to find out how you develop leaders.
So, grab a brew, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Hire within or look outside?
Hire within in most cases, as long as it's not niche.
Why would you, if you had a preference, prefer to look inside?
You already know who the people are, you know what they're capable of and also, it's good for people to be able to see that they have some form of career progression within the business and the organisation. I think it's important.
I think generally speaking, the people you bring into the business and the people in the business are probably the biggest asset to any organisation but even those individuals without good leadership, often become demotivated quickly or even over time. So why is it important to have good leaders and good leadership?
I think it's important to have good leaders in any organisation, because what you want is those people to emulate the behaviours you want to see within your business as a whole and having good leadership, makes people feel motivated, or the people following them to feel motivated to work hard towards that particular person's vision for the organisation. So, if you've got a good vision, you've got a good leader, and those people are motivated to follow that vision and values. So that whatever that person's aspiration is, it becomes a reality.
So easy to sell any changes, easy to sell strategy and get them bought into things much, easier, but what do you think makes a good leader? What skills, what traits?
To be a good leader, you need to be able to bring along people with you, you can have a really good vision, and you could have a really good strategy, but people need to be inspired to follow you. You can have a clear vision of what you want to achieve but you also need to have the ability to communicate what it is, and why people need to be following it and what they need to be doing and those leaders need to be able to empower their staff to take decisions on that strategy and the way that they do that is by setting clear goals. They know what they need to achieve and then they empower the people to achieve those goals.
How do you find good leaders, it's not easy. It's not easy finding good people to work in an organisation. So how do you find good leaders?
I think, finding good leaders can be easy enough, if you look within the business. So, you want to make sure you give people the opportunity to have good career progression. You want them to lead using their experience within what they do. So, then you have a gravitas about you because you really understand the job, you understand the role. HSO is running a leadership programme and it will be that anybody can apply for it and in this upskilling programme, and we will train them up to have key leadership skills and behaviours, but key leadership's skills and behaviours that HSO is looking for as well. So, we equip people with understanding the strategy and the vision and the values and then we upskill them so they're able to be a good leader. When you already know those people, you know, whether they have what it takes to actually lead a business or lead a service line for example.
What tools can an organisation use to develop good leaders? We alluded to something there it’s about creating courses by giving people tools and those kinds of things. I mean, there's an argument that say that if an individual aspires to be more, and they want to be more, they could go outside and find ways to train themselves or find the right courses to build their own skills, but what would you advise organisations looking at how they can develop leadership?
How to make your new Microsoft project a guaranteed success
In 10 minutes, this brochure shows you how to launch projects in the quickest possible time, resolve mistakes and mishaps, and keep your ongoing costs to the barest minimum.
I think it's more than just training courses, that's part of it, it's also about having the experience of actually leading a team. It's two parts, it's giving people the skills to lead individuals, it's also what's inherently inside somebody, so selecting the right people to lead the business, but it's also about bringing people in and getting them to actually attend the management meeting, for example, attend management meetings, actually see what goes on in those meetings, and then giving people the opportunity to deliver that themselves. So, it's about them having practical experience of leading people, so you give the opportunity to do it, practically, rather than just it will be based on theory, making sure they are given appropriate skills on how to coach people, and how to receive coaching themselves. That is how you can create a good leadership programme within your business, I don't think it makes sense to look at something external in some ways, because you know, what you want your behaviours to be as good leaders whatever your business is
Do you think to achieve these things; to nurture leadership within an organisation, you need to take a leadership mindset to how you develop and build your organisation?
I think you can establish a leadership mindset in an organisation, by upskilling the people within the business to be the best they can be and to have the best leaders. What you also need is to ensure those people you determined to be leaders have that leadership mindset, if you know what I mean. So yeah, I always say, you're in your car, everybody's got their car, and they're all in it, but they need to be pushing the gas and moving themselves forward. That person who wants to be a leader needs to be motivated and driven enough to move their car forwards is not all about the things that people give you is what is inside you to drive your car and drive it forwards and be in front of the other people so that people will follow you. I think a lot of it is all about personal responsibility. I think you need to have it inside them and then you can enhance them as a business.
You think in your experience that people tend to buy into the doing and to the organisation, they're supporting the things they are doing genuinely, if they know that there's potentially a path forward for them in a leadership role, for example, a senior role, let’s just say?
It's all about making sure that your people are happy and making sure you know what they want to achieve. Some individuals will be thinking, I want to get in my car and want to drive it forwards, I want to be the leader, where some people will go actually, you know, I've driven my car to Camberley or wherever and now I'm very comfortable there and I want to stay there. To make sure you have a good experience for your people a good employee experience you need to have frank discussions on career and where people want to go, whether that's leadership or whether that's staying where they are, it's, all about making sure you have clear, candid conversations with your people to make sure they really understand where or you really understand what they want to achieve within their career and it won't always be leadership and it won't always be right for everybody and that's okay
Some people are born with a natural instinct for leadership, and people are drawn to them. These you want to find in your organisation and nurture so their positive leadership traits are soaked in to the culture of your other teams.
But, as Rebecca highlights, it’s important to provide the tools and training to nurture new leaders through into the business. And when hiring for senior roles, perhaps even look internally before you consider external because you know the people best. You’ll already work with and have seen their qualities. And if you give them access to leadership tools, and the right motivation, then you’re going to see you organisation thrive underpinned by a culture of good leaders.
Thanks for listening, until next time, take care of yourselves.