A Guide to the Pros and Cons of Leadership Styles

In the business world, leadership styles can vary and they can vary significantly. Each comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The effectiveness of a leadership style often depends on the organisational context, the nature of the work, and the preferences of the team. Here are several common leadership styles, along with their pros, cons, benefits to companies, and employee preferences:

1. Autocratic Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Quick decision-making.
    • Clear direction and accountability.
  • Cons:
    • Limited employee input.
    • Reduced creativity and innovation.
  • Benefits:
    • The autocratic’s can be effective in crisis situations and when quick decisions are needed.

2. Democratic (Participative) Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Inclusive decision-making.
    • Fosters creativity and team engagement.
  • Cons:
    • Decision-making can be time-consuming.
    • Challenges in situations requiring swift action.
  • Benefits:
    • Builds a sense of ownership and commitment among team members.

3. Transformational:

  • Pros:
    • Inspires and motivates teams.
    • Encourages innovation and creativity.
  • Cons:
    • May be perceived as overly visionary and lacking in practicality.
    • Requires a high level of energy and charisma.
  • Benefits:
    • Drives positive change and long-term growth.

4. Transactional Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Clear expectations and rewards.
    • Well-defined structure and processes.
  • Cons:
    • May stifle creativity.
    • Relies on extrinsic motivation.
  • Benefits:
    • Effective in stable and routine environments.

5. Servant Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Emphasizes empathy and support.
    • Fosters a positive and collaborative culture.
  • Cons:
    • May be seen as overly lenient.
    • Challenges in situations requiring assertiveness.
  • Benefits:
    • Builds strong, loyal teams with a focus on service to others.

6. Laissez-Faire:

  • Pros:
    • Encourages autonomy and creativity.
    • Suitable for highly skilled and self-motivated teams.
  • Cons:
    • Lack of direction may lead to confusion.
    • Can result in a lack of accountability.
  • Benefits:
    • The Laissez-Faire leaders will be effective when they are managing experienced and independent professionals.

7. Coaching Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Focuses on individual growth and development.
    • Strengthens relationships and trust.
  • Cons:
    • Requires time and dedication.
    • Not suitable for all types of tasks or teams.
  • Benefits:
    • Enhances employee skills, engagement, and long-term performance.

8. Charismatic Leadership:

  • Pros:
    • Inspires and motivates through personal charisma.
    • Captures attention and fosters loyalty.
  • Cons:
    • Relies heavily on the leader’s personality.
    • May lack substance or practicality.
  • Benefits:
    • Effective in energising teams, especially during challenging periods.

Employee Preferences:

Employee preferences can vary based on factors such as the nature of the work, the team’s composition, and individual preferences. However, many employees tend to appreciate leaders who demonstrate a mix of styles, adapting their approach to the specific needs of the situation and the team. Styles that involve collaboration, clear communication, and opportunities for professional growth are often preferred.

In practice, effective leadership often involves a combination of styles, known as situational leadership, where leaders adjust their approach based on the context and the needs of their team. The ability to flexibly employ different leadership styles can contribute to a well-balanced and adaptable leadership approach.

OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

How to Create your Company Culture?

Creating a company culture in today’s world involves thoughtful planning, intentional actions, and a focus on fostering an inclusive, positive, and purpose-driven environment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Define Your Values and Mission:

  • Clarify Core Values: Identify the values that will guide your company. These are the principles that define your organisation’s character and serve as the foundation for your culture.
  • Craft a Mission Statement: Develop a concise and inspiring mission statement that communicates the purpose and goals of your company.

2. Leadership Commitment:

  • Lead by Example: Ensure that company leaders embody and exemplify the desired culture. Leadership commitment is crucial for establishing a cultural tone and influencing employee behaviour.

3. Involve Employees in the Process of Creating the Company Culture:

  • Collect Feedback: Solicit input from employees at all levels. Understand their perspectives on the current culture and gather ideas for the desired culture.
  • Co-create Values: Involve employees in the process of defining or refining the company’s values. This builds a sense of ownership and commitment.

4. Communication and Transparency:

  • Transparent Communication: Foster open and transparent communication. Keep employees informed about company goals, challenges, and successes.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly share updates on the company’s performance, achievements, and any changes that may impact employees.

5. Employee Recognition and Appreciation:

  • Recognition Programs: Implement employee recognition programs to acknowledge and reward behaviours that align with the company culture.
  • Celebrate Achievements: When we recognise our individual and team achievements, we are reinforcing the importance of contributions to the overall culture.

6. Establish Rituals and Traditions:

  • Team Building Activities: Organise regular team-building activities to strengthen relationships and create a sense of unity.
  • Cultural Traditions: Introduce rituals or traditions that reflect and reinforce the desired cultural attributes.

