Thursday, February 20, 2014

Leadership: It's a Marathon Not a Sprint

Leadership is a quality that people need to learn. Whether you are aspiring to a business or management career, or want to be a leader in other aspects of your life, you will want to read this interview with Gordon Tredgold, the author of a new book called Leadership It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint.

Q: How does one move from being a manager to being a leader?

A: To me leadership is all about creating and having influence, so you can actually do this whilst you're in a management position, and then you can use this influence to inspire your teams and motive them to achieve their goals wrath than through command and control structures. There is also the view that management is about getting your teams to do things right, whereas leadership is about getting your teams to do the right things.

Again, as managers we can take the double view of checking first that we are dong the right thing, and then checking that we are doing it right. With this approach we will definitely help to improve the results.

In many companies people who are good managers are often promoted to leadership positions even though these are ostensibly different roles, so being a good manager is definitely one way of becoming a leader.

I would say that an even better way would be to start leading whilst in your management position, these roles are not mutually exclusive and many of the best leaders i have worked with combined both skill at the management level before becoming leaders.

This also gives us the added bond of being able to practise our leadership skills prior to being in a formal leadership position.

Q: What other topics does your book cover?

A: My book covers many different aspects about leadership such as goal setting and inspiring people, the interrelationships between aspiration, inspiration and motivation, team building, reward and recognition and about achieving sustainable results.

You can read the book from start to finish, or you can pick a chapter at random to get a better understanding of a particular leadership topic.

Q: What made you decide to write this book?

A: I've had a lot of positive feedback over the years on my leadership style, people seem to have liked the way i have led them and the successes that we have achieved, so i thought it might be a good idea to talk about my approach and to put it down in words to share it. I don't necessarily think my approach is unique, but it has been effective and its not one that i often see written from a practitioner perspective so i thought this might be an interesting angle.

Also, my approach is very simple and straight forward, as is my writing style, so i thought that might be a refreshing change from of the more technical or theoretical books on leadership.  Dealing more with the how, than the what or why. I do believe the what and why are important, but i haven't seen many how to guides.

Also I wanted to write a book to help aspiring leaders, given them approaches and then examples of how those approaches could be implemented, to make leadership more accessible. 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm from the north of England, which I think is what helps  makes me a pragmatic, no nonsense, straight talking leader, as these are definitely traits of people from that area. I also have a great sense of humour, which i often use to try and  reduce the stress in tense situation. I like to have fun, especially at work, i think if we can make it a more fun environment people then this will help us increase our chances of success and levels of success.

I'm a very determined character, I used to play a lot of rugby, and being fairly short and playing right in the trenches, I was always a fully committed, lead from the front type player, and this is definitely reflected in my leadership style.

(Visit Gordon Tredgold’s blog -
Leadership It’s a Marathon Not a Spirnt -

No comments: