You As A Leader – Are You ‘Modern’ Or ‘Old Fashioned’?


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3.7 million workers in the UK cannot not find one nice thing to say about their boss! A new survey from Investors In People reveals that 1 in 8 UK workers could not name one quality they liked in their leader! 75% of them talk about their management and leadership style behind their back, with 37% doing this regularly.

However, it’s much more than a bit of office gossip! It’s much more tangible and potentially damaging. Of those who said they didn’t have a good relationship with their manager:

  • 43% said they considered looking for a new job as a result, and…
  • 36% felt less motivated to do a good job for the company

It’s not all bad news – provided you are doing good things! The survey highlighted that good relationships between managers and staff create tangible benefits! For example…

  • 24% of those who get on with their boss felt it made them work harder, and…
  • 23% said it would make them stay at the company longer

So, what are those ‘good things’? The research found that workers connect particular qualities with being a good ‘modern manager’. The top 3 qualities are:

  • Being approachable (32%)
  • Respecting colleagues’ opinions (29 %) and…
  • Working for the good of the team rather than having a big ego (29%)

In contrast, almost a third connect being hierarchical and separate from staff with being an ‘old-fashioned’ leader.

The fact that you’re reading my stuff obviously means that you’re a ‘modern manager’(!!!!), but just in case you’re not sure, here are some questions for you to consider….

  • How do you measure up?
  • Are you a ‘Modern’ or an ‘Old-Fashioned’ leader?
  • How do you know?

What do you need to do to get ‘Modern’ as a leader? Why not take a ‘reality check’ and find out?

So, here are 5 things to consider…

1. Create some time with your people

Diary it and make the time to get to know them – go for lunch, get some sandwiches in, take them with you when you’re out on business, spend some time ‘on the front line’, on the ‘shop floor’ and in the ‘back-office’ .

2. Find out what makes your individual team members’ ‘tick’

What motivates them, de-motivates them, – what irritates or annoys them – get to understand their aspirations and plans – what help and support do they need?

3. Get their ideas

Not a suggestion box, but create some simple processes to generate ideas – get pizzas in and leave them to generate ideas, create some ‘thinking time’ for them, send them out for a coffee and a creative chat – ask them what they’d improve and how (tip: leave them to generate the ideas when you’re not there, and then feed them back to you!) Critically, make sure you do something with (some of) their ideas!

4. Establish what they want from you as a leader

Ask them individually – work out with them how you can give it to them

5. Find out how you measure up

A simple, but great way of doing it is to undertake a little exercise we use on our programmes called STOP, START, CONTINUE Basically, it’s about finding out what your people think that you personally should ‘Stop, Start, Continue’ doing when it comes to leading and managing them. This could be a simple questionnaire (named or anonymously- whatever’s best for you and your people) or maybe a group discussion (without you being in the room!). Please remember….. the truth sometimes hurts – you have to listen to what’s said (One client of mine was told by a team member ‘STOP breathing’!)

Whatever you do, the critical bit is DOING SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU FIND OUT! Now, That’s MODERN THINKING!!!!! 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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