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When leaders intentionally connect, organisations transform

Johannesburg, 01 Nov 2023
Leadership steers the ship towards the right business horizons.
Leadership steers the ship towards the right business horizons.

Employees who feel that leadership communicates effectively are 73% less likely to experience burnout, according to Gallup. The same survey also found that when leadership is trusted, employees are four times more likely to be engaged. Leadership that connects, communicates and engages can fundamentally transform an organisation’s dynamic.

The same applies to well-being. Leaders that listen will discover that their employees are more likely to be engaged, less likely to experience burnout, more inclined to trust the organisation and its leaders, and they tend to thrive in their personal lives.

The impact of leadership cannot be understated.

Leadership steers the ship towards the right business horizons while paying attention to every creak and sail and sailor on board. It is leaders who ensure that strategy and business priorities remain aligned, and it is leaders who influence the overall culture and well-being of an organisation.

This makes it key that leaders gain ongoing training and development so their skills are constantly honed and their approaches to people and management are kept as relevant as possible. After all, the ways in which people respond to leadership are constantly changing – just think how today’s workforce would respond to the leadership behaviours of the 80s – and so decision-makers need to evolve alongside these trends to ensure they maintain a healthy and engaged workforce.

Leadership that has a rich understanding of how they influence others can transform an organisation and the people within it. Even those who have been in business for years can benefit from a leadership that values their contributions and recognises their potential. Even the old dogs can learn and grow from fresh leadership perspectives and enhance their professional and personal lives.

But who are the leaders?

Are they the C-suite, the decision-makers who sit at the board level? Are they managers? Are they the team leaders?

According to Dieter Jansen, Chief Growth Officer at Intellinexus, leadership isn’t the exclusive domain of senior staff or board members or C-suite decision-makers. It’s anyone who has an influence within the business. He says: “Everyone can benefit from developing their leadership skills because everyone influences one another, regardless of where they sit within the business.”

A leader is anyone who answers yes to these three questions:

  • Do you speak or communicate at any time during the day?
  • When you speak, is someone listening?
  • Does what you say influence what they think or do or say?

It’s very likely that all employees will say yes to at least one of those questions. This means they are all experiencing moments of leadership every day. When they asked to show someone how to do something – they’re leading. If they are giving an opinion – that is their leadership moment.

“Every one of these moments experienced by an employee is one that places responsibility on them to lead well,” says Jansen. “It doesn’t matter how insignificant that moment may seem, or how small when compared with leading an organisation of 100 or more people, it is one that has influence over other people and the culture of the business.”

It is this ethos that drives leadership development at Intellinexus. Senior staff undergo leadership training and development to ensure they have the skills they need to thrive and help other people within the business achieve their full potential. However, the training is also open to every member of staff because everyone has influence and everyone can benefit from developing their leadership skills. As Jansen concludes: “Leadership and culture go hand-in-hand so changing a culture starts with shifting leadership thinking.”