10 May 2024

What Makes Good Leadership Qualities? Leadership with Leon

Career Advice

Whilst climbing the Gran Paradiso for charity recently, I got the chance to think more deeply about successful leadership, leadership styles and what leadership actually means to me. Nothing makes you think more than when you’re pushing yourself to the edge of exhaustion! My conclusion? Whatever I do in life, I need to approach it with humanity. This includes my leadership role at ARM.

Good Leadership Skills

Avoid leadership in the cloud

It’s easy to take advantage of tools like Slack and Skype to manage employees, without physically spending time with them. I started at ARM as a consultant and I’ve never left the floor. I’d be really upset if someone had to knock on a door to reach me. It’s important to be physically present and accessible; you can’t do that locked away in an office.

Hot-desking with different teams paints a realistic picture of what it’s like to work at ARM, as well as keeping me in the loop on day-to-day challenges. It’s as much for me as it is for the teams, giving me insights that might be missed in manager briefings.

View from the top

I understand our company mission, but does that mean everyone else does? I’ve learned that everything should stem from our vision – talent attraction, EVP, internal comms, product innovation, progression… the list goes on.

This isn’t authoritarian rule, though. We came up with our company vision and culture by consulting our staff – and data. We worked closely with employer branding and talent marketing agency, zyx associates, to map out the characteristics of our top performers, aligning our company culture to these individuals.

As a result, we get people to come on a journey with us – right from when they apply for a job, through to their career developments and promotions. This shared sense of belonging means we retain staff and they do their best work with us.

Examples of good leadership

In my experience bullish bosses have a hidden agenda – they might have pressure from above or they aren’t confident in their roles. Rising through the ranks has earned me respect and I’ve never been the boss that has to shout about my role or achievements.  

“You don’t have to tell everyone you’re the boss.”

Instead of throwing my weight around, qualities of a good leader means empowering my teams. We identified in the mapping exercise that one manager was losing motivation and needed to be challenged. Rather than pulling this individual out, I gave him a seat at the table of our biggest tech innovation yet – the testing and integration of a machine learning sourcing platform. It was a gamble, but you don’t achieve success without experimenting.

As a result, the manager shone, his team were at the forefront of our tech advancement and outperformed the other departments three quarters in a row – a great example of building trust and effective leadership.

Respect is gained through sharing power with everyone in the organisation. This responsibility means that people don’t want to let me or their peers down. We’re one ARM.

Good leadership qualities: my conclusions

It’s rare that someone is eulogised solely on their work. So why do we expect employees to concentrate their lives around their jobs?

I don’t want my people to suffer burnout. I want them to lead healthy, happy lives with people they love. As much as I consider ARM to be a family, I encourage employees to seek meaning outside the office.

We promote flexible working and work/life integration among all staff, at every level. I lead from example with this, rarely answering emails in the evening/at weekends and letting my teams know that it’s okay to have downtime.

Humanity is using technology for the greater good, and leading your people in a creative, empathetic manner. We can’t forget that – no matter where the revolution leads us.

Share Article

Get in Touch

We'd love to hear from you!

Contact us

Keep up with us.

Sign up for all the latest updates, career and recruitment advice with our ARM newsletter. All you need to do is put your details in below, and leave the rest to us!