Leading a team to deliver maximum performance

The latest seminar held by Brewer Morris, and as part of our Women in Tax & Treasury network, focused on leadership. Held at Aquashard in London, it was attended by senior tax and treasury professionals from FTSE 100 and 250 companies, privately owned businesses and professional service firms.

Mike Taylor, Managing Director of Accelerating Experience, a business performance and leadership consultancy, lead the discussion and challenged the audience to think about the “interferences” (ie the obstacles holding back performance) they incur in leadership and what they can change to be more effective. Mike has been a C-suite executive himself having been a Group Treasurer and Managing Director, so he fully understands the challenges faced by those in a leadership position.

Sharing a recent piece of research that revealed 43% of managers felt their boss was ineffective, Mike engaged the audience asking them to consider how effective their own leadership is to deliver maximum performance for their team and their business as a whole, the challenges they are currently facing and what changes can be made.

One of the major discussion points was the interference that hinders people from leading or managing. Although the attendees came from differing industries and organisations, there were commonalities throughout. Micro-management is killing commercial value and creativity in many organisations; managing the personal and professional requirements of a team; and time management, were all identified as reasons for inhibiting optimum performance by leaders.

Adapting one’s leadership style to accommodate the needs of the different people in a team is another challenge leader’s face. A very topical example is the different generations that make up todays team’s: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y / Millennials, each with their own preferred ways of being led.

An interesting topic point involved “new leaders” - those who move to a new organisation in a leadership role and how to be effective when requiring to make large changes. It was concluded that in a new company, it’s wise to be patient ensuring success within the existing rules of the game which then creates the licence to change the rules of the game. In other words, making early small changes whilst delivering a good technical day job allowed a leader to gain confidence from the Senior Leadership team, peers and subordinates. This then allows for larger change and allowing such changes to be accepted and implemented more easily.

Mike concluded by asking the attendees to take away from the seminar one action point that they will implement. He was able to meet with the individuals in the networking time after the seminar.