Whether you lead a cast of thousands or a party of two, the principles of leadership are the same.
So, what does it mean to be a strong and impactful leader? How do you rouse the people you manage to join you on a journey to success rather than instilling fear and loathing?
In exploring this topic, I seemed to encounter the same consistent themes. Mean something.
Now, this does not mean some form of totalitarian form of leadership, quite the opposite.
In an excerpt from a piece by Huffington Post, it read ‘Leadership is Chasing Vision, Not Money’ and I tend to believe this to be true.
A vision is collaborative, a sharing of ideas. It is not fully formed. Instead, it’s an idea of the destination and asking the people who work alongside you to assist in bringing it to fruition.
People want a goal to work towards, without it, their daily efforts and actions feel meaningless. A vision brings inspiration, and inspiration often brings out greatness. Your team feel a part of something, working towards a common goal rather than feeling disenfranchised, simply working on autopilot each day without passion, without a connection.
1.Understand what you are about, ask the WHY
Why does your company exist? Who do you serve? Think about it for a moment. Your business did not automatically just appear one day from the murky shadows. It likely started from a passion, from something you do well and something you wanted to create to fulfil a specific purpose. You need to remember this, always. And, you need to be able to communicate this clearly to the people in your business. They need to be able to understand and share in this.
2.Create a culture
World recognised expert on this topic, Simon Sinek suggests that beyond the WHY, “Once people are united by a common cause, there must be a strong culture that keeps them together. The result is a positive impact for everyone involved. The result is deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their vision and their organization’s interests.”(1) Who needs a more compelling reason that this?
3.Share, and share freely
It’s not just good enough for two-year-olds, yes, you too have to share. Let everyone into the grand plan. Share whatever non-sensitive information you can to let people in and feel part of the overall purpose and be a meaningful part of its success.
In a small business with fewer resources, it can be easy to get lost in the fog of the day-to-day which can make creating a clear vision challenging, and stay on course.
Aim to define with clarity the purpose, and the destination.
Finally, work out how you are going to disseminate the information, make it clear, concise and most importantly consistent. It’s not enough to give a once off declaration, like any successful relationship you need to check in.
In a book written by one of Australia’s most respected journalists, Leigh Sales, she explores the topic of doubt. How a curious and doubtful mind allows you to seek both wisdom and truth. For many leaders, the effect of this often results in fear of being left vulnerable, to being portrayed as someone who is ill-informed, uncertain and at worst, weak.
In contrast, the compelling argument formed is how healthy it is not to be so unfailingly certain of your position, and not ever query, ‘is there another way? am I doing the right thing?’ That a doubtful mind can keep you accountable, open to being challenged and notably, human.
We often hear of leaders, not exclusive to politics, who never wish to be challenged on their opinion. To do so is seen as being disloyal and treacherous and will often leave you out in the cold, outside of the daily communication and decision-making process. This toxic culture and belief system leaves employees silenced and not being able to utilise their expertise in their position, leaving businesses stagnant and unprogressive.
6.Set the example
This is starting to sound like the framework for how to raise a well-mannered child, and yes, strangely the commonalities are so closely aligned. Simon Sinek states, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
To do this, not just requires a podium and some great public speaking skills, it requires a sense of authenticity, a genuine interest in your team’s welfare. It is the simple truth of setting the standard. Leading by example, in the good times, and, especially in the bad.
At BillPro, we do not claim to be the experts on leadership, but we get what it means to start something, to have a vision and grow a business. If you are looking for a true partnership with a like-minded business, talk to us. You can call us on +1833 245 5776 or send us an email via our website www.billpro.com/contact
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