Great leadership in fast-moving technology-centric banks is about one primary objective – willing followership, which goes beyond managerial instruction and running ‘command and control structures’. Impactful leadership, particularly in fast-moving industries such as technology-centric banking, contains several ingredients that inspire others to follow a set vision. It also encompasses a set of qualities and behaviours that create a healthy work culture, all of which result in exceptional business performance.
Leadership in any fast-moving technology-based organisation presents more pointed challenges and growth opportunities. When applied to banking, it is increasingly being recognised that these institutions are large technology companies that happen to do banking, healthy and effective leadership is crucial in driving success and staying ahead of the curve. Here we explore the core qualities, behaviours, and ways of working that are vital in driving followership.
Vision, Direction and Rapid Execution: The ability to have a growth and forward-thinking mindset and precise articulation of the organisation’s vision, strategy and gameplan. Progressive leaders anticipate industry trends, act on emerging opportunities, and align their gameplan accordingly. By painting a compelling picture of the company’s future, which covers the “why, what and how”, they inspire and mobilise their teams to contribute towards those aims consistently and execute at pace
Customer-Centricity and Relevancy: Great leaders prioritise listening to customer feedback and pay close attention to how their team responds to insights. The ability to take a customer-centric approach means leaders ensure that their teams have a deep understanding of customer pain points and preferences, therefore stay relevant. Karcher, the global cleaning product company, has used customer feedback as a critical catalyst for new product creation, hence is recognised as a pioneer in this space
Connection and Communication: Inspirational leaders understand the importance of building meaningful relationships and creating a supportive work environment. They listen actively, take the time to listen to diverse points of view, and foster open and transparent communication. By creating a culture of transparency, freedom of speech, trust and respect, they encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation within their teams
Empowerment, Collaboration & Talent: Emotionally mature leaders are amazingly effective at genuinely empowering and developing others, and growing They are consciously aware of the strengths and capabilities of their team members and provide them with opportunities for growth and advancement. Leaders in this context wear multiple hats, serving as mentors, coaches, and a safe space to sound ideas. They build a high-performing team that consistently exceeds expectations by creating a culture of continuous learning and personal development. In addition, these types of environments also create the right conditions for collaboration and sharing of ideas, which is critical process for embracing and activating innovation
Integrity and ethical behaviour: Effective and respected leaders lead by example and walk the walk throughout their interactions. They demonstrate integrity, honesty, transparency, and fairness in their actions. They uphold strong moral and ethical principles and make decisions aligned with their team’s and organisation’s best interests. By consistently demonstrating integrity, they earn the trust and loyalty of their followers, creating a culture of accountability and ethical conduct
Bravery and Courage: In fast-moving sectors, there is a continuous trade-off regarding finite investment pots, endless innovation, and emerging technology. Great leaders are not afraid to take calculated risks and make bold decisions, which requires courage to challenge the status quo and think creatively. They encourage innovation and creativity, fostering an environment where new ideas are welcomed and encouraged. By embracing calculated risks, they push the boundaries of what is possible and drive continuous improvement and growth