Seven Habits of Great Business Leaderson 31 August 2018
It’s a long and winding path to the top and when you get there you can’t just put your feet up and take it easy. Being a great leader is all about how you approach not only your work and business but also your day-to-day life. There’s a lot to stay abreast of, from office politics to the sales forecast, resolving HR problems to installing new collaboration software to ensure your team work together cohesively. Do you have what it takes? Let’s find out!
1. Encourage Teamwork
How well do you know your employees? Do you understand the dynamics of your team? Have you provided all the required tools and resources to promote productivity and team spirit? For instance, a fresh and vibrant workspace, working laptops, collaboration software and printers that don’t jam every five minutes! Content employees tend to work well together and are more likely to fully contribute to the business.
2. Promote Effective Communication
Do you talk to your workforce? Do you keep them abreast of information relating to the business and make sure they understand the key aims and objectives? Everyone from Sue the Finance Director to Sam the janitor should feel like an integral part of the business, keep every employee in the loop with regular newsletters and briefings. As a great leader you should set a great example – answer emails, return calls and reply to requests. Encourage feedback and foster a culture where employees can openly discuss ideas for improvement and aren’t afraid to come up with concepts for change. Make sure you are known for being reliable and fair, efficiency starts at the top!
3. Plan for the Long Haul
It’s far too easy to just concentrate on the here and now, but the best leaders are pro-active rather than reactive. Keeping a firm grip on meeting deadlines and reaching targets is important (you have to keep the customers happy)!
But if you solely focus on today you won’t have time to plan for tomorrow (and the weeks and months ahead). Great leaders look ahead, they forward plan and they scrutinise progress to ensure they are on track.
4. Keep an Eye on The Budget
Allocating funds can be a tricky business. There are wages, resources, new project costs, raw materials, overheads, delivery costs – phew! No wonder we need a financial whizz to help us out! Even if you have the best accountant in the world on board you still need to keep on top of the finances. Costs should be reduced where possible and if you’re thinking of splashing out consider the potential return on your investment. Will your new purchase or hiring that new employee help you to reach your business goals? If you’re not sure hold fire (and hold onto your money) until you’ve given things a little more thought.
5. Network Like You Mean It
Network with your colleagues, peers, fellow leaders, those above you in the pecking order and those who work for you. Professionalism counts for a lot, so don’t confuse over-familiarity with successful interaction. Save near the knuckle jokes, gossip, complaints about others and controversial views for your own free time! Great leaders are trustworthy, likeable, wise and fair. Strive to build long-lasting relationships with those around you, attend networking events, find out about professional organisations and explore charities you can get involved with.
6. Meet Challenges Head On
As a great leader you will not shy away from challenges and difficult situations (both are abundant in the world of business). You need to be motivated, driven and passionate if you want to succeed. Do not let failure define you or hiccups slow your progress. See every bump in the road as an opportunity to pause, learn and develop.
7. Look After Yourself
It’s important to look after your employees, colleagues and peers, but you also need to save a sliver of time for yourself. A burnt-out leader is as much use as a chocolate teapot! Get enough sleep, eat properly, and drink plenty (water not whiskey)! Work should be proportionate to rest and play so take time to do all three. Go for a run, read a book, play with your kids, share a cold bottle of Pinot with your partner – free your mind from work and you will find yourself feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.