Best Boss Awards pledge to find the UK’s inspirational leaders

22 Dec

Great leaders inspire loyalty and creativity.

Online bank First Direct and The Guardian are launching the Best Boss Awards, in search of the UK’s most inspiring leaders.

I’ll be following their search with enthusiasm and curiosity as, in my experience, I have encountered far too many bosses who are too incompetent to be inspiring, and too self-obsessed and focused on achieving their bonuses to care about their employees’ motivation and development.

Apparently I’m not alone: 88% of people in a First Direct survey admit that they find their bosses uninspiring – and less than a third (31%) say their boss is a good leader.

Bad bosses cause people to leave organisations: 28% of people in the survey say they have left a company because of their boss, while 18% admit to throwing a sickie because their boss has left them completely unmotivated.

Worryingly, three quarters (77%) believe their boss does not encourage new ideas or allow self-expression. At a time when businesses need to be innovative and creative to stay competitive, this for me is the bleakest figure: how many of us have worked for bosses who will dismiss a cracking new idea unless they can take credit for it!

Commenting on the figures, First Direct chief executive Matt Colebrook said: “When it comes to fostering British creativity at work, it seems many managers are holding back the true potential of their staff. Given the current economic climate, so much untapped potential is a serious issue. But valuing workers as individuals and embracing their creativity can make all the difference, which is why we’ve launched a new search to find and reward the best bosses in Britain.”

The research defines the top five qualities of a manager as approachability; being a good communicator; being supportive; being a good leader; and respecting staff as individuals.

I would add a sixth quality: the ability to recognise and nurture creativity for the benefit of the individual, the team and the organisation. I’ll look forward to seeing who these best bosses are in the UK, how they exhibit these behaviours – and whether there is a measurable relationship between inspirational leadership and healthy business performance.

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