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“There’s an urgent call to action for bosses and managers to review their leadership style and learn new skills or face losing talent in their organisation,” says Wendyanne Shapiro – leading coach, trainer and head of Lotus Flower Consultancy.

I have been in training and development for over 20 years and have witnessed various movements towards gaining the skills to be a great manager or leader,” explains Wendyanne. 

“I’ve seen that there is a core set of traits and behaviours often listed as the ‘blueprint’ to success, yet; I’ve noted subtle shifts and changes in people and their desires or wants which regularly changes the management and leadership landscape, - often  dramatically and quickly.”

A recent study by Rapido points to a boss’ leadership style as a significant part of this with nearly two-thirds of employees planning to move roles and companies due to the way their current leaders lead.

When respondents of the research were asked which characteristic would their boss need to change for them to remain in the company, nearly half (47%) indicated that a boss should  inspire their staff. A further 39% believe that the ability to listen is the most important quality for a manager. 10% believe that bosses should provide a clear career structure for all their staff and not just a select few.

These statistics are not surprising for Wendyanne who runs management development and leadership programmes with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce – a partnership which has worked with nearly 150 businesses over the last five years and strives to equip senior leaders with the skills, knowledge and insights which enable them and their business to succeed.

"There will always be the need to get the basics right with technical skills training being fundamental in any business."

“Yet, since the turn of the millennium, there has been an increase in regulatory, legislative and compliance training, the consequence of which has been a reduction in training relating to vital foundational skills to make people more effective leaders and managers.

“We now need to acknowledge cultural change, with ‘people’ considerations and sensitivities on a much larger scale. Developing and enhancing emotional intelligence will help to bridge the gap here.

The same applies to other key abilities such as providing feedback, challenging the status quo, coaching or developing potential – this need to be reviewed fully and carefully so the right approach is taken.


This requires individuals to self-reflect and be able to hold up a mirror to themselves before they can respond to others. These skills need time to acquire, then to develop, they need to be considered a priority rather than an afterthought.”

For Wendyanne, it is vital businesses take seriously the need to allow their managers and leaders time to develop these all-important skills, adding: “Our 21st Century needs often challenge the way we communicate, interpret and respond to information. More traditional ways of doing things should connect or combine with those new approaches, styles, techniques and theories coming out of the leading business schools.

“When you map over the industrial, technological, political and economic changes with these approaches, you start to see an often seismic shift is needed in how businesses need to ensure that their senior people operate, challenge, or deliver both in the short, medium and longer terms.


Professional development shouldn’t end when somebody gets a more senior job title – continuous development and learning tailored for those senior people is a necessary and important way for businesses to ensure it retains its top talent and that same talent is able to continue to deliver for the needs of the business.”

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