Leadership – what does it really mean?

In January I attended a course through the Leadership Trust in London.  What a fabulous day!  We had a really inspiring presenter, took part in a lot of fun projects and had a lovely team of 11 people from different industries and organisations.

Understanding exactly what is the role of a ‘Leader’ was fascinating to learn and dispelled a lot of misconceptions and presumptions.  To me, it’s all about the people.

My role in the business has changed over the last 18 months, from concentrating on the day to day client work, transitioning to the management of the team and the business.

In order to manage the business better I had to step away from the actual Virtual PA work and allow my time to be spent on looking after the team, along with the strategic vision, growth, marketing and sales.  It is so easy to fall back into the task driven areas focusing on managing the detail rather than managing the team.

The Leadership Foundation course taught me the most important part of being a leader is how you communicate yourself with your team and your clients.  It was said ‘you can only lead people’, which makes a lot of sense.  I needed to lead the team to manage the tasks.

It’s definitely about generating positive emotions and using your ‘Personal Power’, which can be a combination of your history, values, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses to have an impact upon others.

We talked about demotivators: fortunately, we don’t have any of these on our team.  Everyone can instantly picture and recollect someone who only sees the negative in everything and sucks the life out of people as soon as they enter a room.  The trainer explained the best way to tackle a team player who expresses these kind of emotions is to quickly find out what their needs are, why they feel this way, take an interest in them and look at how to make them feel valued and part of the team.  More easily done in theory than reality.

It’s so important to be mindful of the language you use, how it can have a huge impact on the emotions of other people.  Remembering to listen more.  Learning the ability to test the temperature of a team in a meeting, which unfortunately is quite difficult to do during a remote conference call.

My main aim as a leader is to make sure every member of the team feels valued, recognized and listened to: they say if you look after your team well, they will look after your clients.

You must watch this video it speaks volumes and will make you smile.