Neil Wilson, Stanton House CEO shares his thoughts on our latest leadership survey.
Neil Wilson, CEO
Last week I asked a very direct question of the leadership community "are you a better leader now than you were 12 months ago". This was prompted by a conversation with a friend about our own performance.
The volume of responses I received suggests that this has touched a nerve and I am delighted to share the main themes with you.
- The majority of that group pointed towards their organisations' commitment to leadership development and how that had benefitted them. The value of formal leadership training was highlighted as a major factor in their improvement.
- A smaller number talked about how they had taken it upon themselves to seek out ways to improve their leadership performance. This was in the form of reading, attending forums and workshops, watching TED talks and working with mentors.
- The biggest contributor to improvement in leadership was attributed to feedback. Either going through a 360 process or something less formal, being told what needs to be better was a powerful force for change for most people.
- The 23% who felt they had not improved (perhaps the most self-aware?) are still very positive. Most of that group referred to a learning process they had gone through which had put them in a stronger position and with every reason to believe that they would be better leaders in 2018.
This data was collected between 19/11/17 and 29/11/17 via an online poll and conversations within our network.
In the seven years since launching Stanton House, and reflecting on my wider career, I have enjoyed the very different leadership challenges that I have faced as both a CEO and business owner. Based on my personal leadership journey, my advice to any leaders is twofold: If you haven't already, go through the pain barrier and seek feedback on your leadership performance. It is impossible to be objective about it. Secondly, don't rely solely on attending a leadership course. Too often the training leads to short term energy that dissipates when back to the reality of the day job. We must hold ourselves to account for behavioural change that has a long term impact.
And finally what was my response? Both my friend and I placed ourselves in the 23% category. I'm not sure I would have done so without his prompting and his honesty about his own performance but it has made me even more determined to be better in the next 12 months.
If you would like to join the conversation please feel free to add a comment.