Business leaders can learn much from head teachers

Business
leaders could learn a few lessons from head teachers about people management, a
survey by an education and management consultancy has revealed.

Head
teachers use a wider and more versatile range of leadership skills than
business leaders, contributing directly to the performance and motivation of
their staff, claimed the report by consultancy Hay McBer.

The report,
called Lessons of Leadership, compared 200 business leaders and 200 head
teachers against a model of effective leadership. It found that only two-thirds
of top business leaders were able to build teams and develop the capabilities
of their staff, compared with all of the head teachers surveyed.

The report
also identified that business leaders had less flexible leadership styles. As a
group they were found to expect high standards rather than provide instruction,
would take over tasks if they were worried about quality and were not keen on
letting people make mistakes as “development opportunities”.

While this
approach keeps standards high, claimed the report, over the long term it
diminishes a sense of responsibility, recognition and team commitment.

Russell
Hobby, co-author of the report and consultant with Hay management, said, “Head
teachers are versatile in the way they handle people, and business leaders are
good at strategy and pulling data into a vision.”

The report
also credited business leaders for their ability to build responsibility by
primarily supporting their employees in taking calculated risks to achieve
goals.

Hobby said,
“In business, increasing the capability of the team is a competitive advantage.
You need to have good people to think of new strategies and implement them.

“Business
leaders can learn from head teachers by showing people where they fit in to the
overall picture.”

 

By Helen
Gilbert

Comments are closed.