What kind of a leader are you?06 Dec 2013
Announcing its strategic partnership with the National Business Awards, Cranfield School of Management is urging the UK’s business leaders and entrepreneurs to become more strategic in their leadership style to promote greater commercial success.
The importance of leadership styles has emerged from Cranfield’s experience of coaching of over 1,500 UK businesses that have come through its Business Growth & Development Programme (BGP). The Programme focuses on owner-managed businesses, helping them to achieve growth, and encourages the evolution of leadership styles - from ‘working in the business to working on the business’. The National Business Awards has teamed up with Cranfield to celebrate the UK’s leading businesses and leaders, across categories including Leader of the Year, the Leadership Diversity Award and the Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year.
Professor Andrew Burke of Cranfield observes that the importance of becoming a strategist has been key to business success. “In our experience the majority of owner-managers are characterised as Artisans, Heroes or Meddlers, with only a small proportion naturally achieving the ideal Strategist role,” he explained. “Becoming a Strategist is necessary for leaders to outline a vision in order to grow the business and effectively motivate employees.
“The National Business Awards research shows that 30% of UK workers think their boss is only doing OK and a further 10% rate their boss as poor – this reiterates our notion of how important strong leadership is to business success.”
The leadership styles identified by Cranfield include –
- Strategists, who give their managers the tools to do the job whilst they plan for the future.
- A Meddler, who can't let go of routine tasks. Until they reduce involvement in the day to day management, the growth capacity of the firm is limited. Staff are hired to take responsibility but are not empowered to do so and the boss isn’t making time to plan.
- The Hero, who probably heads up a management function such as sales or production. They are often seen as a Hero as they are the only person who really understands management policies – so seem to excel.
- The Artisan, who is typified by low management activity, because most of their time is spent producing a product or delivering a service. They often remain ‘one of the gang’, with little authority or future planning taking place.
Tristram Mayhew, Founder of Go Ape – a National Business Awards winner in 2009 and a BGP Alumnus - commented: “A leader needs to switch from hero to zero – look forward and steer the best course. In 2006 we had 7 Go Ape courses and a turnover of around £1.5m. We then embarked on the BGP course and took a step back to become more strategic leaders - now we have 45 businesses in the UK, are about to expand to the USA and have a turnover of £12.5m. ”
Debra Charles, Founder of Novacroft - another National Business Awards Alumnus - agreed: “Since adopting a strategic approach Novacroft’s growth, despite difficult economic conditions, has been significant and resulted in the recruitment of more than 150 new jobs at Novacroft.”
The partnership between Cranfield and the National Business Awards follows a study which revealed that 93% of business leaders would consider changing their leadership style to boost business, morale and productivity. While 44% of bosses say they have gone on a leadership course to learn new skills, 9% admitted they have done nothing to improve them. The research also showed that both bosses and employees appreciate good leadership with over 90% of those surveyed saying that it’s the most important influence on the success of an organisation.
Commenting on the choice of Cranfield School of Management as Official Research Partner for the National Business Awards, Programme Director Alex Evans said it was “due to its extensive interaction with high performing businesses and its international reputation for cutting-edge research which has an impact in managerial thought leadership.”
To find out more about the BGP course at Cranfield School of Management, visit the website.
Finalists for the 2013 National Business Awards will be announced on 16th July and profiled in a dedicated supplement produced by the Daily Telegraph on 7th September. Winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor, Park Lane on 12th November. To reserve advertising space in this year’s Finalist Supplement or book your places at this year’s ceremony call Anthony Akoto on 020 7234 8710 or email email@example.com.