Over the past 30 (ahem!) plus years spent in business – in F&B, Hospitality, Marketing, Sales, Parking (4 years of my life I’ll never get back – no disrespect intended..!) and most recently as a Senior Leader in the Leisure Attractions business in the UK and abroad, I have learned a simple lesson. From the large Corporate, to small family owned and run businesses, what matters most for business success?
In any size of business, but particularly small business, there is no getting away from the fact your business success is reliant on how YOU lead your team.
You DON’T have to be a ‘Born Leader’. You DON’T have to be Charismatic.
You DON’T even have to be a ‘PEOPLE PERSON’ (whatever that is..)
People are different, that’s clear (see last week’s blog about working with idiots!), and leaders come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. That’s fine – we’re all human, and we should embrace diversity in all its forms.
You DO have to be CLEAR about your Vision, CLEAR about the Strategy of your business and CLEAR about what is expected from every member of your team.
You DO have to be TRUSTWORTHY, SUPPORTIVE and COLLABORATIVE. That’s not a personality thing, that’s human. Allow your team to be part of something bigger than they are, treat people fairly, protect them and support them to grow in your business.
And above all – SET THE EXAMPLE. Every day. Know what matters most, stick to the plan, and communicate communicate communicate. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Don’t let trivialities dominate your time.
If you communicate well, your team will too. If you show respect to them by explaining the reasoning behind your decisions, LISTEN to your team and ALLOW them to challenge you – embrace feedback, ALLOW them to change your mind, and even ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES, you will generate a ‘psychologically safe’ environment for your team and they will help you achieve your vision for the business, and support you to the ends of the earth.
If you’re very busy working IN your business and haven’t time to work ON your business, you probably haven’t thought to take the time to work ON YOURSELF. It often takes a 3rd party to see what you can’t (or won’t) see. Have you ever invested in yourself? Do you think that is time well spent? Possibly not – if your business is that reliant on you, you may not see that as a priority, or you may not see the wood for the trees.
Let the feedback in. Allow others to see what you can’t. It will make you a better leader, and make for a better business.
That’s great leadership.