As a business owner you have to wear many hats in the course of running a successful business: Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, …and so on. But particularly in smaller businesses the most important one gets forgotten – you have to be a leader. It’s not just about what you do, it’s not just about logical steps, it’s about the person you choose to BE from moment to moment and day to day.
So, as a leader, how can you cultivate a winning team? Here are my top 5 tips…
- Develop strong leadership
- Have a common goal
- Have an action plan
- Support risk-taking
- 100% involvement and inclusion
Tip number 1: Strong Leadership
Definitions of strong leadership are many and varied, but I’d start by asking a question: Would people follow you if you weren’t paying them? In fact, would people pay to follow you as their leader? Maybe not, but it’s an interesting test. As a strong leader you need to know where you’re going, be able to articulate it clearly and with a passion so that others are enrolled into the idea and inspired. You need to be seen to have confidence and determination and to hold firm to strong principles even when the going gets tough.
Tip number 2: have a common goal
You can’t lead people anywhere unless you know where you’re going. There needs to be a clear goal or vision that everyone knows. If they have to go and look it up in the company handbook – it may as well not exist. Everyone has to relate to it and know how it will benefit them.
Tip number 3: Have an action plan
As the saying goes “Positive thought without positive ACTION leads to positively nothing!”. There needs to be a series of cohesive plans that cover the long-term (3-5 years), the current year, the current quarter, and the current week.
Tip number 4: Support risk-taking
It can be tough to let people take risks, but the alternative where you micro-manage every decision and every action is a far worse alternative. It’s important to encourage and support your team in taking considered risks. And when something goes wrong – and it will – you need to say well done for trying! Yes, I know that can be hard. Ensure that the lesson is learnt and that next time the right actions will be taken.
Tip number 5: 100% Involvement and Inclusion
Involving people on a ‘need to know’ basis doesn’t work. You can’t keep people continuously inspired and motivated by telling them the minimum. Let everyone know WHY things need to be done, and what the benefits are, not just WHAT. Get everyone feeling involved and ensure that there’s a culture where they feel valued, feel listened to, and feel they can make a difference.
Have you tried using any of these tips? I’d love to know how you got on!