In our last post we talked a little about diversity and developing future leaders, we also gave you a taste of some of the platforms we’ve created and initiatives we have in place to highlight, develop and recognise our own future leaders in Enterprise.
One of our most successful, and enjoyable initiatives is the Leadership Forum – a two-day residential conference for 50 of our top female and BAME middle management team members to focus exclusively on developing their leadership behaviours and personal skills to take control of their career progression.
The Enterprise Leadership Forum
With a ‘top’ to ‘future top’ format, the forum saw some of our most senior managers share stories about the lessons they had learned on their journey to leadership. Thanks to the Twittersphere we were able to get some great, real-time sound bites to share throughout the event. You can see them for yourself and some snaps from the event by searching for #ERACforum.
Lessons in leadership
To give you an idea of the value and wisdom that came out, I thought I would share a few of my favourite and most inspiring gems. There’s a great mix of pragmatic and philosophic – but all offer sound, actionable advice for anyone wanting to progress to leadership.
“Work ethic isn’t about the number of hours you work but about the quality of your work.”
This was a recurring theme of the day: quality over quantity. Don’t spread yourself too thinly; give yourself time to focus on what’s truly important and what will deliver value to your business and to those working with you.
“The most important thing you can do as a leader is to promote opportunity for your people.”
We have the opportunity today to build a future leadership team that nurtures talent and ensures that the belief we have in diversity is sustained into tomorrow. To be promoted, you need to demonstrate how you have helped to develop your employees. We don’t just want to hear about how great they are – we want to see evidence of how great their team has become as well.
This goes further, shaping the way you make decisions for the future:
“The ability to make a decision that is not necessarily in your interests, to put yourself second – that is true leadership.”
An important lesson for any future leader is that doing the right thing sometimes means doing something you don’t want to. Which leads nicely onto the final leadership quality or mindset I’d like to share with you this time – it takes time and practise but it’s vital to know and make peace with the fact that you won’t always be popular or liked for the decisions you make:
“Being liked vs. being respected is a very difficult piece to accept when you step into management.”
Finally, I’d like to share with you a quick video where Jim Burrell, Enterprise’s Senior Vice President of European Operations offers a bit more insight into the leadership programme and opportunities within Enterprise.
Next time, I’ll talk more about leadership qualities and how they impact the social impact businesses make – and the value they bring beyond the bottom line.
Don’t forget to seek out more leadership insights from our Leadership Forum, by searching for #ERACforum on Twitter using Topsy.