The Modern Leader | EEF

The modern leader

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The modern leader

Where we work, how we work and things that we expect from colleagues, employers and employees has changed in the last 20 years. The role of the manager has arguably undergone the most change. We want leaders who inspire, not managers who bark orders. Effective leader’s exhibit similar qualities and we examine them in this post.

Mike’s main responsibilities as a Learning and Development Consultant within EEF, involves working with clients to identify, design and deliver high quality development programmes. He has 18 years’ experience in the training industry as a deliverer, a senior manager and as a consultant for management and personal development programmes.

During his career in training, Mike has worked with a range of private, public and third sector organisations across the UK delivering bespoke leadership, management and personal development programmes. He has extensive experience of designing and delivering programmes around both the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualification frameworks. He actively utilises personality and behavioural tools such as Myers-Briggs, Firo-B, DISC, 360 degree feedback into the programmes as part of the development of greater emotional intelligence of the participants.


Leading people is now tougher and more complex than ever. It’s harder if your approach is wrong and you don’t bring your staff with you.  The old view of management was one of dictation, orders and consequences.  Throughout history however, we have celebrated our great leaders, motivators and speaks and these are the figures that a modern manager is expected to emulate. 

Knowing how to lead rather than manage is important in the modern workplace.  You could do worse than emulate these simple characteristics.

Be a catalyst for change

Be future orientated, continually seek to improve everything you do. From internal processes and procedures to the way you manage and lead the team. Develop a vision for the next 12 months ahead and see what the key aspects of challenge may be for you and your team, write it down and make it important. Remember that change can also be stressful for all concerned, but sometimes the leaders are the last people to be considered in the process. Not managing the stress created by change can lead to performance issues for leaders not taking care of themselves in the change process

Practice ‘Emotional Intelligent’ leadership

Understanding the emotional factors which influence the way we lead others is crucial to identifying the things that will naturally be easy for you and conversely  the aspects of the role that will demand more time and energy from you. Learning about your personality type for example is really useful in this process not only as an immediate insight to what’s happening currently but also the longer term challenges.

Develop your team to achieve their full potential

Accept the reality that you will only be truly productive by getting the most from everyone else in the team. Central to this is the appropriate delegation of tasks to the team. Understanding how to properly delegate, the barriers to delegating both from your perspective and the individuals you may be delegating to will require some serious thought. In the short term there may be some painful ‘hits’ you have to take but there needs to be a longer term commitment to achieving this throughout the team.

Work smarter

Utilise all the tools and techniques you can to make life easier. The saying getting ‘more from less’ is truer now than ever before, we often have less resources than before and our targets have increased. Many organisations now adopt lean technologies and processes to achieve this. Some of these tools can be extremely useful in both personal organisation of resources and also managing your time. Look on technology and technological support as an enabler and ally rather than a blocker and time consumer.

Focus on results

Remember that the single most important measurement of your success in the role will relate to what you achieve. The focus needs to be on the end result. However the caveat with leadership is that you need to spend a lot of ‘non-quantifiable’ time on how you achieve your results through your team to ensure success in getting the results. Try not to fall into the trap of solely working on results as this pre-empts a false short term picture, longer term you lose engagement and the good people leave and you have a huge challenge then trying to motivate the disengaged.

Whether you are new to team leadership and management, an established manager looking to evolve their skill set or someone who simply wants to refresh their skills, EEF have a management and leadership training course to suit you.  From fully accredited qualifications through to short, one day refreshers, EEF training courses have been designed to be relevant, engaging and highly effective.



Learning and Development Consultant

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