People not Targets – ILM news

A target-driven approach to leadership is less likely to result in a strong performance compared to a more people-centred one, research has highlighted, says The Work Foundation.

By Nick Howard

The study saw managers at six high-profile employers, including Tesco and BAE Systems, interviewed about their leadership philosophies and practices over a two-year period.

It emerged that there were three common themes among ‘outstanding’ leaders; thinking and acting systematically, seeing people as the route to performance and being self confident but not arrogant. “Outstanding leaders focus on people, attitudes and engagement, co-creating vision and strategy,” commented lead author Penny Tamkin. “Instead of one-to-one meetings centred on tasks, they seek to understand people and their motives.”

She added that such leaders manage their teams “holistically” and focus on the mood and behaviour of employees in addition to organisational objectives.

Research presented earlier this week by the British Psychological Society highlighted that managers are more likely to alter their leadership style if they receive feedback from their staff.