7. Provide Opportunities for Professional Growth within the Company Culture

  • Training and Development: Invest in training and development programs that align with the company’s values. This not only enhances skills but also communicates a commitment to employee growth.
  • Mentorship Programs: Establish mentorship programs to facilitate knowledge transfer and personal development.

8. Promote Work-Life Balance:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Consider offering flexible work arrangements to support employees’ work-life balance.
  • Wellness Initiatives: Implement wellness programs that address physical and mental well-being.

9. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Diversity Initiatives: Foster a diverse and inclusive workplace by implementing diversity initiatives and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees.
  • Training on Inclusion: Provide training on inclusivity and create an environment where all employees feel valued and respected.

10. Measure and Adjust:

  • Employee Surveys: Conduct regular surveys to gauge employee satisfaction, engagement, and alignment with the company culture.
  • Feedback Loops: Establish mechanisms for ongoing feedback to identify areas for improvement and adjustment.

11. Adapt to Change:

  • Agility: In today’s rapidly changing world, be adaptable. A flexible culture can better navigate challenges and seize opportunities.

By incorporating these steps into your strategy, you’ll be on the path to creating a company culture that not only aligns with your values but also inspires and engages your employees in today’s dynamic business environment.

OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

Why Leadership Coaching is Important

Leadership coaching has emerged as a pivotal tool for personal and professional development, propelling individuals towards greater success and fulfilment. In this blog, we delve into the essence of leadership coaching, exploring its impact, benefits, and the key elements that make it an indispensable asset in the corporate landscape.

Section 1: Defining Leadership Coaching

Key aspects include:

  1. Goal Setting: The coaching process typically begins with the identification of clear and specific leadership goals. These goals serve as the foundation for the coaching journey, providing a roadmap for development.
  2. Self-Reflection: Leadership coaching encourages leaders to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership style. This self-awareness is a critical component in fostering personal and professional growth.
  3. Feedback and Support: Coaches offer constructive feedback to leaders based on observations and assessments. This support is tailored to the individual’s needs, addressing specific areas where improvement or refinement is desired.
  4. Skill Development: Most coaching sessions often focus on developing specific leadership skills, such as effective communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, and strategic thinking. By doing this, the aim is to enhance the leader’s ability to navigate complex situations and lead with impact.
  5. Accountability: Coaches help leaders stay accountable for their commitments and actions. Regular check-ins and progress assessments ensure that the leader is on track toward achieving their goals.
  6. Empowerment: Leadership coaching empowers individuals to take ownership of their professional development. It encourages a proactive mindset, where leaders actively seek opportunities for growth and improvement.
  7. Adaptability: In a rapidly changing business environment, adaptability is crucial. Leadership coaching equips individuals with the skills and mindset to navigate change, overcome challenges, and lead effectively in evolving circumstances.
  8. Confidentiality: The coaching relationship is built on trust, and confidentiality is a key element. Leaders can openly discuss concerns, challenges, and aspirations with the assurance that the information shared will remain private.

Leadership coaching can take various forms, including one-on-one coaching sessions, group coaching, or a combination of both. Remember though that coaching is not limited to just addressing performance issues; and therefore, it can be a proactive and positive approach to continuous leadership development. Many successful leaders and executives seek out coaching to refine their skills, enhance their leadership impact, and achieve professional excellence.

Section 2: The Core Principles of Leadership Coaching

2.1 Establishing Clear Objectives begins with setting clear and achievable objectives. Perhaps it’s improving communication, enhancing decision-making skills, or fostering teamwork; eitherway the goals provide a roadmap for the coaching journey.

2.2 Active Listening: A cornerstone is the art of active listening. Coaches attentively absorb the leader’s challenges, aspirations, and concerns, fostering a supportive environment that encourages open communication.

Section 3: The Impact of Leadership Coaching

Key Impacts are:

3.1 Enhanced Self-Awareness: Leadership coaching serves as a mirror, allowing leaders to see themselves more clearly. Through introspective exercises and feedback from the coach, leaders develop a heightened awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, and behavioural patterns.

3.2 Improved Decision-Making: The coaching process hones leaders’ decision-making skills. By exploring different perspectives and considering the potential outcomes of choices, leaders become more adept at making informed decisions, leading to improved strategic planning and execution.

3.3 Increased Confidence and Resilience: Confidence is a byproduct of self-awareness and skill development. Leadership coaching provides a supportive environment for leaders to build confidence in their abilities. Furthermore, the resilience cultivated through coaching helps leaders bounce back from setbacks, fostering a robust and adaptable mindset.

