Issue 4 2019

18 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 4 2019 , Does doing your dutymeandoggedly pursuing an aimeven if the evidence around you, and the opinions of others are telling you otherwise? Mark Cushway Challenges the Place of Duty in Leadership Current affairs often centre on the issue of whether someone in a prominent position is doing their duty, or whether their interpretation of this duty is correct when it comes to making important decisions. Mark Cushway, leadership expert, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, explains, ““The thing about duty is that it is not simply a noble cause to be pursued at any cost. If a leader fails to adapt, then they are failing in their duty.” The Art of Decision Making “Leaders find themselves at the sharp end when it comes to making tough decisions. This can be emotionally and mentally demanding.” These can be decisions involving firing staff or setting out bold, new strategic directions, which come with risks attached. “Taking a measured approach to decision making means weighing up the options, but not getting distracted by considering too many of them. It also means quantifying them.” Leadership also means looking not just at short-term repercussions but also long-term implications and impacts. “Leaders have to be willing to adapt. Some of the confusion around duty comes from seeing it as something rigid and fixed where, in business, as a CEO it is your duty to be adaptable.” Listening and Inspiring Adaptability in leadership requires an ability to listen well and to understand the perspective of other people. “You can only truly inspire others if you can demonstrate a degree of empathy towards them.” Where a leader’s duty is to establish and maintain a business’s values and to inspire others to follow them, they need to show some transparency in how they relate to people and be open to suggestions and opinions from other quarters. “Don’t mistake listening and adapting your approach as a weakness. Duty does not require that you wear blinkers. It does, however, require that you act in the best interests of your business, its employees, shareholders and stakeholders.” “You cannot simply follow a pre- prepared script doggedly and be unprepared to deviate from it when real world circumstances are telling you to adapt in order to survive.” Mark Cushway is an experienced specialist in leadership coaching. He is also an entrepreneur and motivational speaker.