12 December 2016
What is good leadership and how do you recruit future leaders?
It’s been so lovely to see everyone getting together for Christmas events at our Campus, but we have this sense of team spirit whatever time of the year.
We are a strong business because we have a strong team, and the reason we can keep growing that team is the fact that we have some of the most inspiring leaders looking after all departments of our business.
At UKFast we hire leaders, even if that’s not always what we’ve set out to do. Leaders exist at every level of our business and it’s my job to help them on their journey to become one of UKFast’s future leadership team. It’s worth noting that leaders don’t necessarily mean managers – sometimes leaders are the ones excelling and setting the example or leading change through innovation.
Leadership is a journey that includes growth and assessment. I understand that if I want my business to grow, I need my leaders to grow. We offer training and education to help future leaders develop the necessary skills, or to allow them to learn new skills that could help us become more forward-thinking. We challenge employees to get them to step out of their comfort zones and we give everyone the chance to take full responsibility and accountability.
This is why most of the directors on our current board are ‘home-grown’. They’ve been with us for years and developed as they progressed throughout different roles. They understand our business like nobody we’d recruit externally could.
When recruiting, I’m interested in two things: cultural fit and potential. I look for people who are good team players, who focus on building relationships at work and who will always aim to help others.
In my opinion, humility and caring for others are two of the most valuable leadership traits. It’s not about responding to those who shout the loudest. Real leaders are sometimes standing at the back, where they can help people develop and push them in the right direction.
A great leader isn’t just someone who wants to lead, but who others want to follow. They are respected and trusted by the people they work with every day and are a source of positive energy. They want everyone to work together well as a team and they genuinely care about everyone who makes a part of that team. Being a great leader is about listening. You have two ears and one mouth – leaders should use them in that proportion!
There are certain skills that I believe you can develop to be a good leader, but the possibility to develop these skills very much depends on your character. These are the inherent traits and the right attitude that make great leaders. Attitude is ingrained, whereas skills can be taught.
I believe it is because we have so many potential leaders in our team that we are always pushing to be more innovative. Most of the ideas that have transformed our business have come from our business floor. I can’t wait to see how our team will develop in the next few years who will be leading us to future successes.
How do you develop leadership?