Lessons in leadership…

I had the privilege of meeting Greg Dyke a couple of times and I found him inspiring.  I’m dedicating this post to him and his wise words on leadership, which were nicely summed up this weekend in “The Secrets Of My Success” feature in the Mail on Sunday. More words of wisdom and an eye opening exposure of the governance of the BBC are in his book, Inside Story.

On managing others:

Give people the freedom to act. If you are constantly checking and overseeing every detail you undermine them in the end. Most people are better than they think they are. What you need to do is encourage them to demonstrate it.”

On engagement (Note – being respected is no longer enough):

Win hearts and minds. You can’t just tell people what to do any more. We no longer live in a subservient society, so we have to change the way we work with people. You have to earn their trust, and if you do that they will come on board. If all you do is moan at them you have no chance. I used to say you need people’s respect first but I’ve changed my mind. They have to like you too. If they don’t they moan – and that undermines organisations.”

On You:

Be yourself. You often see people change completely as they get promoted.  They forget they were appointed because of who they are.  They start imitating the behaviour of others.”

On responsibility (Note the “Us”):

Stop pointing the finger. The job of a leader is to say “what did we get wrong and how can we learn from it?” Blaming individuals is a waste of time because it’s not just ‘them’ it’s ‘us’. Don’t bother with recriminations.”

Say what you like about him, he cuts through the guff and whatever his politics or motivations, these are universal truths of great leadership.  If more leaders stuck to these very simple principles perhaps organisations would be better places to work.

1 Comment

  1. Gareth – this is a very good summary, useful reminders. Thanks very much for taking the time to summarise the article for us.

    A while back an associate of mine kindly wrote a piece about leadership lessons he learned from spending time with Richard Branson, Freddie Laker and Michael Bishop. The link to the story is here – I think it might be useful to you and others who like your post.


    Cheers – Doug


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