employee of nkd discussing about work

The Case for Personal Leadership

In this digital era, everyone has the opportunity to lead – Personal leadership is about self-awareness, self-belief and self-mastery.

The world of business isn’t divided into leaders and followers anymore. We don’t respond well to command and control. Ideas don’t sit at the top and get actioned on demand by the frontline.

In this digital era, everyone has the opportunity to lead. Data allows us to devolve decision-making; technology provides platforms to share our ideas and expertise with a global audience. Teams are becoming more self-managing. Partnership is better than ownership. The kind of leadership that counts today is personal leadership.

Personal leadership is about self-awareness, self-belief and self-mastery: knowing our motivation, knowing how to manage our state of mind, staying true to our authentic intention:

  • Having confidence in our strengths and belief in our potential to grow
  • Treating life as a learning journey, happy to try, fail and improve without self-doubt and judgment

But why help your people develop their inner leader? Won’t that make your business leaders defunct? No – it makes total business sense (and you might find traditional leaders need to develop their personal leadership too!):

  • This post-recession era of economic growth is defined by digital transformation, agile thinking, and entrepreneurship – businesses don’t become progressive without progressive people.
  • To be agile and entrepreneurial, ‘employees’ have to feel empowered and trusted to take decisions in the best interests of customers. Personal leadership provides the confidence and know-how.
  • Exceptional customer experience is delivered by exceptional brands. An exceptional brand is made up of exceptional people who take personal responsibility for ‘being’ that brand – more personal leadership = more brand authenticity.

Taking steps to grow self-awareness, self-perception and self-mastery will heighten employee engagement, creating a far more productive team mentality.

So, how can ‘management’ help their talent grow their sense of personal leadership?

Well, on a most basic level it starts with:

  • Instilling a culture which is centred around trust, empowerment and learning
  • Learning the unique skills and behaviours of each team member – and giving them scope to flourish
  • Offering (and prioritising) frequent coaching exercises
  • Sharing real-time feedback (up, down, across) and progress tracking
  • Promoting personal accountability

Paving the path to personal leadership is a primarily human solution! And encouraging it provides a rich source of engagement, education and empowerment in the people who represent your organisation.

At NKD, we believe developing a strong culture of Employee Engagement has ripple effects on customer loyalty (and bottom line). And enabling our team members to achieve their potential is the route to helping our customers achieve theirs.