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Every Business Faces An Existential Leadership Crisis

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership|Every Business Faces An Existential Leadership CrisisStop for a second. Think about the last time you saw a CEO do an interview. When was the last time you saw a business out in the open, showing off it’s latest and greatest talent? When was the last time you saw a business that showcased its raw young talent at a business exhibition or conference? Most likely, not a whole lot. The general public doesn’t often get to see the young people that a business is hiring. They may not have earned the right to be represented the business out in public. The company may not even care about its image in that way. It’s clear that most businesses have a tough time passing the torch to the next generation and doing so in an open and honest way. But that also means, most businesses are facing an existential leadership threat. If your business cannot be gifted to the next generation, it won’t survive more than one lifetime. How can you stop this from happening?

Internal culture protection

The reason why Apple didn’t collapse when Steve Jobs passed away, is because they had an internal business culture that groomed the next in line. Tim Cook took over and approached the challenges of the business to be innovative and build on the Apple ecosystem, just like Jobs would have wanted. This did not happen by mistake. Cook was able to approach the future in a similar way because the entire business, protected its internal culture. It’s the way you want employees to think about their roles, their tasks, designs, marketing, social media, etc. A culture encapsulates everything about you. So one way to make sure your business has a future is by protecting your culture and helping the best employees to understand it on a deeper level.

A skills transition

Becoming a leader isn’t for everybody. In fact, it’s true that most people just don’t fit the profile. But how do you know who does and who doesn’t? Putting your employees through leadership training is the best way to find out. They will learn a plethora of skills including, knowing what employee strengths are and getting the best out of them. Effectively influencing employees to make them channel their abilities better when it comes to tasks and roles in group projects. Being able to effectively lead meetings of staff, talking to people both personally and professionally. Navigating conflict and having the skills to resolve problems when they arise. Managing your time as the leader among other things will be taught to your chosen prospective employees.

Choose high potential employees

Every successful leader has some level of intuition. They can just spot someone out of a crowd and see they have more potential than the rest. If you see an employee you believe could be a leader, then look past their role and their rank. If it’s someone on a lower level in your business, then give them a chance to prove themselves. You never know when your diamond in the rough might appear.

For businesses wanting to carry on their excellence from generation to generation, it’s vital you protect your company culture internally.

Three Ways to Become a Better Leader

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership|Three Ways to Become a Better LeaderLeaders are made and not born. That’s a saying that has stood the test of time and is true whether on the sports field or in the boardroom.

If you don’t consider yourself a natural leader but need to find ways to inspire your team on towards success, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we take a look at three great attributes of a leader, attributes you can learn as you go.

Step out of your comfort zone and start making a real difference to your business.

1 Get Organised

With your time, with your paperwork, with your approach and with the details, such as appointing your business immigration attorney. Seeing someone in control and on top of the details shows your team that you take them and their roles seriously.

Not being up to speed on their annual leave requests and so on, sends out a signal that you’re not interested or don’t care about the small details that mean a lot to them.

Instead, show them that you’re the kind of person who leads by example. Who is able to prioritise and who pays attention.

2 Lead, not Boss

This is where so many managers fall down. Quite simply you will get the best from your staff if you lead them, if you’re in the thick of it with them. Gone are the days of the boss sitting several floors up in a glass office away from the hub-bub. Now, you need to be available and to be involved.

Demonstrate your tenaciousness by driving forward sales and working to the best of your ability but also back your team. It’s true to say that sometimes things go wrong and people get things wrong but that doesn’t mean you then have to start throwing your weight around along with blame.

Instead work together to look for solutions and to move the situation forward. This is the kind of behaviour that will inspire loyalty and hard work.

3 Respect Boundaries

When work is over for the day, it’s over. Your team members should see you leading the way by leaving work at a consistent time and making it a priority to spend time with your family. Respect the home lives of your team members too and try to avoid having them spend too much time working late but instead encourage a healthy work/life balance.

You might even give them the option to work from home when childcare is an issue or the trains are not working as they should.

Being in charge is a tough role and a lot of responsibility lies on your shoulders, so give yourself time to grow and relish the role of becoming a leader. Treat your staff as your best asset and find ways to motivate and inspire them as they give their all and help you to achieve your business goals.

As you grow into your leadership role, your team will respond with even greater good will, so work together and become the leader you know you’re capable of becoming.

4 Guiding Principles That Serve as a Foundation for Leadership Success

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership Success|4 Guiding Principles That Serve as a Foundation for Leadership SuccessEarly in my business career, I worked as a team leader on a high-level project. I had what I thought were great ideas, and I was excited to jump in and get started. I immediately doled out assignments, telling everyone exactly what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, one of my team members disagreed with the vision that I tried to share.

