Welcome to this video which is part of the prosper introduction to leadership resource. What we’re going to do in this video is discuss three key elements. The first one is to have a conversation around about what do we mean by leadership. Leadership is a word that is often used in management leadership in organisations. But what do we really mean by that word leadership, and in particular, what might distinguish the word leadership from the word management. We’re also going to spend some time looking at the attributes of leaders. And finally, we’re going to talk about one leadership model, the Kouzes and Posner leadership practices model, which highlights the attributes of effective leaders. And that will help us explore and reflect on our own practices as leaders, and also identify areas where we could improve our leadership. Within the workshop, which we ran alongside the development of this resource, we had a group discussion around about what do we mean by leadership. And it was interesting to see what some of the discussion groups came back with. There was a general theme of guiding others to achieve was part of leadership, helping a group achieve a common goal, steering a team of people, and inspiring others all were the definitions that the participants on the workshop came up with. If we were to look at a formal definition of leadership. Leadership could be regarded as an act of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. So I think the first thing to recognise is that leadership is about motivating, it’s not about telling people, it’s not about your position, leadership is about this process of motivating others to head in a specific direction. And I think the other thing here is the sense of leadership towards a common goal, that you’re trying to achieve something. And by working towards that common goal, and inspiring those people and motivating those people to head towards that, that is when you are leading them. It is important to differentiate between what we mean by leadership and management. And an awful lot of has been written on this. And we will put some resources in the pack to differentiate these two for you to read in more detail. But from my perspective, the key difference between leadership and management is that leadership is different from management in that you lead by consent, not due to position. So for example, you might be a postdoctoral researcher working in a laboratory, and you might lead elements of that laboratories process. And it’s not because you’re a postdoctoral researcher, it is not because you’re in the more senior person, but you lead it by that process of motivating others towards that common goal. So recognise that leadership is about this idea of consent from the other people. So to lead people, they need to agree that you will lead them and that also, that is not about position. So no matter where you are in an organisational hierarchy, you can be demonstrating leadership. Often people misconstrue the idea of leadership as being about a formal position, whereas actually leadership is about a behaviour set. Management is about when you use a formal position to achieve a specific goal. Another way of thinking about differentiating between management and leadership is this amazing quote from Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, who said that “Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things”. So for example, in an organisation, you might manage a process, for example, an expenses process or PDR, performance development review process, and you may manage that process and do the process correctly. But if the process doesn’t work inherently itself, then management isn’t going to fix that. Leadership is when you go you know what that process isn’t working, we need to do something different. At an organisational level management is about making sure the activity to the organisation run smoothly. Leadership is taking the organisation in the direction to do the things that are really important to the organisation. Another quote that is useful is from Grace Murray Hopper, who was a Admiral in the US Navy who was heavily involved in computer science. And what she said was that “you manage things you lead people”. So a thing might be a process or might be a resource, but the people are the things that you lead, you need to lead people and recognise that leadership is about the people that you lead, not about the rest of the organisation processes and systems. So before we move forward in this video, if you haven’t already done so, we’d ask you to go into the reflection around about what are the attributes of effective leaders which you’ll find in the resource. Please do that before continuing on in this video where we’ll be discussing what came out of the workshop in terms of those attributes of effective leaders. And also then thinking about that in the context of a leadership model.
Within the workshop, we ask people for what is an effective leader, and doing exactly the same exercise that is in the reflective activity that you’ve just completed. And the areas that came up in the workshop were things like people who supportively challenge you. So not just somebody who says yes, who just contributes to your work, but somebody who supportively challenges you to be better in your work, that they’re approachable, that you can access them, and that they are good listeners, and that you can actually feel like you can connect with them, that they’re enthusiastic, passionate and positive. And that doesn’t mean that they need to be outwardly extrovert, it means that they are positive and passionate about what they do in a way that is authentic and meaningful for them. They will usually be a skilled communicator, a lot of leadership is about communicating ideas, vision, passion, engagement, and motivating people. So most leaders are effective and skilled communicators, I think it’s important to recognise the value of listening in there, that most effective leaders are excellent listeners, as well as talking, as well as communicating by talking and writing. But listening is a key communication skill for those leaders. They often act as an advocate, they promote and create opportunities for people. I know certainly when I was a postdoctoral researcher, one of the people who I worked with was amazing, as a leader in terms of creating opportunities for me to develop, and that I saw as a real value of his leadership. There tend to be relatively inspirational, and we come back to that word passionate. Again, inspiration can happen in many ways. So what we mean by inspirational is that they motivate people to want to do something. They know individuals, and what skills and talents and what those individual skills and talents are. So that recognition that individuals have skills talents, and that they can utilise and access and enable those people to use those as effectively as possible is really helpful. Many leaders are patient, that they’re