DREW INTERVIEWED BY: VIKAS SHAH MBE / @MRVIKAS
How do leaders gain the trust and respect of their peers and teams?
The mistake I see most amongst leaders is that as leaders we believe we should have all the answers. We try (and often fail) to be all things to all people, which is never possible. I think that humble leaders will generate more respect than the mythical hero leader who comes in on a horse (or other mode of transport) to right the wrongs and deal with everything…single handedly! When working with leaders I try to get them to look at this through the two elements of character and competence to develop trust and ultimately respect. Allowing people to see your personality and your ability creates a strong pairing that develops relationships to a whole new level – one without the other means that you are losing out in some way. Business is about people and people are about relationships and we develop this through trust and respect.
How do you balance the seemingly conflicted needs for autonomy, management and control?
I feel that autonomy should come with accountability, otherwise it isn’t true empowerment. When this happens at it’s worst, is when leaders allow staff to make decisions about things that don’t matter…this means nothing to anyone and has no impact. However, if people are given autonomy and are also made aware of how it’s impacted on them this is true empowerment. I’ve observed that people want this in their working lives and it does wonders for engagement too.
How do you stay motivated, resilient and inspired?
I use a variety of strategies to stay motivated, resilient and inspired. To keep inspired I make sure I learn every day. I love audiobooks and feel they are a great way for me to develop. I also keep a journal of the best ideas that I encounter, which is something I’ve done for over 12 years now. To keep motivated I now spend time with leaders across all sectors, which I find keeps reminding me why I do what I do – we know why power beats will power every time! In terms of resilience I make sure I surround myself with the right people. This starts with my family who make sure I keep grounded. Having good mentors and advisors is also crucial; people that will be honest and optimistic about what can be achieved. Dr Zella King talks about having a personal boardroom and I wholeheartedly agree with this! In short, get your team around you as nobody achieves anything alone.