It’s easy to think that being a great leader is mostly about the glory – the titles, accolades, and public recognition. However, true leadership is not identified only through the individual, but mostly in the team that is impacted by the individual.
Leading people involves nurturing potential, relationship building and knowing when to lead from the back. If you’re an entrepreneur leading a team, here are three fundamental tips for bringing out the best in your team.
While you may be chasing the bottom line and busy running operations, it’s easy to forget to acknowledge the big and small ways that your employees win. Remember that achievements range from exceeding sales targets all the way to an employee successfully trying something new. Ask your employees what makes them feel acknowledged for their efforts and appreciated for their deliveries, and find ways to tangibly rewarding them.
The hardest thing for a team leader to do is resist the temptation of doing it yourself because you trust your standards of delivery. Worse still, the temptation to micromanage and thereby limit and reduce the capacity of all involved.
As a leader, you must learn to exercise your delegation muscle. When you delegate work to employees, you multiply the amount of work you can accomplish, whilst you develop your employees' confidence, leadership and work skills. Delegating also communicates that you’re trusting them at best to deliver well, and at worst to learn something new. Delegation is a win-with strategy: everyone wins together in the end.
20th century thinking practice about effective leadership was centred around open-door policies, where good leadership was seen through how accessible they are to people. Although this was good practice that encouraged meaningful relationship building, it often cultivated a leader burnout culture in the work-plece.
We’re now living in an age where holistic wellbeing is at the centre of meaningful work, and leaders face the odious task of being examples of what this looks like. What this means is that leaders set the tone for healthy availability and approachability, which acknowledges the value of interpersonal relationships, while at the same time establish boundaries in respect of their own work and time.
As a leader, often being client-facing means that office-bound employees, at times, deal with hardships in the workplace you may not be aware of. Set pockets of time aside, open-time, to create safe spaces for employees to feel that they have enough access to you to talk about their ideas, progress and concerns.