Leadership means “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group”, but what does great leadership look like?
It’s International Leadership Week, and the theme for 2021 is ‘Leadership re-invented’. Over the week, inspirational leaders from around the globe have delivered insightful webinars on the subject of leadership.
Inspired by International Leadership Week 2021, Progeny looks to its Leadership Team to share their thoughts on what leadership means to them.
Neil Moles, CEO
“True leadership is all about empowering people. Progeny literally means ‘descendants’ and we are totally focused on creating the next generation of professionals and leaders.
“Across the Progeny business, in our Academy, our leadership teams, our open and accessible management structure and the inclusive style of our communications, we are creating an environment where leaders can grow and flourish.
“We’ve built a collaborative culture that encourages team members to think and test their ideas, to sharpen their skills, to challenge each other and gain respect – all with the aim of helping them explore and decide on the type of leaders they want to be.
“The firms with a proper focus on the future are the ones who are investing as much in the senior team of tomorrow as that of today and making sure they are helping the next generation up every step of the leadership ladder.”
Sam Moxham, Chief People Officer
“A hallmark of a great leader is a self-deprecating sense of humour and at Progeny we encourage this, aiming to bring out the best ideas and creativity in others.
“Progeny seeks out leaders and allows people the freedom to lead in any capacity. This could mean as part of a committee, being a wellbeing champion, speaking on a town hall or as line manager – everyone has the capacity to lead in their role.
“We support people to be self-aware and appreciate their own abilities and qualities whilst looking out for the team around them.”
Liz Pemberton, Chief Learning & Development Officer
“For me, leadership isn’t a title, it’s an action that creates an impact, and how we choose to lead will define whether that impact is positive.
“Inspiring leadership in this modern day requires the courage and capacity to lead from the HEART, with Humility, Empathy, Authenticity, Relatability and Trust. These qualities have proved vital for us over the last 18 months, in providing team members and clients with the support and direction they have needed in such uncertain times.
“For Progeny, leadership is valued as a critical capability and one we are continuously strengthening through a blend of formal qualifications, our recently launched internal programme “Leading with Confidence” and ongoing coaching or mentoring support.”
Freya Robertson, Executive Assistant to CEO
“Leaders come in all different shapes and sizes, but what I feel is becoming more apparent today is that whether in politics, business, or innovation, the one fundamental characteristic that shapes a good leader is emotional intelligence. It is becoming less about high-class degrees and academic learning (which of course are important) and to be a good leader, one that people connect with, and who drives results and can react quickly to ever evolving circumstances, I believe emotional intelligence is key.
“I believe that everything we do is about relationships and every single one of us has a responsibility for our presence in a room, and how we make other people feel and therefore in some capacity we are all leaders and that is massively encouraged at Progeny.”
Charlotte Willis, Chief Risk Officer
“For me leadership is about helping people, teams and businesses be the best that they can be and achieve their full potential. Leadership is about listening and observing, to be best able to read situations and work out how best to handle them. We’re all different and a good leader needs to be able to sense that and adapt their style and approach accordingly.
“Being honest, fair and authentic are key traits needed in a leader and I think people operate best in an environment where they can trust and believe in their colleagues, peers and leaders.”
Caroline Hawkesley, Chief Operations Officer
“Leadership is about creating an environment where teams can thrive, and this is what great leadership at Progeny looks like.
“A re-invented leader is a leader that has a HIGH level of emotional intelligence.
“A good leader will create a trusted environment, where the team is empowered. A good leader will have the ability to empathise, they will be self-aware and motivated in seeing their team achieve great things!”
Sarika Dhanjal, Head of Training & Competence
“Leadership to me is an opportunity to support and guide others to be successful. Inspiring and motivating people by sharing our meaningful vision. Showing them they have the skills and capabilities to make a lasting impact. I like to ensure that people feel engaged and help them to feel successful no matter what challenges they face, and show how this directly supports the accomplishments of Progeny.
“One of the key attributes for me as a leader is being mindful. Progeny as an organisation has looked at ways to embed mindful practices into our working life such as the introduction of wellbeing days and wellbeing champions. This supports individuals to be mindful of their own work-life balance and creates a healthier and happier team.”
Amy Tyley, Chief Marketing Officer
“Operating in a hyper-competitive marketplace requires a hyper-collaborative workplace. Today’s leaders are focused on networking at all levels of an organisation, fostering diverse thinking, strategic alignment and advocating for others.”
Tim Thomson-Rye, Chief Technology Officer
“Leadership is as much about listening, thinking and caring as it is about talking and acting. It’s about sharing power rather than hoarding it; elevating others rather than oneself; sharing in the success of the team rather than taking the credit; and creating an environment in which all team members are inspired and motivated to perform as one.
“Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes. There are loud ones and quiet ones, thoughtful ones and action-oriented ones, ones who lead from the top and ones who lead from within. None of these traits are ‘wrong’ or ‘right’, they’re just different, and this difference – this diversity – is what makes an organisation thrive.
“What great leaders share is humility, integrity, empathy, courage, and vision. With those traits, I believe anyone can be a great leader.”