Howard Collins on effective and visible leadership

As senior leaders, we directly and indirectly influence our people’s attitudes and behaviours as well as shaping their experience at work. I started my career on the frontline at London Underground so I know first-hand the impact a manager who takes time to say hello to staff makes. That’s why I stepped up to be the champion for effective and visible leadership.

I make a point of getting out and about on the Sydney Trains network as much as possible, as you can see from the photos below. So far I’ve travelled 92,100 km on our trains and met thousands of staff. We also have a number of programs in place at Sydney Trains that encourage our senior leaders to get out and about.

The Sydney Trains Executive Team and I take our annual Big Conversation roadshow out to staff across the network, from Newcastle to Wollongong, from Macarthur to Blacktown. We always stay for a cup of tea and a chat after the event - it’s a great way to connect with staff and we get a real sense of what’s happening.

We also have our Safety Visits, where we go and chat to staff in their workplace about any concerns or issues they’re having around safety in their location. And I’ve just introduced a new program called 'A Day in the Life' asking our General Managers to go out and spend a full day on shift with an employee in a different area. That gives them real insight and understanding of the achievements and challenges happening across our organisation each and every day.

Our people have told us, through a number of channels such as staff surveys, that they don’t think we’re visible enough. This is something we need to change – and it’s not difficult. Just by making a few changes to your leadership style and by becoming more visible and genuinely connected and accessible to your staff, you can lift employee engagement.

I shared my approach at Leader Alliance which is:

  1. Get out there and meet your people
  2. Be authentic and just be yourself
  3. Genuinely listen to people
  4. Share information
  5. Keep your word and don’t over promise.

Have a look at these visible leadership guidelines which will give you more information on why this is so important for you as a leader.

Visible leadership is not only great for our people but will give you a great sense of connection with your teams and an understanding of their day-to-day experiences.

Howard

As senior leaders, we directly and indirectly influence our people’s attitudes and behaviours as well as shaping their experience at work. I started my career on the frontline at London Underground so I know first-hand the impact a manager who takes time to say hello to staff makes. That’s why I stepped up to be the champion for effective and visible leadership.

I make a point of getting out and about on the Sydney Trains network as much as possible, as you can see from the photos below. So far I’ve travelled 92,100 km on our trains and met thousands of staff. We also have a number of programs in place at Sydney Trains that encourage our senior leaders to get out and about.

The Sydney Trains Executive Team and I take our annual Big Conversation roadshow out to staff across the network, from Newcastle to Wollongong, from Macarthur to Blacktown. We always stay for a cup of tea and a chat after the event - it’s a great way to connect with staff and we get a real sense of what’s happening.

We also have our Safety Visits, where we go and chat to staff in their workplace about any concerns or issues they’re having around safety in their location. And I’ve just introduced a new program called 'A Day in the Life' asking our General Managers to go out and spend a full day on shift with an employee in a different area. That gives them real insight and understanding of the achievements and challenges happening across our organisation each and every day.

Our people have told us, through a number of channels such as staff surveys, that they don’t think we’re visible enough. This is something we need to change – and it’s not difficult. Just by making a few changes to your leadership style and by becoming more visible and genuinely connected and accessible to your staff, you can lift employee engagement.

I shared my approach at Leader Alliance which is:

  1. Get out there and meet your people
  2. Be authentic and just be yourself
  3. Genuinely listen to people
  4. Share information
  5. Keep your word and don’t over promise.

Have a look at these visible leadership guidelines which will give you more information on why this is so important for you as a leader.

Visible leadership is not only great for our people but will give you a great sense of connection with your teams and an understanding of their day-to-day experiences.

Howard

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Page last updated: 24 October 2018, 10:46