Business owners have arguably been going through one of the toughest times of their leadership career. With the pandemic creating challenges many wouldn’t have imagined facing, leaders have had to shift their way of working in the face of immense pressures from both their personal and professional lives. However, the dramatic change in working practices has also revealed key areas for growth in leadership styles which should be incorporated into your long term plans for the business’s recovery and beyond.
No experience or training in the world could have prepared business leaders for this crisis and yet you are the one that needs to provide direction, to be the clear voice of reason and have the answers that no one else is able to provide. Business owners have needed to be available and ‘on’ at virtually all times, this can lead to a silo effect with you making all decisions alone, which isn’t sustainable for you or your business.
Remember that you may not have all the answers all the time. I have found, and I’m sure most business owners would agree, that our people have been the biggest asset throughout this time.
Feedback from my team on the ground has provided a detailed and in-depth view of the state of the business which in turn has allowed me to make quick and informed decisions. We have worked hard to ensure we have a team who have a vast array of experience and so my team members will always look at things at a different angle to me. This collaboration within my team helps ease the pressure and ensures we are always coming up with creative ways to tackle problems.
The way I communicate with my wider team has changed hugely over the last few months. Transparent and consistent updates to our people has allowed the team to feel they full understand the direction we’re taking but this also allows them to provide feedback on it.
Don’t be afraid to receive feedback from your teams, it is a great way of gaining objective and quality information on not only how they are feeling but also clients and anyone that you may not interact with on a daily basis. I have found having more regular and open conversations with my team has allowed them to feel able to challenge me and gain their perspectives. Without doubt, the way you lead will constantly evolve with countless learning opportunities along the way.
Surround yourself with the right team and advisors that offer you perspectives you may not have considered. This will allow you to provide yourself opportunities to look at the bigger picture and pull yourself out of the everyday running ensuring you are always moving yourself and your business forwards.
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