Good leadership isn't just about orders. It's about tapping into the values of employees says Ian Lawson It's not enough to be a good manager nowadays. Successful firms with good relationships and motivated staff have leaders at the helm. Leaders who understand that there is more to leadership than orders. It involves listening to employees and ensuring that their views are listened to, and that they act in employees' best interests. When businesses follow the needs of employees as part of the business strategy as well as those of other key stakeholders, such as shareholders, there are proven business benefits. These appear not only on the bottom line, but also in recruitment and retention figures. Our research shows that people don't see authority, status and role alone as factors in leadership; the top three leadership behaviours, and those more likely to bring positive results all round, are: enthusiasm, supporting other people, and recognising individual effort. The bottom three are: telling people what to do, making sure things are done their way, and inspiring fear. Strong and effective leadership has a liberating element. The UK needs liberating leaders who capture the spirit of partnership that has been gaining ground in the UK and elsewhere for a number of years, between leaders and their staff, and major operators, their suppliers and co-operators. Leaders are born and made ­ the role of leader cannot simply be collapsed into a manager's role. There are fundamental differences between managing and leading. Managers plan, allocate resources and administer, while leaders innovate, communicate, and motivate. Ultimately, good leaders encourage others to grow and develop in their role. This is a virtuous circle that sees leaders make leaders. Their approach is based on mutual trust, shared beliefs and strong relationships. It requires the rejection of the traditional reliance on hierarchical relationships and leadership based on status. It means believing in the value people bring to processes, and offering staff a vision. Liberating leadership lights up the way by freeing individuals, firing up organisations and flowing through communities. What liberating leaders do and traditional leaders do not do is ensure that work is made fulfilling for people. Not as an act of tokenism, but in a way that respects the dignity of people both in work and in the wider community. Good leadership is where there is an alignment of practices underpinned by belief. The greatest challenge is to live your beliefs and values. This creates the vital element of trust between the leader and their team. Part of this trust extends to allow people the freedom to test out new approaches in a way that suits them. An organisation will then truly become far more than the sum of its parts. Key to inspiring trust is responding to ethical conerns. Today there is a widespread rejection of the traditional values and priorities of business leaders. There is a growing demand for more rigorous ethical standards in business. But very often, these standards aren't being met. Too many business leaders are missing valuable opportunities to take the lead and act ethically in the long term. For strong leadership to work, it must be embedded into the culture of the organisation, and the values it carries with it need to be part of the long-term strategy. People are looking to match their values to those of their employers and partners, and excellent leadership will respond to this and tap into it. In the food retail sector the implementation of preferred partnerships and strategic alliances has meant that there is a particular need for supplier and employee relationships based on integrity and mutual trust. Yet, as many small suppliers and shops may testify, there is a danger that stronger partners are not living up to their market leaders' tag in partnerships. Smaller suppliers and supermarkets can find it difficult to match the resources of large multinationals and conglomerates, which makes the relationship less of a partnership. In the long run, suppliers, employees and business will be unable to work to their full potential. Market leaders need to keep hold of their position while giving relationships room to grow. Companies not only need to illustrate strong leadership, but adopt a much more inclusive approach, which has values at its heart. Ian Lawson is director of the Industrial Society's Campaign for Leadership {{MANAGEMENT FEATURE }}