3.4 Strengthened Communication Skills: Effective communication is a hallmark of successful leadership. Leadership coaching addresses communication challenges, refining leaders’ ability to convey ideas, listen actively, and navigate complex interpersonal dynamics within their teams and organisations.

3.5 Enhanced Emotional Intelligence: Leadership coaching often focuses on developing emotional intelligence, which is crucial for understanding and managing one’s own emotions and those of others. This heightened emotional intelligence contributes to better leadership relationships and team dynamics.

3.6 Increased Employee Engagement: As leaders grow through coaching, they often become more adept at engaging and motivating their teams. The growth then positively impacts employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall team performance.

3.7 Cultural Transformation: Leadership coaching can contribute to a positive shift in organisational culture. Leaders who undergo coaching often model desired behaviours, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and openness to change.

3.8 Alignment with Organisational Goals: Coaching helps align individual leadership goals with broader organisational objectives. With that in mind, leaders become more attuned to the strategic vision of the organisation, ensuring that their actions and decisions contribute to the overall success of the business.

3.9 Succession Planning and Talent Development: Through coaching, organisations invest in the development of their future leaders. Succession planning is facilitated as emerging leaders gain the skills and confidence necessary to assume more significant roles within the company.

3.10 Quantifiable Results: Leadership coaching’s impact is not just anecdotal; it can be quantified through key performance indicators, such as improved team performance, increased employee retention, and positive shifts in organisational metrics.

    Section 4: Navigating Challenges Through Coaching

    4.1 Overcoming Resistance to Change: Change is a constant in the business world, and leadership coaching equips individuals with the tools to navigate and embrace change effectively. Coaches work with leaders to overcome resistance and foster a culture of adaptability.

    4.2 Building Resilience: In the face of adversity, resilience is a key trait of successful leaders. Leadership coaching focuses on building resilience, enabling leaders to bounce back from setbacks and inspire their teams during challenging times.

    Section 5: Integrating Leadership Coaching into Corporate Culture

    5.1 Creating a Coaching Culture: Organisations that prioritise leadership coaching create a positive and empowering culture. By integrating coaching principles into daily operations, companies foster continuous improvement and personal growth among their leadership teams.

    5.2 Measuring the ROI of Leadership Coaching: Quantifying the return on investment (ROI) of leadership coaching is crucial for organisational buy-in. By tracking key performance indicators and employee satisfaction metrics, companies can assess the tangible benefits of coaching initiatives.

    Conclusion:

    In conclusion, leadership coaching stands as a beacon for leaders seeking to maximise their potential and drive positive change within their organisations. As the demand for effective leadership continues to rise, embracing coaching as a strategic tool is not just an option but a necessity. With its transformative impact and the ability to shape resilient, self-aware leaders, coaching is the catalyst for a brighter future in the ever-evolving landscape of leadership.

    OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

    At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

    In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

    We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

    For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
    please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

    A Journey into the World of HR Leadership

    Welcome to the dynamic realm of Human Resources (HR) leadership!

    Every day brings new challenges. Every day brings new opportunities. And every day beings the chance to make a positive impact on an organisation’s most valuable asset – its people.

    In this blog, we’ll delve into the life of a HR leader. We’ll be exploring the challenges they face and the benefits they reap. And, the techniques and strategies that help them navigate the complex landscape of human capital management.

    The Role of a HR Leader

    Being at the helm of HR leadership is no small feat. It involves juggling multiple responsibilities, from talent acquisition and employee relations to performance management and strategic planning. A HR leader is the linchpin that holds the workforce together. They ensure a harmonious blend of individual growth and organisational success.

    A HR leader is responsible for managing the employee life cycle, which includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and firing employees, as well as administering employee benefits. They are also responsible for planning, coordinating, and evaluating the various services, policies, and programs of an organisation’s HR department.

    HR leaders act as mediators between upper management and employees and champion causes on behalf of employees. They promote awareness and guide all levels of the organisation through change and transition periods. HR leaders also coach managers and employees on company culture and better methods of coexisting and working together.

    In addition, HR leaders must constantly redefine the talent acquisition process and connect human capital decisions with business strategy.

    The Crucial Role of HR Leadership in Organisational Success and the Challenges

    HR leaders play a pivotal role in driving the success of an organisation. They own key aspects such as talent acquisition, employee engagement, and fostering a positive workplace culture.

    While the HR leadership role is rewarding, it comes with its fair share of challenges. From managing workplace conflicts to adapting to ever-evolving employment laws, HR leaders need to be adept at handling a myriad of issues.

    HR leaders often encounter challenges every day. They need resilience and adaptability, and there are strategies for overcoming these challenges.

