Common Purpose / 09 January 2024

New Leader? Here’s Your Great Bake-Off Guide To Master The Art Of People Management

No toppled cakes in sight.


Just like Mary Berry masters a Victoria Sponge, you can master impactful, effective leadership – and whether you’re at the very beginning of your leadership journey, or you’re taking a step up at a senior level, there are simple recipes that can solidify this. Here, we unpack the leadership principals that will help you master the art of people management – because if you take the time to learn, as well as give yourself a solid bake time to absorb them all efficiently, you might just find yourself emerging from the oven of knowledge with a skill-set that is admired, well loved, and inspiring to others.

The Great Bake-Off guide to leadership

Cake Week

Along with its bouncy texture and ability to pair perfectly with a cup of tea, a cake is the product of a bunch of great ingredients that come together to form one delicious experience. You should think of leadership in the same way. At Common Purpose, the recipe to our cake of leadership success is centred on our COMPASS framework, which is specifically designed to help leaders thrive now, and to support them in becoming high impact, future-ready change agents.

So what is the ingredient concoction of success? Confidence, mindset, place, attributes, and skills. When you have taken the time to consider each of these, learning more about how you can approach them and align them with your leadership style, you’ll realise you are the figurative cake that everyone raves about.

Pastry Week

Shrek once told us that ogres are like onions – and in the case of the Great Bake-Off, you could say that leaders are like pastries. The reason why remains the same: Layers.

While a leader might have all the crucial base layers required to practically to lead effectively, they should also always be looking to add fresh layers of new knowledge and new perspectives for their own personal and professional growth. Having a learning mindset will allow you to better understand your colleagues, broaden your horizons and give you new perspectives which will ultimately help you to lead with more impact. In short, layer up on knowledge and be that carefully multi-coat pastry you tried in France all those years ago that you will never stop thinking about.

Bread Week

There’s a reason we call certain things our ‘bread and butter’. When you’re super familiar and comfortable with something, it can easily become ingrained (no pun intended) in your every day. These are the everyday leadership traits that we focus on in Common Purpose Programme for High Potential Leaders: Cultural Intelligence (being able to understand how culture anchors people, how we present our own culture to others, and adapting and flexing it in order to thrive), embracing difference (looking at how differences can ignite new opportunities in leadership, and learning how to become more comfortable in unfamiliar environments), actively seeking feedback (considering the ways we can seek more quality in our feedback, and mastering productive ways to respond to it), and finally, adapting our approach (exploring what we can do differently when we are faced with different contexts and experiences).

Allow each of these themes to become your bread and butter as you tackle your new role in leadership – as you master each, you’ll find you’ve reached a truly fulfilling concoction in leadership - and you'll rise up as a result. 


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