Top tips for managers keen to develop

Stewart Barnes of Quolux

Stewart Barnes of Quolux - Credit: Archant

Stewart Barnes, Managing Director of QuoLux, the leadership development and strategy specialist, on why it boosts innovation and engages the workforce

Strong, visionary, effective leaders at the helm perform a critical role in the success of any business. But that’s only part of the story; good leaders understand that leadership must happen throughout an organisation.

Research shows that not only are firms with highly engaged workforces are 18% more productive than those with low engagement, but innovation grows too. In fact, 59% of engaged employees said that their job brings out their most creative ideas, against just 3% of those less engaged.

But it’s important to be discerning when choosing external advisers, coaches or skills programmes. Fortunately, this region has some of the most innovative and proven leadership development support in the UK; we’re very proud to bring the world’s leading experts on business strategy and leadership to work with delegates on our leadership programmes, designed specifically for owner-managers and their directors. Independent research among our LEAD alumni shows they have grown sales by almost a third and employed 13% more people.

These leaders are already making a difference in their businesses and our economies. They are also developing their next generation of leaders, the ‘middle leaders’ who will be the board directors of the future.

Sandwiched between senior management and the wider staff, ‘middle leaders’ play a crucial role in the success of any organisation. Developing leadership skills among middle leaders can accelerate organisational change, which is why QuoLux created LEADlight. It’s exclusively for the middle leaders of businesses whose MDs or directors have completed LEAD (our flagship leadership programme) and are equipped to support the next generation. There are many examples of great firms embracing this approach, including Creed Foodservice, MF Freeman and CEMAR, for whom organisational development is a key component to business strategy. By helping middle leaders to develop their skills and improve their performance they can get better results from their teams and prepare for senior management responsibilities.

Gareth Pittaway, Branch Manager, Allstone Sand & Gravel enrolled one of his team, Tom Ford, onto the course to help do just that; “As a result of my time on LEAD I can clearly see the benefit to my own personal development and the business. With LEADlight I felt that there was the perfect opportunity to give another member of the team this chance for development while supporting our business growth.”

You can find out more about our programmes by visiting or contact

QuoLux’s top 10 tips for managers keen to develop:

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1. Listen. By developing active listening skills, listening carefully to your team and providing support and encouragement, you can help increase employee engagement.

2. Motivate and inspire. 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his/her manager. Set clear and realistic goals, find out what drives each team member, involve them in decision making and provide them with the tools and support they need to achieve their tasks.

3. Say what you do, do what you say. Your behaviour sets the tone and provides an example to others – integrity is an essential trait for leaders.

4. Communicate. Think about what you say and how you say it. Communication is essential for building strong relationships with your team.

5. Coach. Set clear objectives for the team, have regular reviews and provide support where necessary.

6. Empower. Give your staff the authority and responsibility to make decisions where appropriate. Those with the relevant understanding will make the best decisions.

7. Encourage a culture of accountability. Set clear goals, delegate authority and encourage your team to assume responsibility and commit to success.

8. Recognise success. Recognition should be sincere and genuine – a simple thank you can go a long way. But don’t confuse recognition with reward. By recognising your staff, you can increase morale, productivity, engagement and retention.

9. Develop your self-awareness. If leaders know themselves, they are more likely to effectively lead people and organisations. Critically reflect and seek feedback from others to increase your awareness of your own strengths and limitations, and the impact of your behaviour on others.

10. Embrace a culture of ongoing learning. What can you learn today that is going to help you to be even better tomorrow?

Visit the QuoLux website here.

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