    Benefits of HR Leadership

    Despite the challenges, there are numerous benefits to being an HR leader. There are positive aspects of the role, including personal satisfaction, career growth, and the opportunity to shape the future of the organisation through its people.

    Making a difference in employees’ lives can be one of the most gratifying aspects of the role. And, the professional growth opportunities that come with navigating the complex HR landscape can be great too!

    Techniques for Effective HR Leadership

    Success in HR leadership requires more than just problem-solving skills. It demands a strategic mindset, effective communication, and the ability to build strong relationships with employees at all levels of the organisation.

    There are many practical techniques that HR leaders can employ to excel in their roles. From fostering open communication to implementing data-driven decision-making.

    The HR landscape is ever-evolving, and effective leaders need to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating and addressing changes in the workforce, technology, and global business environment.

    Conclusion:

    In conclusion, being an HR leader is a multifaceted journey filled with challenges, rewards, and the opportunity to shape the future of both individuals and organisations. By understanding the crucial role of HR leadership, acknowledging and addressing challenges, and adopting effective techniques and strategies, HR leaders can not only survive but thrive in this dynamic field. Whether you’re an aspiring HR leader or someone interested in gaining insights into the world of human resources, this blog has provided a glimpse into the intricacies of HR leadership in the UK.

    OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

    At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

    In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

    We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

    For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
    please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

    How to Manage Conflict in the Workplace as a Senior Leader

    Conflict in the workplace is an inevitable part of any professional setting and there are several reasons that conflict may arise.

    Perhaps the conflict arises because of differences in opinions, or varying work styles, or competing interests. And as Senior Leaders, effectively managing conflict becomes paramount.

    Lets take a look at how to prevent it, how to handle it, and how to communicate about it, as well as what companies can do to foster a more harmonious work environment.

    What Do We Mean by Conflict in the Workplace?

    Let’s define what we mean by “conflict” in the context of the workplace. Workplace conflict refers to any situation in which employees or team members have disagreements, disputes, or differences that disrupt the smooth flow of work or cause tension among colleagues.

    Conflicts in the workplace can manifest in various forms:

    • Interpersonal Conflict: Conflicts between individual employees due to personal differences or misunderstandings.
    • Task-Related Conflict: Disagreements about work assignments, deadlines, or project decisions.
    • Role Conflict: Conflicts arising from unclear job roles or overlapping responsibilities.
    • Organisational Conflict: Conflicts related to policies, procedures, or resource allocation within the company.

    How to Prevent Conflict

    Preventing conflict in a senior leadership role starts with proactive measures. Here are some strategies to minimise the likelihood of conflicts arising:

    1. Clear Communication: Ensure that all team members have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and project expectations. Miscommunications are a common trigger for conflicts.

    2. Establish Clear Policies: Implementing clear policies and procedures that address potential sources of conflict, such as performance evaluations, promotions, or resource allocation.

    3. Promote Team Building: Encourage team-building activities to foster better working relationships among employees. A cohesive team is less likely to engage in conflicts.

    4. Conflict Resolution Training: Provide training in conflict resolution for your team. Equip them with the skills to address and resolve conflicts constructively.

    5. Lead by Example: As a senior leader, model conflict resolution behavior by managing your conflicts professionally and with transparency.

    How to Handle Conflict

    Even when we have preventive measures in place, conflicts can still arise. And so effective conflict management is essential. Here’s how to handle workplace conflicts efficiently:

    1. Stay Calm and Neutral: As a senior leader, it’s crucial to remain calm and unbiased when conflicts surface. We should avoid taking sides and maintain an impartial stance.

    2. Listen Actively: Listen to all parties involved in the conflict, allowing them to express their concerns and feelings. Active listening can de-escalate tensions.

    3. Identify the Root Cause: Get to the core of the issue by identifying the underlying causes of the conflict. This may require open dialogue and questioning.

    4. Explore Solutions: Collaboratively explore potential solutions with the involved parties. Encourage compromise and negotiate a resolution that addresses everyone’s concerns.

    5. Implement a Resolution Plan: When a solution is agreed upon, you can put it into action and monitor its effectiveness to ensure that any agreements are followed through.

    How to Communicate About Conflict

    Open and effective communication is crucial in addressing and resolving workplace conflicts. Here are some communication strategies:

    1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a suitable time and private setting to discuss the conflict with the involved parties.

    2. Be Direct and Specific: Address the conflict directly, avoiding vague or ambiguous language. State the issue clearly.

    3. Use “I” Statements: Encourage the use of “I” statements to express feelings and perspectives, promoting a non-confrontational tone.

