As discussed in part one - Australians are very particular about who leads them, and it makes an enormous amount of difference to performance. Three leadership styles in particular stand out in Australia:
- Bastards: Bad bosses (bastards) – “may take credit where it’s not due, sacrifice others in their own self-interest … Tend to be results – driven at the expense of their people”.
- Bosses: Good bosses – avoid actions that divide them from their team, and though they “may act as a captain-coach” they are still somewhat distant and more concerned about the task at hand than their “followers”.
- Leaders – “concerned with the welfare of their followers and are closely involved with them at all times”
In short, in Australia, we follow leaders who care for their followers. We like to work for people who give a stuff about us. No surprises there. You can’t underestimate how important this is - even when I worked for my father - he was entirely task driven - I did not give my all because I felt he did not care about us (not when we were at work anyway).
What can you do
In my talks and seminars on inspiring leadership I make the following suggestions:
- Take the role of Captain – Coach - yes, it might be quicker to do it yourself right now but in the long term, this will backfire.
- Show you care about the welfare of your staff. One simple way to do this is that when you ask how they are wait and listen for the answer.
- Pitch in. Do some of the dirty or mundane jobs yourself. Pay for the coffee.
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