2017: The year of the people leader

Written by
Eugenio Pirri

22 Dec 2016

22 Dec 2016 • by Eugenio Pirri

I love this time of year. The decorations, the festivities, the giving. It’s also the perfect time for reflection; looking back at the year which brought us Brexit, a new female Prime Minister and of course, a businessman becoming President Elect.

This is also the time of year many people start setting their goals and new year’s resolutions for the forthcoming 12-months. Whether that’s exercising more, making more effort with family and friends or striving for a promotion; December provides us with the time to sit, consider, and determine how we are going to attain the desired end result.

As many of my readers will know, one of my resolutions for 2016 was to take the time to write a book. As challenging as this was in every way, I’m thrilled that in October this year my first book was published and has been met with a positive response from the HR and business community.

The book explores the crux of every HR professional’s responsibility; people leadership. While researching, reviewing and remembering; I found that the art of people leadership, be that delivered by those in HR or another business function, was being challenged by the daily battle between dealing with the uncertainty which surrounds our business environment, firefighting internally or just about keeping heads above the day-to-day delivery. 

As such, most leaders were lacking the time, resource and the development, to be a great people leader.

Is there a new breed of leader emerging?

Though there is a glimmer in this story. A new breed of leader is coming to the fore. A leader who combines innovation, empowerment, empathy, assertiveness, astuteness and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of humour. A leader who recognises that making the time each day, week, month to really focus on their people will pay dividends.

In my opinion, this is the basis of a truly sustainable people leader. Humanity, freedom, trust, collaboration. 

Employee - centric

Though this type of leader requires moulding and shaping. Self-management and development. It requires a better understanding about what leadership is today. And it needs a new conversation about nurturing people-centric leaders.

Because, as my book outlines, without this leadership sea-change, we are unable to sustainably develop the stars of the future and future-proof our businesses. 

Which is why I’m calling on all leaders to help make 2017 the year of people leadership. Make it your new year’s resolution and stick to it. As an HR professional, that could be making steps towards instilling a culture of people leadership across your business; helping managers and leaders in your organisation to gain a greater understanding of the subject, how that benefits them and their teams and, then, how they can be a great leader of people. 

Or as a leader, you could make a commitment to being a better people leader; carving out time each week to fulfil your leadership potential by reading business publications, watching inspiring leadership videos, seeking out a mentor or a coach.

Whichever you decide, the key is sticking to it. Keep it small and manageable. And to help, over the coming months I will explore in these blogs, the eight steps I believe create a sustainable framework for achieving full leadership potential. 

So, make the commitment now, before the craziness of January and beyond takes hold. And don’t let the uncertainties, the challenges or the surprises of 2017 throw you off course.

Eugenio's book is available now - Be A People Leader: a sustainable framework for achieving your full potential