    4. Active Listening: Encourage active listening among those involved. Ensure that all parties have the opportunity to express themselves fully.

    5. Document the Conversation: Keep a record of the discussions, agreements, and resolutions for future reference.

    What Can Companies Do Better to Prevent and Handle Conflict?

    Companies can take several proactive steps to prevent and manage conflicts effectively:

    1. Establish a Conflict Resolution Policy: Develop and communicate a company-wide conflict resolution policy that outlines the procedures for addressing conflicts.

    2. Offer Conflict Mediation Services: You can offer access to trained conflict mediators who can facilitate discussions and negotiations when conflicts arise.

    3. Promote a Culture of Openness: Encourage employees to speak up about issues without fear of retaliation. Make it clear that conflicts can be addressed constructively.

    4. Regular Training: Provide ongoing training and resources to employees and leaders on conflict resolution, communication, and interpersonal skills.

    5. Feedback Mechanisms: Create avenues for employees to provide feedback and raise concerns anonymously if necessary. This can help identify potential issues early.

    In conclusion, managing conflict in senior leadership roles is not just about resolving disputes; it’s also about fostering a harmonious workplace culture. By understanding the nature of workplace conflict, preventing conflicts through clear communication and policies, effectively handling disputes, and promoting open communication and conflict resolution, senior leaders can create a positive work environment where conflicts are opportunities for growth and collaboration, rather than obstacles. Companies that prioritise conflict management and prevention benefit from higher employee morale, productivity, and a healthier organisational culture. By implementing these strategies, senior leaders can navigate conflicts with confidence and contribute to a more harmonious workplace.

    OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

    At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

    In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

    We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

    For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
    please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

    Being a Strategic Leader and why that Matters

    In our fast-paced and ever-evolving world of business, leadership takes on various forms and functions. One style that stands out and holds immense importance is being a strategic leader. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of strategic leadership, what it means to be a strategic leader, and why it is of utmost significance in the corporate landscape.

    What do we mean by Strategy?

    Strategy refers to a well-thought-out plan or a set of actions designed to achieve specific goals and objectives. But more often than not it’s not just about setting goals, it’s also about determining the path to reach those goals. For an organisation, strategy serves as a roadmap guiding them through the challenges and opportunities they encounter.

    The Role of a Strategic Leader in Shaping Strategy

    Strategic leadership goes hand in hand with crafting and executing organisational strategies. However, strategic leaders aren’t just people who focus on day-to-day operations, they will also take a comprehensive approach to envision the future and lead the organisation towards it. They are forward thinkers who keep an eye on the long-term and align the team’s efforts accordingly.

    How to Be Strategic

    Becoming a strategic leader isn’t something that happens overnight; it’s a journey that requires honing specific skills and adopting the right mindset. Here are some essential aspects of being strategic:

    1. Vision

    Having a clear and inspiring vision is the cornerstone of strategic leadership. It’s about knowing where you want to take your organisation and being able to articulate that vision to your team. A shared vision creates alignment and motivation.

    2. Critical Thinking

    Strategic leaders are adept at critical thinking. They can analyse situations, identify opportunities and threats, and make informed decisions. Critical thinking is the compass that guides them through the complexities of business.

    3. Adaptability

    The business landscape is ever-changing and because of that, being adaptable is key to staying ahead. Most strategic leaders remain flexible and open to change, and ready to adjust their strategies when necessary.

    4. Empowering Others

    A strategic leader doesn’t micromanage but empowers their team. They delegate responsibilities, trust their team members, and allow them to contribute their expertise to the strategic process.

    5. Data-Driven Decision Making

    Strategic leaders rely on data and insights to make decisions. They understand the importance of data in assessing performance, identifying trends, and making informed choices.

    Benefits of Being Strategic

    Now, let’s explore why being a strategic leader matters and the numerous advantages it brings to the table:

    1. Long-Term Success

    Strategic leaders are focused on long-term success rather than quick wins. Their decisions are driven by the sustainability and growth of the organisation, ensuring it thrives over time.

    2. Competitive Advantage

    Strategic leaders help their organisations gain a competitive edge by identifying unique opportunities and leveraging them. This often means staying ahead of the competition.

    3. Effective Resource Allocation

    Strategic leaders allocate resources wisely, ensuring that time, money, and talent are directed towards activities that align with the organisation’s goals. This results in better efficiency and productivity.

    4. Innovation and Adaptation

    A strategic approach encourages innovation and adaptability. Leaders who are strategic are more likely to embrace change and drive innovation within their organisations.

    5. Enhanced Decision Making

    With a data-driven approach and a focus on critical thinking, strategic leaders make more informed and effective decisions. This reduces the risk of poor choices and costly mistakes.

