Mocean is a multi-award winning employee engagement and internal comms agency based in Bristol & London
What makes a leader? What makes a leader great? What makes a leader great in a time of global uncertainty?
We’re living in a changing and uncertain world. Uncertainty comes in many forms and with that comes volatility - with cultural, political and societal issues all changing at a vast rate, there has never been more of a demand and need for strong leadership. So we wanted to explore what great leadership looks like.
Here at Mocean we believe to lead is to have clear purpose, open communication and to lead by example.
Have a clear purpose based on your values.
What’s the purpose?
What’s the desired outcome?
Is it something worth getting behind?
Take New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when the pandemic started - she made quick key decisions by setting goals the desired outcomes. This purpose was to protect New Zealanders from Covid-19 and to minimise the risk of contracting and spreading the disease. New Zealand, along with Australia were among the first nations to close their borders to minimise this risk. Ardern clearly stated “we need to do this for the health of the country, and our people”. Ardern and her Party’s purpose was and is clearly based on their people-centric values.
Only in the past week or so have New Zealand set a date to reopen their borders for the first time in nearly two years. To stand firm in your purpose-based values is admirable and something to be praised especially in a time of global uncertainty.
Communication. Autocratic leadership doesn’t make sense in our modern world. It’s hard for a community to get behind something when communication isn’t clear or the purpose does not make sense. Make your communications understandable and concise, ensuring the narrative is suitable for who you are talking to. Being honest and keeping your word can establish and maintain trusting relationships.
Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen all sorts of communication. Some excellent, clear and purpose-driven and others vague, indecisive and popularity-driven. Authenticity, honesty and integrity should be the number one priority when communicating because people will see through if you are disingenuous.
“Authentic leaders are not afraid to show emotion and vulnerabilities they share challenges with their team. Developing a solid foundation of trust with open and honest communication is critical to authentic leadership” - Farshad Asl.
Lead by example. It should go without saying. If you can’t follow your own rules, how can you expect others too? Being authentic and accepting responsibility and accountability is all part of this. And this is very true in a workplace setting - if you require certain behaviours and mindsets then you must make sure that you are the first to adopt them and lead by example even when that is the harder route to take.
The media was quick to pick up on the actions to those of the Queen, sitting alone at the funeral of her late husband, In that moment she defined great leadership, abiding by the rules for everyone to see.
Having clear purpose-driven values, communicating with honesty and leading by example will do wonders for your employee engagement and team cohesion and are all signs of a great leader. Leadership can be hard to get right at times, particularly during a period when people are less forgiving, it’s so important to invest in communicating the correct messages to your internal audience. We can help support you on your leadership journey so please get in touch to discuss how we can help.