The importance of leadership can often be overlooked by entrepreneurs. After all, we already have so many other things to focus on. But leadership, specifically good leadership can be your key to success.
It is not surprising that a recent study by the University of Warwick showed increased productivity in employees who are happy at work. And it can also be that if your team or those you work with are happy and productive, so are you as their leader.
But being a good leader doesn’t just happen. It is something that you need to work at. There are a number of stumbling blocks that entrepreneurs can be prone to tripping over while working to be a leader.
Working closely with entrepreneurs, I have noticed some common phrases when discussing leadership; I’m even guilty of muttering a few of these myself!
So, if you have ever thought, muttered or shouted “I’ll just do it myself” or “There’s a desk under here somewhere” – I have some great tips to help you go from being a good leader to a great one.
We are all guilty of chasing after new ideas and leaving our current projects high and dry. But as a leader, you want to ensure that you are setting the example for your team.
It could be disastrous if your team also started ditching their daily tasks for a completely unrelated activity.
New ideas are not a bad thing, in fact, they can be amazing. But only if the timing is right. Utilize your Ideas Parking Lot to keep all those fantastic ideas for later so that you, and your team, can stay on track.
“I’m just running out to a meeting – can you finish the thing by the time I get back?”
Confused? You’re not the only one. Clear communication with your team ensures that you are all on the same page. Your team can only be effective for you if they know what you expect them to do.
There are so many urgent tasks in your diary that it’s easy to brush everything else to one side. But make a daily / weekly / monthly team briefing also an urgent activity.
Take the time to gather your team and clearly communicate tasks, deadlines and expectations. This will keep you and your team accountable. In the long run, it is worth the effort.
And don’t forget, communication goes two ways. Make sure you leave time in the meeting for your team to speak to you too!
“It’ll be easier if I just do it myself.”
This was a favourite of my mother. Whether she had tasked us kids with dusting, vacuuming or cooking dinner, it almost always ended with her grabbing the duster / vacuum cleaner / stirring spoon from our eager little hands and dismissing us to go play outside.
Sometimes it seems like it would just be easier to do a task yourself, rather than take the time to explain to someone else how to do it. But trying to do it all isn’t always the best idea.
As an entrepreneur, your plate is almost certainly overflowing already – isn’t that the reason we hire a team in the first place?
You need to trust that you can make good choices when selecting your team. Bring your top-level team members on board for routine work and trust them to do it well for you. You might even find that they can do it better.
“Why am I doing this?”
Losing sight of the end goal is oh-so-familiar. It’s easy for you to become so immersed in the “doing” that you can forget to keep an eye on the long-term plan.
Sometimes, you’ve been so excited by an idea that you don’t even have an end vision. Without a vision and an action plan you can waste a lot of your valuable time putting out fires.
Whenever you embark on a new project, take the time to create a clear vision and a strategy for how you will reach your end goal. You may need to review your plans often and even make adjustments to make sure you, and your team, stay on track.
Be sure to share your vision, strategies and updates with your team.
“Has anyone seen my glasses?”
“They are on your head!” How embarrassing. Being disorganized is a common trait in entrepreneurs. Your head can be full with so much other stuff that simple tasks suddenly seem impossible.
Some simple organization can save you hours of valuable time and will perhaps result in fewer embarrassing moments too.
Set aside some time to clear through your cluttered office. Get rid of anything that is no longer useful to you and organize the rest so that you and your team can find what you are looking for.
This can be as simple as a few file boxes and a label maker. If this task still seems overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask your team for help. You’ll be glad you did.
By following these simple steps, you will be able to make the easy transition from being a good leader to becoming a great one!