    6. Employee Engagement

    Strategic leaders inspire and engage their teams by involving them in the strategic process. This boosts morale and commitment among employees, leading to higher productivity and lower turnover rates.

    7. Clear Communication

    Having a well-defined strategy and vision helps in clear communication. Team members understand the direction the organisation is heading, reducing confusion and conflict.

    Disadvantages of Not Being Strategic

    On the other side, the absence of strategic leadership can lead to several disadvantages for an organisation:

    1. Short-Term Thinking

    Without a strategic leader, the organisation may focus solely on short-term goals, neglecting long-term sustainability.

    2. Reactive Decision Making

    Most non-strategic leaders often make decisions in response to immediate crises rather than with a forward-thinking approach, which can lead to inefficiencies.

    3. Wasted Resources

    Lack of a strategic direction can result in misallocation of resources, causing financial and human capital to go to waste.

    4. Missed Opportunities

    Organisations without strategic leaders may miss valuable opportunities for growth and improvement, putting them at a disadvantage.

    5. Stagnation

    In the absence of strategic thinking, organizations may become stagnant, unable to adapt to changing market conditions.

    6. Employee Disengagement

    When employees don’t see a clear direction, they may become disengaged and less committed to the organisation’s success.

    Examples of Where Strategic Leadership Has Made an Impact

    To illustrate the real-world impact of strategic leadership, let’s explore a few notable examples:

    1. Apple Inc.

    Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, was renowned for his strategic leadership. He had an unclouded vision for the company, driving innovation and creating a culture of excellence. His strategic decisions, like the development of the iPhone, revolutionised multiple industries.

    2. Amazon

    Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has demonstrated exceptional strategic leadership. His long-term vision and customer-centric approach have made Amazon one of the most influential companies in the world.

    3. Netflix

    Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, transformed the entertainment industry with his strategic leadership. He shifted the company from a DVD rental service to a global streaming giant by anticipating market trends and evolving the business model accordingly.

    4. Tesla

    Elon Musk’s strategic leadership at Tesla is evident in the company’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. His ability to set audacious goals and rally his team towards them showcases the power of strategic thinking.

    In conclusion, being a strategic leader is crucial in today’s business landscape. It involves having a clear vision, critical thinking, adaptability, and a focus on long-term success. The benefits of strategic leadership are numerous, including long-term success, competitive advantage, effective resource allocation, innovation, and enhanced decision-making. Conversely, not being strategic can result in disadvantages like short-term thinking, reactive decision-making, and missed opportunities.

    Real-world examples of strategic leaders like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings, and Elon Musk demonstrate the positive impact that strategic leadership can have on organizations. To thrive in an ever-changing world, aspiring leaders should cultivate the skills and mindset of a strategic leader. By doing so, they can steer their organisations toward a brighter, more sustainable future.

    Now that you have a better understanding of strategic leadership and its importance, consider exploring additional resources on this topic. You can find more insights and guidance in the following blogs and websites:

    • Harvard Business Review: HBR often features articles on strategic leadership and effective management practices.
    • The Center for Creative Leadership: This organization specializes in leadership development and offers valuable content on strategic leadership.
    • Inc.com: Inc.com provides articles and advice on leadership, including strategic leadership best practices.
    • Forbes: Forbes covers various leadership topics, including those related to strategic leadership.

    These resources can further enhance your knowledge of strategic leadership and help you become a more effective leader in your organisation.

    OUR FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

    At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

    In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

    We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

    For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
    please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

    Your first 30, 60 and 90 days in a shared service leadership role

    Starting a new role in shared services can be a little overwhelming. Imagine starting a new position managing a team in excess of 30, 50 or 100 people, with new systems and new processes, in a completely new environment.

    Where would you start? Most of your first 30 days is a learning curve, and a chance to absorb as much info as possible. Break it down into smaller chunks…

    30 Days

    • Introduce yourself:

    First impressions count. It is important that you understand your team, and they understand you. What are their frustrations, what makes them tick, and what motivates them to go that extra mile? It is important to understand the dynamics of the team initially and they understand your reasons for being hired. Most managers within a shared service are appointed to make change and drive efficiencies within their function. The whole team need to understand the journey you’re on as they will be a fountain of knowledge to help you reach it.

    • Define your role:

    Why have you been appointed? Most roles within shared service have a purpose, and you need to define your existence in the role and what you are there to achieve. The team need to understand your motivations too, so you need to be transparent around this and what you are trying to achieve. This way the team will understand why changes are being made.

