Effective leaders understand that their role is not to work ‘in’ the business, but rather to work ‘on’ the business, writes Feargal McCormack.
For the last six years, as part of our commitment to helping business owners develop effective leadership skills, PKFFPM has invited successful leaders to share their insights at the Annual PKFFPM Leadership Talk.
Earlier this month, we were honoured to have Cpl Resources plc Chief Executive Anne Heraty as our keynote speaker at a well-attended event which was part of 2017 MLM Management Month initiative at Ulster University Business School.
Anne’s success in the business world is widely recognised. She was the first female CEO of an Irish plc and has won a number of prestigious awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2006), Business & Finance Business Person of the Year (2014) and Image Business Woman of the Year (2015). In September 2016 she was elected the President of IBEC, the group that represents Irish business.
Leadership character and skills
Anne’s approach to leadership is underpinned by values of honesty, respect and accountability. In an hour-long conversation with broadcaster Gerry Kelly at the sixth Annual PKFFPM Leadership Talk, she stressed the importance of leadership character traits such as integrity and self belief and said that leaders must develop the ability to select and empower strong teams.
“The most important thing a leader has to do is to put the right people in the right jobs. Delegation is important. Give clarity about what needs to be done and empower people to get on with it,” Anne advised.
More than any other factor, the quality of your organisation’s leadership is what determines success or failure
Through PKFFPM’s work with organisations across the island of Ireland over the last 25 years, we see that the most effective leaders often share the characteristics and skills that Anne highlighted. They have vision and integrity. They show humility and empathy and have the ability to build relationships and strong teams. They are curious and open to learning. They understand that, handled well, there’s no such thing as failure. Above all, they adapt quickly and are ready to lead change.
Effective leaders understand that their role is not to work ‘in’ the business, but rather to work ‘on’ the business — to have a vision, to communicate it clearly, to build and empower a strong team, to plan for the future which includes planning for their own eventual exit from the business.
With Brexit on the horizon, effective leadership has never been more important. Now is the time to seek the best in yourself. Believe in your strengths, confront your weaknesses and address the challenges ahead with positivity.
PKFFPM provides leadership advisory and mentoring services. Contact us for details.
Feargal McCormack | Managing Director