VOICE August 2017 - page 1

Issue 30
August 2017
Historically, leaders led and specialists concentrated
on their area of expertise such as finance,
engineering, marketing or quality control. The
development of leadership in the 21
century often
requires leaders to be all things to all people. How
many times have you talked to HR about an issue
with a team, to be told that their leader is ‘not a
people person’ and doesn’t have ‘natural leadership
skills’? But in reality managers now need to be multi-
facetted and there is less room to hide behind their
specialist job title.
Many businesses now have a matrix structure to
enable them to be more agile and responsive to
change. Hierarchical structures are gone, as is the
certainty of a structure in which rules,
responsibilities and reporting lines were clear and
unambiguous. Certainly the change to matrix
structures has offered cost benefits, but there are
also other consequences. People who perhaps never
intended to manage and lead people, find themselves
doing exactly that, leading teams, and having dotted
line responsibilities to others within the matrix
structure. Added to that they can often be leading
remote teams using technology to support
communication. So, in an environment where
people expect to be led, supported, nurtured and
developed, these new leaders find that they not only
don’t have the natural skills to do this, but that a
career path focussed on developing their technical /
specialist skills has left them ill-equipped for
leadership, effective communication and people
management skills.
In today’s world of management,
leaders need to be:
Great communicators to diverse
Effective decision makers &
Strategic thinkers
I believe that leadership can be developed and that
most leaders develop through their experience on
the job and through targeted support. So specialists
certainly can develop a good repertoire of leadership
skills that give them the multi-facetted approach that
they need. It is not easy and careful consideration
has to be given to the individual needs of each
In MBTI (Myers Briggs, a personality type indicator)
terms, the difference between specialists and more
natural leadership profiles can often be seen based
on the typical personality preferences for each.
Specialists often have the personality preferences for
INTP or ISTP whereas more people in leadership
positions tend to have a preference for ESTJ. By
comparing the ESTJ preference with that of INTP or
ISTP, the differences are quite clear.
The Reluctant Leader
Karen Frost discusses how to
develop specialists who find
themselves in leadership roles.
AI and HR
Nathan Morgan explains how
artificial intelligence can help HR
generate a positive work culture
Spicing It Up!
Karen Frost reflects on how Short
Stories can help within coaching and
Book Review
Ego Free Leadership –
Ending the
Unconscious Habits that Hijack Your
By Brandon Black & Shayne Hughes.
Final Thoughts...
Developing Inspirational Leaders
The Reluctant Leader
1 2,3,4,5
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