    • Understand the business and culture:

    What is the business strategy? What are the business’ long term goals? Is it to reduce costs, headcount, make processes more efficient or to grow the team to manage an acquisition? Whatever it is, your team in most cases need to be aware of it, to understand your vison and to help you achieve the journey that you’re on. Understanding the product or service of the business is key, as you will need to think outside the box and consider any challenges that the business may face, and how that will impact the wider shared service.

    • Evaluate your own performance:

    Monitoring your performance over a 30, 60, and 90-day period is important. Set yourself achievable objectives, short and long term based on what you have set out with your line manager. Once you’ve set yourself these objectives, it is important not just to deliver them but to go above an beyond.

    • Plan…plan…plan….

    60 Days

    • What were your observations in the first 30 days?

    Start by looking back on your first 30 days. What have you achieved, what objectives did you meet/not meet and how realistic were they?

    Did you identify any risks, skills shortages or areas for improvement? This is the perfect time to reflect on your observations and speak up.

    • Implementing new strategies/processes

    What needs to be changed? Is it people, process or systems? This is where you will need to consider the changes you want to drive, and again what impact this may have on the wider business. Most importantly, your team, key stakeholders, and wider business should all be ‘bought in’ to the change agenda and just as importantly your customers and suppliers should be too, if the changes could potentially affect them.

    • Start building your own personal brand

    It’s important to start building your own personal brand and be recognised for doing things well. You want to use this next 30 days to really step up and show people why you were hired, and what you do well. By now you should have established relationships within the business and have started to help develop your team and potentially upskill them in in certain areas. By now you should understand your key stakeholders too, and how much influence is needed.

    • Get some feedback

    It is important now that you obtain regular feedback to ensure your vision aligns with your line managers. Talk around your observations, and future planning, and some of the key points you’re considering changing.

    • Plan, plan, plan…..

    90 Days

    • Create an internal comms plan

    Align your plan with the business, and create your own strategy and objectives to share with your team and stakeholders, so they have a clear understanding of the journey you’re on. 

    • Present your gatherings

    After spending 60 days analysing and absorbing info, it’s now time to present your findings. Show your stakeholders your problems and create solutions of how to make improvements and how you will measure success.

    • Start the transformation

    Now it’s time to really get your sleeves rolled up and start making the changes!

    Making a good first impression is important when you’re starting any management role, and by now your confidence should have grown and you will have made an impact on the team in some shape or form. Planning your first 30,90 and 60 days is important if you want to achieve your goals.

    If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

    You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

    Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.

    What makes a good shared service leader?

    A good shared service leader

    Shared services is a continuously evolving function, and with emerging technologies and ever-changing job titles, it’s important that you set yourself apart from the crowd if you want to become a well-known leader within the industry.

    Traditionally, shared service leaders were always judged on their hard skills. Shared services are set up to reduce costs, make processes more efficient and deliver results. However, not all shared service functions have an internal focus, and some are more focussed on delivering a better quality of service their customers, stakeholders and wider business.

    So, what skills do you need to be a successful  shared services leader?

    Leaderships Skills

    Well this one is pretty obvious, really. Leadership skills is one of the most important things you need to have. You need to be the ‘anchor’ for the team and show resilience when going through periods of change. 

    Ability to influence

    In order to be a successful shared service leader, you will need to have the ability to influence. You will need to influence customers, stakeholders, suppliers as well as your wider team and perhaps the board. You will need to get their buy-in whilst delivering transformation through periods of change.

    Commercial mindset

    The best leaders within shared service functions will have a commercial mindset and will be more operational than transactional. It’s all about looking at the wider business and understanding how decisions can impact other operations and sometimes the end user.

    Tech Savvy

    With the rise of robotics, AI and cloud-based systems, it’s important that you can keep up to speed with the latest technologies. With mundane processing tasks being eliminated, this is a great chance to take away some of the tasks the team may call ‘painful’, allowing you to upskill them and utilise them more, which leads nicely to my next point…

    Talent attraction and retention

    You’re only as good as your team. Building a team with exceptional talent can be difficult. Retaining the team is even harder. In such a candidate driven market it’s important keep your team motivated and challenged as they will no doubt explore opportunities externally. Rotational training, incentive, and continuous development is what most staff want – ensure you get the best team and keep them – enabling you to do the best job possible!

    Purpose-driven

    Whilst there are some nice shiny job titles and sexy remuneration packages the best share service leaders, in my opinion, are the ones that are passionate about delivering change effectively. It’s all about wanting to add value and pushing to deliver results for the business.

    What can I do to develop my skills?

    • Complete online courses/webinars to develop specific skills.
    • Speak at conferences and events.
    • Become a mentor.
    • Attend networking events.
    • Get involved in all aspects of the company and suggest improvements.

