Leadership: More than a Title

Leadership –  the art of effectively guiding people in a common direction to achieve an identified goal.

Every business, large or small, has identified goals and strategies which must be achieved to be successful.   Regardless of what those goals are, or how you define success, or whether you are the owner, executive or manager or a front-line employee your leadership skill is a critical component if you want to guide people you work with toward a specific goal.

Interestingly enough, just because a person is in a leadership position within an organization doesn’t mean they are a good or effective leader.  Alternatively, just because an employee isn’t a manager doesn’t mean they lack leadership abilities, or are unable to Leadership ID-100256080 (2)have a significant impact on the success of your business to achieve it’s goals.

Every good leader has the unique ability to connect with others and can influence their thinking and actions in a way that they become engaged in working toward a specific goal.  There are numerous ways a leader can connect and guide

1.   Leaders Use Skill and Knowledge

Leaders have unique skills in interacting with people.  We often think of leaders as people who have years of experience.  Not every effective leader has a lifetime of experience under their belt.  Some great leaders are young and inexperienced in their field yet have significant skills at moving people from point a to point b.

2.  Leaders are Accountable

When you accept a leadership role, you also accept the accountability of achieving the specific outcome.  Leaders don’t work in isolation, instead they work with a team to get the work accomplished.  Every member of the team has a role, duties and accountabilities, but the ultimate accountability rests with the leader.

When members of the team fail to perform, the leader is responsible for identifying and resolving the challenge.  This may result from a poor fit between the job requirements and the skill of the employee, a lack of understanding by team members on how each role fits in the big picture, a absence of the right tools (or information) to get the job done right.  Once the problem is identified, the leader will execute the solution.

 3.  Leaders Lead by Example

A common statement but not always followed by many business “leaders”.  Too often, I observe people in managerial or executive positions setting expectations and outcomes for employees and while they fail to follow these same expectations and outcomes.  Leading by example means you are as engaged and committed to the successful outcome as you want your team to be.  You follow-through, you remain visible and recognize success and challenges and offer feedback, encouragement and contribute ideas.

What does leadership mean to you?

See the Bucket Is Full Before Looking Elsewhere

During a very insightful meeting with the CEO of a growing business I recognized why his business was experiencing a significant upswing, when his competition is tanking. I loved his view on his business and the values he holds personally, which reflected in his insights.

1. Lead by Example
As a business leader, whether you are the business owner, a manager or an executive in a business, you have to lead by example. Do your employees, sub-contractors and your customers know what you expect of them?  Do they see your passion? Do you “step up” with confidence to assist your team to get the job done and move the business in the right direction?

When others see you striving to be better and to achieve a clear vision, they are more likely to follow.  Failing to lead lets the team down and business will crash.

I have been working with a business who has outsourced to service providers.  One service provider is lacking the leadership and isn’t there to lead their team.  They hold the belief that every member of their team is doing a fabulous job, despite external feedback to the contrary.  The lack of strong leadership is costing them a contract.  In contract, a second service provider has been involved and has encouraged staff to take on new opportunities.  This proactive leadership has resulted in an expanded role and future growth opportunities on the horizon.

2. Invest in your People
When you are recruiting or making decisions on internal opportunities for your staff, do you recognize what they bring to the table? Every person you work with offers you an array of skills.  For continuous Holding Dollars suphakit73_ID-100110359improvement to occur, staff training and development is critical.

Investing in your staff shows them how much you value their contribution.  It also fosters a long-term commitment and reduced turnover which saves you time and money.  Training may include bringing in outside suppliers to educate on how to fully utilize the equipment that you have in your business.  It could include sending staff to outside conferences, workshops or training events, or it may be an opportunity for one member of your team sharing their knowledge or expertise with their fellow colleagues.

Leadership is a process, and incorporating continuous improvement is a valuable component which converts to strong results.

3.  Optimize the Cash
Creating a profit is a vital aspect of business growth and development, yet it should not be established on the backs of your team or customer.  Whether you are working within a corporate budget or own the business and have to manage your own revenues and expenses, identifying ways to make your money go further, and used in the right areas is a fundamental skill to your leadership.

I was working with a small business owner who was cash strapped and frustrated with the lack of profits.  Upon further investigation, this business was not working to its full capacity, it was not recruiting the right people and marketing was almost non-existent.

When I asked the owner how much it actually cost them to provide the services and how much it cost to bring on a new employee and how much business was needed to off-set these costs, they were unable to answer these questions.  This became to focus of our work together.  We identified ways to generate cash flow from existing clients with prepayment options, more effective ways to connect and communicate with their target clients to boost customer engagement and referrals, and an internal cash management system to monitor the business.

Keys to business growth

When the business bucket is full, you have an opportunity to increase the size of your bucket!  The keys to business growth include:

  • strong leadership,
  • committed team members who work in alignment with you to meet the goals and vision of the business, and
  • positive cash flow with effective cash management.

What steps do you have to take today to reap the benefits tomorrow?

Please contact me for a complimentary exploration session if you are ready to make changes, strengthen your leadership or you are primed for business growth.  Book today!

 

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