How do we make the link between the principles of effective


Making the link between the principles of effective leadership and mediation skills?

Claire Maxwell

Degree Programme Director/

Clinical Senior Lecturer

Post Grad Clinical Leadership

Newcastle University

April 2014


Name, role & organisation

One word to describe what ‘leadership’ means to you?

So - differing perspectives!

‘Seeing’ and ‘feeling’ leadership?

• Complex & multidimensional

• Difficult to define or indeed understand!

• Context specific

• NHS, Education, Armed Forces……..

• Despite complexity – we usually know when we

see it or feel it!

• Always know when its poor/ ineffective!

Main principles of effective leadership?

Principles of ‘effective’ leadership

Psychological theories view leadership as a social influence process – influencing followers to group goals

Business-orientated models place emphasis on the leadership of organisational functions

The ‘How’ & ‘What’ of Leadership

Kaiser et al (2012)

Organisational ‘What’

= vision, horizon scanning, strategy, goals, systems, innovation

Interpersonal ‘How’ = behaviour, connection to others, emotional intelligence, authenticity, integrity

The ‘how and ‘what’ of leadership…

Which is the most important??

The Apple Paradox

The question of leadership!

Three key questions:

1. Why should we look at leadership?

2. Why is it important?

3. How does it differ to management?

1. Why should we/you look at leadership?

(In context of HE/FE)

Why look at leadership?

Changing environment/ culture

Focus on funding/ financial issues

Competition from other universities/colleges

International market

New business elements introduced

2. Why is it important?

Why is it important?


Change management

Engagement of staff

Student/learners ‘journey’

Research & teaching quality

Performance indicators

3. How does leadership differ from management?

Leaders v Managers (Bennis 1998)


Has their eye on the bottom line

Relies on control



Has a short-range view

Asks how and when

Accepts the status quo

Does things right


Has a vision & their eye on the horizon

Inspire trust


Develop others

Has a long range perspective

Ask what and why

Challenges the status quo

Does the right thing

The biggest difference?

Biggest difference between a leader and a manager rests on the status quo

“managers are willing to live with it and leaders are not”

(Warren Bennis 1998)

Culture & Context of Education

Environment of constant change

Significant amount of change management

Staff coping with change

– loss and grief

John Fisher’s

Model of



Coping with workplace change

Leadership AND Mediation skills Mediation AND Leadership skills

So – surely effective leaders need to have excellent mediation skills!

Leadership and Mediation skills

Change management skills

Excellent communication

Emotional intelligence & influencing skills

Effective Leaders need:

Strategic understanding & vision

People skills & empathy

Authenticity & integrity

AND excellent mediation skills!

Culture of collaboration and engagement

“ like good leaders, good mediators motivate people to work through difficult problems in order to achieve particular goals”

(Hoffmann 2009)

Styles of Leadership in HE/FE?

Distributed Leadership

One definition…..

“The NHS needs people to think of themselves as leaders not because they are personally exceptional, senior or inspirational to others, but because they can see what needs to be done and can work with others to do it”

(Prof Kim Turnbull James 2011)

From Heroes to Teams………

Research suggests ‘Great

Man/ Heroic’ approach to leadership – outdated

Organisations to survive – need more transformational approaches

Leader as Coach

Distributed leadership

Encouraging effective ‘selfleadership’

Effective teamwork

How easy can that be?!

Herding Cats??

Leadership Dilemmas

Nothing is black and white

Strong networks

& support

Working in ‘grey’

Courage and self efficacy

Need tenacity & resilience

Constant dilemmas/ conflicts

Strong networks & supportive culture

How can we ‘measure’ culture?

‘Culture Barometer’

Culture is easier to

‘smell’ than it is to measure!

Edgar Schein - Culture & Leadership

“The bottom line for leaders is that if they do not become conscious of the cultures in which they are embedded, those cultures will manage them. Cultural understanding is desirable for all of us, but it is essential to leaders if they are to lead.”

(Edgar Schein 1992)

Mediators as part of this network?

Mediators to support and challenge?

Steven Covey

Argues the single most important behaviour for maintaining successful work relationships is to:

"seek to understand" before

"seeking to be understood"

Self - Leadership

“Its hard to lead others if you don’t know how to lead yourself, and you cant lead yourself without the right tools!”

(Blanchard 2014)