How to be a strong leader in business
By Avery Phillips
Wondering how to ensure your business reaches its full potential? No organization can flourish without strong leadership but figuring out what that actually looks like isn’t necessarily obvious. Here’s some advice for how you, as someone in a leadership position, can transform yourself into an outstanding, strong leader.
Put your faith in employees
A common mistake among leaders and business owners is to hire new employees based on connection, hiring a person purely because they have an “in” within the organization rather than objectively hiring the most qualified individual.
Although hiring based on a recommendation isn’t a bad thing, it shouldn’t be the driving force behind how your employees get onboarded as it deprives you the privilege of hiring someone who has more experience and who is more of a self-starter. Individuals hired based on education and experience will require less training and will usually already know where their attention is needed.
If you’re hiring based on an individual’s merit, this also means you can trust them to get on with the job and separate yourself from common micro-managerial mistakes. By doing so, you’ll notice that employees will seek out more difficult tasks and naturally gravitate towards innovation.
If your employees don’t feel limited, they’ll surprise good leaders with the smart ideas that they bring to the table. When employees feel trusted as a significant resource, they perform better and are more willing to go the extra mile for the company.
Don’t make everything about the bottom line
Research shows that leaders who are too focused on dollar signs commonly don’t see the kind of progress they want. Great leaders are instead dedicated to improving the lives of their employees and, in turn, helping the company evolve. If you focus too much on how many hours your employees are putting in and why your month-end numbers aren’t where you want them to be, your head isn’t quite in the right place.
More work doesn’t always equal more money. So, if your monetary gains aren’t exactly where they should be, think about which areas of your organization might need updating. Of course, this isn’t to say that constant change is necessary, but you should always be open to understanding where you as a leader, and the organization, can improve.
Employees who are allowed to think outside the box, instead of simply being overworked, may surprise you with their ideas. This kind of critical thinking can lead to breakthroughs and generate new processes.
Keep your teams motivated
A leader who has no goals or vision for an organization will find they have a hard time keeping their employees motivated. Everyone likes working toward a goal. Especially in a workplace setting, every employee wants to feel as if they’re working toward a common goal and that you and their co-workers are right there with them.
Employees are motivated by a leader who has certain traits that help them to be successful. Firstly, you must never forget why you started your business in the first place. In addition, you should show what steps you are personally taking to make the company successful as this can help employees visualize their next goal.
Creativity is also important as it helps to establish an atmosphere that’s conducive to innovation, transformation and revolutionary ideas. If employees feel they have the space and confidence to bring new ideas to the table, they’ll never stop creating for you. It’s the employees that feel restricted, overworked, and stressed that will only bring as much as they must to the table.
Lastly, communication is key to motivation. Workers who feel they aren’t being heard are going to stop coming forward. There must be a clear forum for individuals to share and process their ideas (and complaints) with others. It should be a safe space, where you (or an appointed expert) listen to what’s said and help turn it into something constructive.
Remember, the focus should be on employees and letting them shine. A comfortable, creative, and trusted employee is an employee that will help bring your organization to the next level. The more faith you put in your growing organization and employees, the more they can give the company back in the end.