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AIBU to ask about Leadership (in work)

(14 Posts)
GreenPetal94 Mon 03-Feb-14 19:55:53

I'm going for a job interview on Weds. Its not a promotion, more of a sideways move. The number one competency they want is "Leadership".

The problem is I got asked in my last interview to "give an example of when you have shown leadership" and I flunked that question and the interview. And I still can't think how to respond. I have managed a team of three very well and been told I'm a great line manager. But recently due to restructure I only manage one guy and my boss leads on everything and won't delegate whole projects (arrghhh).

What is leadership and how do I demonstrate succinctly that I have it. What sort of answer are they looking for (it's only middle management). I've googled and feel more confused than ever.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:57:27

Give an example from when you managed 3 others.

Cite one of the main reasons for wanting the job is the opportunity to have more of a leadership role.

Talk about empathy and challenge.

talulahbelle Mon 03-Feb-14 19:58:29

Management is the day to day stuff, leadership is the bigger picture. Talk about setting up a project/initiative maybe?

madamy Mon 03-Feb-14 20:01:44

I see management as the paperwork side of things whereas leadership is how you apply your management knowledge to leading your team. Such as motivating, inspiring, being a role model, coaching, developing etc.

GreenPetal94 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:04:27


I think I do informally do a lot of coaching and motivating, even outside my direct team. Mainly because the other two managers are kinda shy men. But I need to think how to say it positively.

clarinsgirl Mon 03-Feb-14 20:05:36

Leadership examples could include coaching and mentoring (e.g. How you have developed staff) or strategic planning (even if you have no direct input into the overall strategy I bet you can think of times when you have made longer term plans / changes based on anticipated events) Try to think about leadership in terms of the skills you need rather than the practical examples. For instance key leadership skills include listening, influencing, ability to flex your style etc...

twentyten Mon 03-Feb-14 20:09:58

Manage things and lead people. Have a look at the fantastic businessballs website- look at John Adair on leadership and Steven covey. Also look at STAR technique for answering interview questions.

Good luck!

Dorris83 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:11:21

Useful book: the leadership pipeline basically says that you need to start by leading yourself before you lead others.
So- what convinced your last boss to let you lead a team of three?

I did a leadership course with work and it basically said that you need the following three things to be a good leader:
- vision: the ability to create a big goal.
- followership: the ability to rally people around your vision
- management: the ability to set a plan to deliver against the vision (i.e. allocate resource, manage timelines, deliver to deadlines etc)

I suggest you have a think about which of these three that you excel in and think of examples that demonstrate . Ie do people look to you for guidance? Are you fantastically organised and able to delegate work effectively? Do you have a strategic mind and are able to think big?

So chill, do a little googling on leadership but mainly think about how you demonstrate leadership through your day to day life. Even small projects or small examples will show you've thought hard about the topic.

If you can, it's really helpful to have someone help you and bounce ideas off them. If they've worked with you that would be even better.

Don't panic you'll do great smile

Good luck!

TheCatThatSmiled Mon 03-Feb-14 20:11:44

Leaders lead by example, inspire their team and find put what motivates them (praise, financial reward, recognition) and uses that knowledge to make sure the team stays motivated and gets stuff done smile

GreenPetal94 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:28:09

Thanks for all the replies. I like "inspires their team".

Finola1step Mon 03-Feb-14 21:21:19

Interview panels asking leadership questions ime love examples regarding leadership in periods of change. Lots of stuff about being focused on the overall main goal while coaching others to respond positively to change, reorganisation etc.

GreenPetal94 Mon 03-Feb-14 21:39:13

Thanks Finola. We have certainly had a lot of change at my place!

Pigsmummy Mon 03-Feb-14 21:43:14

Go onto to the company website and get a copy of their strategic plan and financial reports. Go through this and get information about their objectives and values. There will be tag lines and pay specific attention to their mission statement.

Now think about your recent successes at work and try to align them to their corporate values/mission statement and use this, try to get at least three stories/experiences/successes. Be very confident and try to learn their language.

Finola1step Wed 05-Feb-14 19:06:15

How did it go?

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