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What’s the most important area of focus for leaders?

Tips and questions to help you with your thinking about leadership

What’s the most important area of focus for leaders?

A thought provoker from the Go MAD Thinking book, ‘How to make a difference by transforming managers into leaders’ states that ‘managers focus on system and structure; leaders focus on people’. This acknowledges that great leadership is primarily about the people.

If it’s primarily about the people, what does this mean? The Go M.A.D.® Leadership Framework considers this from a Leadership Team’s perspective. Paying attention to this principle of the Framework will widen your thinking about the range of people who could be engaged and bought into organisational goals.  


The Leadership Framework links Leadership Responsibility to the People principle. As mentioned, this includes thinking about who is to be engaged. Also, there’s the link from People to Vision and Objectives. How do the Leadership Team and you as a leader, wherever you sit in the organisation, communicate the vision and organisational goals in a way that encourages involvement and buy-in. The link between People and Management Thinking & Planning recognises the role managers play in engaging with people.

When thinking about the range of people to be engaged you might consider:

  • How people could be segmented to determine the type and frequency of communication
  • The different strategies needed for different groups for them to be involved and feel empowered
  • Aside from people inside the organisation who else needs to be engaged? This could possibly include customers, consumer groups, shareholders, supplies and other strategic partnerships or alliances


5 things to consider when focusing on your people

Here’s five key things to think about in your leadership role when focusing on the people:

1) Build the vision of the future by engaging the imagination of those who will live that future.

2) Define yourself a goal about the kind of leader you want to be. Think about the legacy you want to leave, and the legacy you want to live.

3) Engender a culture of openness by developing and adapting your leadership style to meet the needs of individuals. And, speak their language.

4) Uncover the hidden talents in others. Recognise each person’s strengths and make the most of those strengths. What skills have they got that aren’t being maximised.

5) Coach people to solve their own problems. If you solve their problems, they learn that leaders solve problems and will keep coming for help. Being given the skills and tools to solve their problems will allow them to own solutions and increase feelings of control and empowerment.


What could you possibly ask yourself?

In addition to the areas above here are three helpful things to ask yourself:

1) Who are the different people, either individuals or groups, who need to be engaged?

2) How could you possibly engage people to work co-operatively, encouraging shared responsibilities and collective accountabilities?

3) What is it really like to be led by me?


For more tips or to help you with your thinking 

Delve into our books, How to make a difference by transforming managers into leaders and ‘Engage and Empower.

Get in touch for a conversation about how to use the Leadership Framework to develop leaders in your organisation or book a place on one of our Productivity and Change Excellence Workshops to find out more about our approach.

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