Attention all bosses – more than 3 million UK workers cannot not find one nice thing to say about their leader!

According to a recent Investors In People  survey, one in eight UK workers cannot name one quality they liked in their boss. Of those lacking a good relationship with their manager 43 per cent said they considered looking for a new job as a result, while more than a third (36 per cent) felt less motivated.

It’s not all bad news though – provided you are doing good things! The survey also highlighted that good relationships between managers and staff create tangible benefits. For example, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of those who get on with their boss felt it made them work harder, and a similar number said it would make them stay at the company longer.

So, what are those ‘good things’? Our work with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders has identified six characteristics of what we term ‘3D Leaders’:

#1: Think Strategically

Busy business leaders too often get caught up in the day-to-day and spend too much time working on tactical issues rather than strategic ones. Successful leaders create time to work ON their business as well as IN it.


#2: Be Self Aware

3D Leaders recognise they can’t be good at everything. Work out your strengths, play and stick to them. Remove blind spots, identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and do something about it. Actively seek feedback to find out what you’re doing well and not so well, and then act!


 #3: Deal With Disruption

In an ever-changing world, it’s no wonder so many leaders get caught on the back foot, becoming a ‘victim’ of change, instead of a ‘victor’ by missing opportunities and getting damaged by threats. 3D Leaders proactively spot and anticipate opportunities and threats, see what competitors are doing well, and badly, and identify gaps in the market.


#4: Get Engaged

Work hard to proactively develop the culture you want and engage your people at every level. Culture is often seen as the ‘soft side’ of managing a business but it can be the hardest to affect, develop and change. Our definition of culture is ‘the way we do things around here’ – ensure it’s an integral ingredient of your ‘Dramatic Difference’.

  #5: Collaborate

Proactively develop long-term relationships with the people and organisations that count, in and out of your business. It’s not just about being ‘nice’ to people (although that can certainly help!) but a strategic approach to identifying which relationships will work best to help achieve long-term goals and targets, as well as proactively building and maximising win-win relationships that deliver results.


  #6: Innovate

            Getting and staying ahead of your competitors is getting more difficult. Our definition of innovation is ‘the successful exploitation of new ideas’ – not necessarily lots of revolutionary products and services, but a proactive approach to sourcing and generating new ideas to improve competitiveness. Crucially, then do something with those ideas!