    What skills do you feel make a good shared services leader? If you would like to discuss further, you can email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

    You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

    Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.  

    Would you fire your child if they underperformed at work?

    Accountability at work


    In my job, I meet a lot of senior executives and it surprises me that many don’t address negative issues as head on as you might imagine.

    I think a large part of this is to do with accountability.

    Simon Sinek summed it up for me, when he said, “would you fire one of your children, if they came home from school with a C grade?!”

    Well, of course you wouldn’t. You would support them and help them to do better.

    So why is it at work when one of your top performers suddenly starts to have a bad quarter that we immediately go to performance management? When all they probably need is some reassurance and support.

    Many leaders use accountability as a draconian way of managing people, it suggests that you can blame others for not doing what they should. When in reality leaders should hold themselves accountable in the chain of events that have led to things not going as planned.

    Personally, I prefer the word responsibility, which comes from the heart and suggests a more shared way of thinking.

    Some tips to think about:

    • Remember that leadership is about nurturing those who work for you and can often mean taking the blame for things that aren’t entirely your fault.
    • Stop making excuses, set clear expectations and direction for your teams.
    • Embrace mistakes and coach people (rather than blame them!).
    • Communicate problems when they happen, don’t store them up for the future when things become bigger than they really are.

    To discuss further, you can email me on James@refind.co.uk.

    You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

    Hiring an Interim Executive? You need to get it right! Discover the 8 step process you should follow, by downloading our free eBook here.

    The role leadership plays in shared services

    The role leadership plays in shared services
    The role leadership plays in shared services

    What is the definition of leadership? The person who leads or commands a group, organisation, or country.

    Many people ask me what defines a great shared services leader. Whilst this can encompass several different traits, there are usually a handful of personal qualities that a shared service leader should have and demonstrate. Whatever those traits and qualities, there is no doubt the role leadership plays in shared services is huge.

    Traditionally, shared service leaders have been judged on their hard skills, such as cost reduction, operational excellence and delivering results. However, it’s 2019 and times have changed. More and more shared service functions require softer skills and more people related skills, to drive success. I guess this puts the saying, “A business is only as good as it’s people.” into perspective.

    Communication and vision:

    Creating a clear message and vision for your employees is the key to success. Just because something isn’t ‘broken’, it doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. You need a leader who takes the time to fully engage with the team, helping them understand the journey the business is on and influencing them to drive continuous improvement and change. Managing the change agenda is key, and you need to be passionate about this to engage stakeholders and ensure the right message is being delivered. I referenced the saying “if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it” – Imagine trying to change a process, when the individual has done their job like this for the past 10 years. It takes certain skills to get that person to see the benefits in the change.

    Embrace technology:

    You need leaders who are not afraid to embrace technology. Artificial intelligence and robotics are reshaping the way shared service functions operate. Whilst many think that AI will inevitably lead to headcount reduction, not only does it eliminate monotonous tasks and recurring processing activities, but it gives humans the chance to utilise their skills and add value in a different capacity. AI eliminates errors, increases efficiency, improves the customer experience and, over time, is more cost-effective. Good leaders need to embrace new technologies to help upskill their existing teams.

    Look beyond the SSC:

    Whilst the above point talks around efficiencies, leaders need to look beyond the shared service and think about effectiveness beyond. What impact does this have on the wider business, as well as your customers and suppliers? Shared services functions aren’t just created to reduce costs, they need to demonstrate high productivity and quality of service, not just internally.

    Focus on talent:

    Finding good shared services talent is hard. But once you have managed to secure the best talent, it’s important for leaders ensure they retain, develop and progress them.

    • Create an exclusive onboarding programme, so that employees feel valued, and have a clear understanding of what’s expected.
    • Build structured career paths. Give your employees the appetite for progression and encourage their personal development.
    • Maintain a great culture and working environment, where employees feel valued.
    • Reward success.
    • Just because it’s work, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way.

    Upskill your existing staff:

    It’s important that leaders upskill existing staff and keep them motivated. Having worked in a high-volume invoice processing role, I can relate to some shared services employees when they say their job is repetitive and sometimes mundane. The same monotonous tasks you must do, day in, day out, can be soul destroying. I had the task of solely processing invoices within accounts payable department and it was a delight when a colleague went on holiday, or there was a chance for some rotational training. When you’re given a new task, the chance to learn or simply just do something a bit different, it’s amazing how much you put your mind to it and have a different attitude towards it. As technology and AI develop within shared service functions, as previously mentioned, it’s even more important to upskill your team.

    If you would like to discuss the role leadership plays in shared services further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

    You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

    You can sign up for more shared services news and updates from Sam here.