A well-respected client has been moved temporarily into a COO role in a complex organisation.
I asked him how he was going to handle the new and wider range of accountabilities.
“Old- fashioned leadership, that’s what we need”, he said.
I thought that was going to lead onto a conversation about visions and inspiration, or perhaps tighter grip and control. But no… he meant something much more human.
He wasn’t expecting himself or his managers to issue orders and pull levers, or hypnotise the masses, but to engage with people as people.
He will expect his team of managers to be visible, get out from behind their meetings, listen to their front line staff and first line managers, try to understand the reality for customers and the reality for front line staff, engage colleagues in solving problems, have difficult conversations about performance issues immediately and just as immediately recognise good work and give recognition.
He is hoping to role model honesty, openness, courage and adult conversation, and expect the same of others.
Old-fashioned? No, just the timeless basics of leadership.