There is no shortage of advice on leadership. But the perception of an effective leader has evolved substantially in recent years, as has the advice. No longer is a great leader portrayed as the detached, authoritarian, ruler at the helm. As we’ve realized that business really is about relationships – both inside and outside our businesses – characteristics now ascribed to great leaders include empathy, transparency, emotionally intelligent, visionary, inspirational, mindful, humble, even compassionate.
Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Start With Why, addressed this kinder, gentler – yet somehow stronger – leader. He’d examined the practices of leaders who’d achieved legendary success and concluded that, driven by values and convictions, these leaders each knew clearly WHY they were doing the work they did and were able to inspire others to understand and embrace that “why.”
This enlightened perception of engaged (and engaging) leaders is widely embraced. It flows from the top down and has a direct impact on a company’s financials. We’ve seen it time and again when working with business owners, and have compiled some of the best tips for being an effective leader in today’s business world.
Lay the Foundation
- Know your “Why!” – Be clear on what your business is going to do and how.
- Have a vision – it provides direction for your business and inspires both employees and customers; people buy into your inspirational vision and your values as much or more than your product.
- Cultivate a company culture based on your vision and core values.
Build a Great Team
- Hire people who are a fit for the job, the team and your company culture.
- Communicate proactively and effectively, which includes listening to your people. Be clear about your expectations and give honest, productive feedback.
- Lead by example. Inspire your team by modeling the behavior you wish to see in them.
- Delegate! Leaders don’t limit themselves by hanging onto the wrong tasks.
- Be transparent. When mistakes are made, use them as a learning experience, which will encourage employees to acknowledge them but also removes the fear of failure.
- Take time for reflection and introspection. Being self-aware enables learning more about you and your motivation, and improves business and personal relationships.
- Avoid the temptation to build silos as your company grows – it may cause your people to lose connection with the big picture and their colleagues.
- Learn to be a better leader through reading, leadership forums, networking with and being challenged by other CEOs, or hiring a business coach.
Even with the evolution of its definition, the nuts and bolts of successful leadership are no less critical. You still need an astute business strategy, a plan for growth, and solid financials. That’s where The Minerva Group comes in.
We start by ensuring that you have clean, current financials, work with you to align your financial goals and business strategy, help you develop an achievable plan for growth, and even offer coaching services to help you stay on track. Start by taking our complimentary 360 Blueprint Quiz to get clear about where you are today. Then we partner with you to help you plan action steps to get to where you want to be, building a solid financial framework for success so you can do what you do best – lead and grow your company. Take the 360 Blueprint Quiz today or contact us to get the conversation started.
Great leadership has been summed up by Zig Ziglar – “You’ll get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”