Belfast Telegraph

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Management can drive a firm forward

Philip Bain launched his company at the start of the recession. In the first of a series of articles, he shares his views on leadership

There are three common qualities that I have noticed in all leaders that, in my view, make them great. Great leaders want to change the world: A great leader is someone who desires to do something greater than just improve the bottom line.

They want to make the world better for the people who work for them, the community around them and society as a whole.

If you walk into your office and want to tell everyone what to do and are itching just to manage people, then you will not inspire or motivate anyone.

You have the power to create an environment where people love coming to work and in which people feel valued, where their opinion matters, where staff can be empowered to make decisions and to achieve things that they never thought possible.

That is your choice - or you can create an environment that is filled with tension, office politics as well as disengagement.

Great leaders are about creating an organisation that means something, that people can be proud of and that makes a difference in society.

Great leaders want to be redundant:

Poor leaders want to be indispensable. They want to be considered so critical to the success of the business that even going on annual leave will cause the company problems. This is poor leadership, because they haven't created a team that can function in their absence, nor have they created systems and processes capable of running smoothly without their input.

Great leaders want to build capacity in the organisation and encourage others to up their game, to take on new responsibilities, to be creative, to make decisions and to create an environment in which the leader is effectively not needed. This allows great leaders to think strategically and to focus on taking things to the next level.

Great leaders are comfortable with their weakness:

Poor leaders tend to hide their weaknesses. They want to give the impression that they know everything and that their opinion is all that matters. Having humility means you accept you don't have all the answers and you embrace those who do. Great leaders ask for help, seek the advice of wiser heads, and they don't try to cover up mistakes. If you are comfortable with your weaknesses, you will be comfortable delegating, empowering, promoting and trusting people's judgment.

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