Being a small business, you may struggle to inspire your employees and get them on board of company strategies and policies.
It can be a daunting task to choose whether to remain a stoic and “by the book” manager and run the company line, or to be yourself and bring your own personal leadership flair when running your team.
The easy answer is this: leadership is all about being yourself.
Although it may feel vulnerable to let people see who you are, your team will follow the example you set and bringing an enthusiastic and creative touch, especially in a smaller sized company with opportunity for growth, will promote a team culture that will grow leaders.
However, getting your team to follow and believe in your leadership ability can be difficult at times. Like the old saying goes “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.
Leadership speaker and consultant Karin Hurt offered the following tips on common problems that teams can face with new leadership:
1. They’ve had bad leadership experiences
Previous leaders have led your team astray, leaving a sour taste in their mouths and pre disposition to being wary of future leaders. This can be a hard barrier to break through as they want consistency and many want to believe that a good manager or supervisor could change this view. Be the change they need and the leader they want, the rest will follow.
2. You’re not being true to yourself
If you spend too much time trying to be someone you are not, chances are you are wasting your own time being a successful leader. Putting your energy and personal flair into your projects and team will leave you stress-free from the worry of playing the façade and give you the time to develop yourself and your team how you want.
3. You’re wasting THEIR energy
If your team suspects that you are playing games or putting on appearances, they will lose faith in you. They will not dedicated time to build themselves or their projects if they feel that management is running loops around them. When there is no trust, there is no team.
4. You’re their lifeline
In a small company, the director is the guiding beacon of the company. Employees will rely on you for information straight from the horse’s mouth. They will pick up instantly if you are not telling the full story and insecurity will play havoc and cause hold ups in production, especially in a small business where word travels fast.
5. They want to be like you- maybe
Many employees have big aspirations, some may even want to be in your position one day in the future. Make sure you lead them and teach them to provide them a positive outlook on the company and the roles within it. If you come to work with a negative attitude as a manager or team leader, no one will want to step up to your shoes when you leave or climb the corporate ladder.
6. They have important news to share
Everyone has their own ideas. Some of the best ideas can come from your own team! If you shut your employees down when they offer an idea or new outlook on a project they will be less likely in the future to assist when required. Make sure to cultivate a culture of hearing and respecting everyone’s opinion on how to approach work projects or new systems. You may be surprised by the great ideas your team can provide.