Leaders need to let go
Over recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the way in which leaders should operate within their business.
Where once companies had a ‘closed-door’ policy and a ‘need-to-know’ basis communication stream, the paradigm has shifted, and we’re now faced with a new generation of leaders who know that to succeed, they need to let go of the outdated dictatorship and open up to some democracy.
It’s not enough to bark orders and apply the pressure, being a leader has become so much more.
Even looking at some of our modern day entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerburg or Richard Branson, they lead not to being in a sharp suit and discussing the bottom line, they have a vision they want to fulfil and know that the only way of doing this is by getting their team on board.
If you’ve been putting up a wall between yourself and your employees, then it’s time you knocked it down.
There’s a difference between acting professional and just being downright cold, and this stereotypical leadership style will do you know favours in retaining happy and satisfied employees.
“A good leader must be able to step into their employees shoes and see the world through their eyes. Being able to relate to them does wonders for employees as they feel as though they are understood as a person”, comments Josh Lucas, Development Manager at Bartell & Bartell.
Being able to communicate with your team on a personal level ensures that should there ever be a problem, they would come to you first and not last.
Having empathy for a situation and even being able to discuss common interests will open up a strong line of communication and ensure that any queries they have surrounding the tasks you have set will be quickly put at ease.
When decisions are made surrounding the business or even the projects at hand it’s essential you discuss these with the entire team and operate an open comment policy.
Not only will this ensure that everyone from the intern to the creative director knows the goal of the task, but will allow a diverse array of opinions which can enable you to solve solutions quicker, find new ways of tackling the project and make sure it meets the needs of the customer.
“A good leader asks for feedback and suggestions, and then actually takes them. Too often leaders simply pay lip service to ask for feedback but don’t ever do anything about it. Great leaders show their team that their opinions are valued, that they are respected and listened to”, comments Sandy Geroux, CEO of WOWplace International.
Many leaders may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of an open discussion, perhaps because they don’t trust their team’s opinion, or perhaps because ‘too many cooks can spoil the broth’. But if your team are involved in the development of company projects you are only impacting your own success.
It’s well known that businesses who collaborate together are more likely to succeed together.
A recent case study by WILGroup found that a key quality required in a modern leader is the ability to delegate work.
By giving your team ownership over their projects they will feel a sense of responsibility and will flourish at the opportunity to be successful in their own right.
It’s a classic leadership dilemma, but by holding employees accountable for their assigned tasks you may be surprised by their commitment and innovative work.
Empowering your team to make it on their own rather than constantly checking in on them and being a dictator to their decisions can be demoralising, and disrupt the success of the project.
Give them the power to make the decision, but ensure you have been clear with your expectations. Make yourself available for guidance but give them the confidence to make the decisions.
Negativity is infectious, and once routed in the business can be toxic to your team and their productivity.
No matter the wall you come up against it’s your job as a leader to stay positive and encourage positive thinking even when the going gets tough.
In a positive state of mind, everyone is more likely to find a solution and feel motivated to tackle the task.
It can be hard to do this when things aren’t working out the way you want them to, but attitude is everything, and you need to lead by example, even with positive meetings just to boost morale and have a laugh.
The company culture will play a large part in this, so ensure that you look at ways in which you can keep a happy vibe in the office.
The leaders of some the best workplaces in the world have created successful businesses and a high employee retention rate because of this ‘let go’ strategy.
Don’t let control stop your team from flourishing.