At Holborn Assets we get the sense that successfully leading a team can feel a little like driving a car. Sometimes, you’ll need to apply the brakes, slowing everyone down as you approach a tricky challenge. Other times you’ll need to hit the accelerator and be hands-on to drive the team forward to try and achieve their goals.

The application of effort therefore is not always even – either on the part of our teams or by ourselves as leaders. The question then is when and where is it most productive for us to actively lead our teams? In which areas are people best left to work for themselves, and where can we add the most value as leaders? Here are our thoughts.

Change requires your effort and input

Every business goes through periods of change – it might be entry into a new market, a painful ‘downsizing’ exercise, a new strategy or a takeover. Whatever the transformation is, change is one of those areas where your levels of personal effort as a leader can have a direct and dramatic effect. A spectacular 70 per cent – yes, 70 per cent – of change projects fail, according to a study by McKinsey & Co.

That is a staggering figure – and it’s a phenomenon that has a punishing effect on levels of morale and trust within an organisation. Therefore, having the talent as a leader to be able to deliver change successfully is hugely valuable. It’s also clear that being able to focus effectively on doing this can give any business a real advantage over the rest of the market.

So, by applying effort to delivering change successfully, as leaders we can build a winning culture within our teams that will put us in an even stronger position to tackle new challenge as they arise – and keep us ahead of the pack.

Put your effort into being a transformative leader, not a manager

Your management skills have taken you so far in your organisation – but this is not the area in which you should now be applying your effort as a leader. Leave the management of teams and processes to the people you trust in your business, and focus your efforts instead on providing inspirational leadership.

This, for us, all comes down to vision – the ability to create an aspirational goal that everyone within the business can work towards. As leaders, we should now be thinking about how all our efforts can be transformative in some way. Whether it’s shaking up the industry norms, leading the way in new kinds of technology, or, most importantly, changing customers’ lives for the better.

We believe there can be no more worthwhile applications of our time and effort as leaders than these.