willing to take time to explore and get to the right solution, that they’re open so that they communicate not just about the facts of the situation that they might communicate about how they feel, they share information to enable people to understand more broadly, what’s going on, that they create trust, you trust them, and they trust you, and that they have that ability to build that trust. And within that the sense of building trust, something that I think a lot of leaders do really effectively is to create a safety net, to allow you to explore, if you think about this in research leadership, a really good way to think about this and research leadership is a great PI will create space for the postdocs and the PhD students in the research group to go away explore issues, and to know that they have that permission and space to explore those new challenging areas. Knowing that there’s a safety net there if things don’t work out for them. Within the workshop, with identifying these leadership attributes, we started to create our own leadership model. It is worth pointing out that if you go into a bookshop, or you go into Amazon, or look on Wikipedia, there are very many leadership models, authentic leadership, quiet leadership, value based leadership, and so on. What we will do is we’ve put some resources in the lntroduction to leadership resource, which you can explore some of these different leadership models. What we’re going to do in this video, though, is look at one particular leadership model. And that leadership model is the Kouzes and Posner leadership practices. And the reason we’ve picked this model is that it’s well researched, it is based upon evidence. And also, researchers have looked at that about how applicable it is to higher education. And a number of authors have felt that this one is a good example of leadership practices, which translates well to higher education context. The model is called the five leadership practices because there are five behaviours and practices that the authors believe every leader should demonstrate. The first one of these practices is about modelling. Modelling what we expect of others, we need to model the values that we would like the organisation or the people we’re leaving to demonstrate. And we have to set the example by which we want people to behave. You will all have heard of the phrase lead by example and this is exactly what this is about. If you expect somebody to do it, then you need to model that behaviour. So leadership is about modelling the behaviours that you expect people to see. You can see this in organisations where perhaps the organisation has espouses one value, for example, it’s about equality and diversity, or creating a safe working culture where however, the leadership might be undermined by people within the senior leadership of those organisations, not necessarily modelling those behaviours effectively.
The second practice is the practice of inspiring others. And in order to inspire others, you first of all need to envisage the future. What do you want the organisation or the team or the group you’re leading to be thinking and being in the future. And so there is an essence in leadership, but this forward looking visioning process, you then need to inspire others to be involved in that future, and enlist them into your future into that future vision. So it’s really about how do I inspire people, both by the visionI presennt, and also how I get them involved in that vision. A useful practice in here is to recognise that the vision is not just the leaders vision, but it can be a co created community vision of where the organisation or group is going, rather than it being about an individual’s vision of the organisation. The next practice is around about challenge. So leadership is not about the status quo remaining as it is, it is not around about just managing processes to make the organisation or team work as it is, it is about challenging the behaviours and practices in the organisation to enhance those organisational practices. A really simple example of this would be Imagine if you’re in a research group, and there’s some process that doesn’t work very well. The challenge process would be to go, that system process is not very good, I need to improve that that would be you be demonstrating that challenge. Implicit in challenging existing behaviours and the status quo is an element of opportunities seeking, experimenting and taking risks. So it’s really important to recognise that risk taking, being experimental and how you approach things is an integral part of leadership. The next practice is around about how you enable others. And enabling others is often around about fostering collaboration. How do you support individuals work with each other in order for the team to be more effective? So how do we foster that collaboration? What behaviours and practices do we have, which enables that to happen? The second thing in the enabling is to enable others to be better at what they do, often through coaching, training, supporting development, but how do we strengthen others in order for them to be able to more effectively contribute to the vision that we’re trying to achieve. And then the final area is around about how we encourage each other. And how, as a leader, we encourage people. At the heart of this is the process of recognising contributions. Leadership is not about you, as a leader taking the kudos and his esteem for having delivered something. Leadership is about enabling a group of people to achieve and the group collects esteem and kudos. And so you explicitly as a practice, need to recognise individual contributions, and to celebrate values with victories for everybody in the group. And I think that’s a really interesting concept on this is in research is that when I was an academic, I wasn’t very exited,about getting a poster presentation accepted into a conference. But for a new PhD student, they might have been amazingly excited about that poster presentation being accepted into a conference. So it’s about recognising values and victories for the individuals at the level at which they experience them in the organisation, not just highlighting these high level huge research grants, for example, victories, but recognising that as a leader of a team you need to be celebrating all those successes through the organisation. So that’s the leadership practices model by Kouzes and Posner. And what we’re going to do in the next phase of the resource is that you have an opportunity to reflect on the practices and behaviours that are recognised by Kouzes, and Posner. But if we go back up through the slides, and explore the attributes of effective leadership from the workshop, what we will ask you to do is to complete the reflective document which is the next part of the resource, to explore where do you think you’re a strong leader and where are the areas where you feel you could develop your leadership more effectively?