What’s the difference between a manager and a leader? No, it’s not the opening line to a terrible joke; in fact it’s a question that exercises business executives, learning and development professionals and gurus alike. We all have a sense that the two roles require vastly differing skills, and yet, when we try to express what it means to be a leader it still seems somehow elusive.
It was with this in mind that we welcomed a group of Senior Managers from Hiscox to a very pleasant spa hotel near Colchester. Yes, they let us out of Norfolk and into Essex! We loaded a hire van up with as much kit as we could carry and off we went. The next three days involved some great conversations exploring what behaviours set leaders apart from managers; practicing deploying different leadership styles to suit different situations. We explored personal values and challenged the delegates to reflect on the extent to which they lead consistently through their values and gave each of them a chance to lead an exercise to experiment with leadership behaviours that require more effort and had a lot of fun in the process! As always the biggest challenge is relating the theoretical stuff back to the real world workplace environment and we ended the programme with some challenging conversations focussing on what everyone would do differently when back in the office.