Leadership is not being in charge. It’s taking care of those in your charge.


01 Mar 2017

Leadership is not being in charge, it is taking care of those in your charge.

Like many leaders at the beginning of new calendar year and/or new financial year you turn your mind to the important leadership responsibility of focusing your organisation and your employees on the year ahead, the objectives, ambitions and goals that need to be achieved to be successful. With a change in financial year to Jan to Dec following our acquisition by Adecco, January and February have been busy with sharing the business plans, conferences, away days and appraisals to ensure that everyone knows their role and responsibilities – their connection to the business plan and the important role they have in delivering on it.

It’s a time to motivate, inspire and engage. So I’ve naturally been thinking a lot about personal leadership and the significant accountability we as leaders should take for those in our charge.

Simon Salek’s quote being circulated by some of my Twitter friends sums up beautifully the real role of leadership in my view – ‘Leadership is not about being in charge, but caring for those in your charge’.

If you care about your employees and their work, their life and their wellbeing then you are doing your leadership job. Seems a bit simple in one sense, but taking care is about engaging employees, giving them clear objectives and ensuring they understand what is expected of them – taking care isn’t all motherhood and apple pie, it’s about clarity of purpose and being performance managed for good outcomes not just bad.

We’ve also just launched our annual CEO public sector survey to find out how leadership in the public sector is finding these challenging times and how they are discharging their leadership duties. I look forward to hearing the results, but I’m guessing that from my conversations with many over the last few months the need to inspire, motivate and engage has increased and that leadership is not a luxury but an essential ingredient of how we will do more with less in our public services!

If you’d like to take part in our annual LG CEO Survey, please click here

Julie Towers is the Managing Director of Penna.