Coleen Wiltshire, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) and Insights Accredited and Liberating Leadership Master Practitioner, enthuses all things leadership, culture, people development and how to create the best environments for yourself and others to thrive. Here she shares her thoughts on how Leadership is an art and why you should practise every day.

How do we illuminate a path for success in our business and emerge stronger from the last year of absolute turmoil?

By setting solid foundations, fostering good working relationships, and leading with self-awareness and an appreciation of other people’s skill sets and talent. We are all leaders in something; we do not have to manage a team of people. However, we do need to be aware of how we turn up each day and have a clear idea of the direction and the course of action we are going to take. We build better working relationships when we stop, reflect, and take a look at what we are doing, how we are doing it and most importantly why we are doing it.

Why using the right tools and creating a model will empower you and your team?

2021 is going to be another tough year.  We have a vaccine, so there is light ahead but the impact on the world of work and on business owners requires purpose and the path to success to be floodlit. The company vision needs to be as clear as a beacon light and the values lived and shared with all stakeholders.

By becoming self-aware and understanding our personal style, coupled with enhancing the art of communication, we create our model and set our path to success. Leaders and business owners can free people, liberate people and deliver significant improvements to the bottom line at the same time. All that is required is regular time scheduled to look at ourselves and others. Time set aside to plan, review and refine our processes and adjust our approach appropriately.

Leading is an art

To create a masterpiece that will ultimately result in reward and recognition, all artists need to understand their own motivations. How do we lift ourselves up and demonstrate our skill set and that kind of personal excellence that effective people display? With intentional strategic planning and a clear direction. By tapping into this approach, performance and profitability can be transformed in any business.

Organisations function best when each person’s commitments, potential, creativity, and capability is central to their operation.  Maximising performance is also the way to recover and emerge stronger than ever before.  We need to engage and motivate ourselves, and our employees, with a clear strategic direction. Understand that people want autonomy post Covid 19, they want to add value and deliver, but in a new, more flexible way.

Setting a clear purpose and allowing people that autonomy is the way forward. To proceed and succeed into the future we must now light the path, live by our values, create an environment where people can come to work and be themselves. Understand life is tough and sometimes home life will impact and understand the changing world whilst adapting and connecting to our team members and clients.

The world of work has changed forever

Business was already changing faster than ever before; technology was leading the way at a rapid speed. Then without us knowing what was about to happen, 2020 and Covid 19 hit! Nobody saw it coming and the impact is so immense, it has changed our working lives forever! Now more than ever before, business leaders must understand themselves, their people, their customers and find their resilience, become agile and adaptable, and keep up with the pace. However, the future is not just about recovery and procedure, the future is human, and people are our most valuable resource. I am sure most business owners will agree with this in principle, but how many will simply pay lip service?

There is no perfect leader, no perfect organisation, no perfect client, success is created by self-directing people. People who adapt a growth mindset and understand that is what separates them from the rest.

Adapting and Connecting for success

Making the decision to adapt your behaviour to connect with others for mutual success is key. Whilst we are all going through the same experience, we all have our own perceptions of it and our own unique way of dealing with it. In adapting and connecting, a leader needs to flex their style appropriately to meet people where they are. This ability to flex one’s style is rooted in emotional intelligence.

The crucial differences between leading and managing and why they matter as we approach 2021 in full recovery mode?

Managers manage themselves and oversee the people who work for them, they see strategic vision, plan, utilise resource, organise, direct and review issues mitigating risk. Managers have a transactional management approach to what they do and how they do it.

Leaders are self-aware, they understand themselves and the diversity of people’s individual gifts, skills, and talent, people want to follow them. They possess an unconscious competence and set of values, which they follow intrinsically.  They are consistent and explicit when setting direction and vision. They develop themselves, their team, adapting, connecting, supporting, and challenging in equal measure. They have a transformational approach to what they do and how they do it. IQ plus EQ equals successful leaders.

Leaders and business owners who have mastered the art lead people humanly and with humility. Potential issues are diagnosed and solutions and interventions are created and shared. The Leader sets the conditions that encourages high performance, they are strong willed, purposeful, deliberate, and confident, celebrating individual and team successes. People who report to them feel enthused, they know they add value, and they feel a sense of belonging; the vision is clear, and they understand where they are going and why they are doing it and willingly follow the path, giving discretionary effort in all they do and leading with grace, and an element of style.


Webinar 1

Leadership is an Art: Consider your tools, create your model

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Webinar 2

Leadership is an Art: Building a masterpiece

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Webinar 3

Leadership is an Art: You are the Artist

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