Being able to listen and show empathy for a team of people, while not losing focus on the job in hand are some of the key traits that help create strong leaders, according to Nick Lanigan, Managing Director of Clearview Intelligence.
He spoke on the first in a series of Highways Voices podcasts focusing on leadership in the highways sector.
Mr Lanigan said a positive to have come from the COVID pandemic is that Clearview took the time to not only to connect in better ways with their customers but also to reassess how the team was managed and develop new ways of working. “Work in this industry isn’t 9-5 with rigid management. There has to be flexibility, there has to be empathy,” he says. “It is important to give the team around you some autonomy. Let them come to you with a problem but don’t let them leave you with a problem-as a manager you want them to come up with the best solutions.”
“One of the positive things to have come from the pandemic is the move towards a much more healthy work-life balance, giving people the freedom to balance the needs of the role that they do within the business, with the demands and needs they have at home.”
But how does a good leader develop an understanding of what is the most important issue to deal with in a business and what can be delegated so that micro-management can be avoided? “You develop these skills over time and the further you go up the management tree, you recognise what is urgent and important. For me it is mainly things that are either strategic or that will have an impact on the governance of the business. I have a very good team around me that are good at resolving the day-to-day challenges. When we’ve got people working on the roadside in a very hazardous environment is vital that I am kept up-to-date with any issues around health and safety and anything that could have an impact on someones safety and if we can do more to improve that, then I am more than prepared to listen.”
You can also hear about a new partnership between Highways News and the industry flagship Highways UK event, and who wins “Adrian’s Accolade” this week.