Businesses who play to the individual strengths of their people, rather than focusing on their weaknesses, are more likely to create a culture which leads to success.
That was one of the messages delivered this morning by leadership expert René Carayol MBE at an exclusive Executive Breakfast organised by MLN and Danske Bank.
Addressing almost 100 guests, Mr Carayol spoke about his formula for personal and business development – known as SPIKE – which is based on his experience of working with some of the world’s best-known leaders.
He noted that most organisational Performance Management and Employee Appraisal systems are designed to identify weaknesses or areas for development, so employees become fixated on raising their weaknesses to a decent level, rather than excelling at what they are actually good at.
“Everyone has something that they are inherently good at, but as a society we are fixated on what is not going so well. We should be asking, how much better your team would perform if everyone played to their strengths and did what they are good at? I believe the time of thinking that everyone can be good at everything is over,” he said.
Mr Carayol said that by having people prioritise what they do well and enjoy, organisations can create a strong culture, which is often more powerful than a rigid strategy when it comes to achieving success. Using examples from his career working with brands such as Marks & Spencer, Pepsi and Burberry, he said the same approach applies to successful leadership.
“The world is too fast moving for one person at the top to have all the answers. The best leaders surround themselves with people who compensate for what they are not good at. People want someone to believe in and something to belong to, so collaboration is the new leadership. The organisations with the most leaders are the ones who are winning and those leaders aren’t always at the top of the organisation,” he said.
Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal and Small Business Banking at Danske Bank, said: “Danske Bank is proud to play its part in helping inspire and inform leaders from Northern Ireland’s private, public and third sectors as an MLN Champion. René talked about the need for businesses finding new ways to make themselves unique, special and different. In banking we believe customer service is the key differentiator and as such Danske Bank is committed to being the number one bank for customer service in Northern Ireland.”
Kevin Kelly from MLN added: “MLN exists to connect local business leaders with world-class performers and thought-leaders. René falls into both of those categories and we are delighted that he has chosen to partner with MLN and Danske Bank in sharing the leadership concept of SPIKE with the Northern Ireland business community. "