I didn’t spend the time I should have explaining my reasoning and collaborating with my team to ensure that we all felt we were moving in the right direction. As a result, this lone team member did all they could to sabotage the project, and it was ultimately a failure.

Since then, I’ve come a long way, leading many successful and profitable companies, and I’ve learned a few things about the best way to do it. In fact, I have come up with a set of 4 guiding principles that have been successful for me many, many times over.

1. Trust

Trust is perhaps the most important principle in leadership. If you build trust within your organization, then it will run smoothly. I’ve learned through experience that micromanaging doesn’t work. If someone can do the job, and build that trust with me, they deserve to play an integral part in the company. If they don’t build that trust, they probably don’t belong in our organization. While everyone needs self-discipline, it can’t come from the top down. It has to come from personal ownership and pride in what they’re accomplishing.

2. Vision

Clear business goals are almost always the key to success in both the short and long-term. You need a clear vision of where you want to go, what you want to accomplish and how you will achieve it. Stephen R. Covey, someone I admired greatly, said, “If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.” This is true in both personal and organizational goals as a whole.

3. Unity

As my opening example illustrated, if everyone in your organization doesn’t share a unified goal, you will have a much tougher time reaching it. If someone doesn’t believe in the vision, they won’t give their best effort to push for that final destination. That is why it’s critical to spend the time and energy necessary to truly sell your vision inside your organization. Build that trust, and keep the end goal in mind as you go, and everyone is more likely to get behind you.

4. Execute the Vision With Kindness

People respond to the best kind of treatment. As you move forward with your vision, keep kindness at the forefront of all you do. Employees that are treated with respect are employees that will continue to respect both you and your vision.

I truly believe in these principles. Last year in one of my current ventures, we made building trust our internal priority for the entire year. We focused on extending trust to every employee in their role – giving guidance, then empowering them with what they needed to get their job done. From there – we let them find the best way to accomplish the company vision. Without the burden of micro-management, our sales improved by around 30%! It’s difficult to argue with that kind of success.

Building trust takes time and energy, but it is always worth it in the long run. With a foundation of trust, sharing a unified vision becomes easier. Respecting your employees can turn into expecting more from your employees – and because they trust you in return, they will rise to the occasion.


About the Author

Glenn JakinsGlenn Jakins is a serial entrepreneur with a multi-decade track record of taking creative ideas and turning them into successful products that change lives. With a strong background in logistics and operations, he has helped launch multiple 8-figure companies and been instrumental in the increase of tens of millions of dollars in sales for many more. Currently, in addition to other investment ventures, Glenn heads Humless as CEO, pioneering reliable power systems based on clean energy sources.

5 Leadership Traits You Didn’t Need 50 Years Ago

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership|5 Leadership Traits You Didn’t Need 50 Years AgoThe role of a leader is always evolving, so it makes sense that the traits of a modern-day leader may be different from the leaders of half a century ago.

Of course, some traits have remained pretty consistent throughout the years, such as being a role model and having strong communication skills.

The following are some of the leadership traits that are important now that might not have been in the past.

1. An Ear for Employees

Perhaps one of the most drastic differences between modern-day leaders and leaders from the past is that today’s leaders are interested in what employees want and need.

50 years ago, managers simply had to be charismatic enough to bark orders at their employees to get the job done.
The goal was always to satisfy the company’s owner without paying too much attention to the employees. Leaders weren’t too interested in complaints, concerns, and feedback from their employees. That kind of leader will not work with today’s empowered workforce and may even be counterproductive.

Today’s managers encourage employees to express their points of view and discuss or bring up tough issues.
Leaders in the past would not talk about mistakes, but today’s managers are expected to highlight mistakes along with employees so that everyone can learn from them.

2. Ability to Change

CEOs, managers, and any other type of leader of today cannot be the kind of person who sticks to what works but rather a person who can change at a moment’s notice. The reason today’s authority figures cannot stay stagnant deals with the nature of modern-day business.

The internet has been creating all sorts of changes that affect business almost at lightning speed. A new internet-based concept could cause a chain of events that could break a company that refuses to change with the times.

Take video streaming, which basically has defeated regular DVD rentals and is taking a serious bite out of the entire movie-making business. Leaders in the past were taught not to rock the boat too much because it could disrupt a well-oiled machine, but that kind of leadership could sink companies today.

3. A Reflective Spirit

Another thing that is unique about today’s authority figures is their ability to be reflective. This sense of self-awareness is unique to modern-day leaders, and it helps them improve their leadership skills and work on weaknesses.

This skill also allows modern-day directors to hire employees that will actually complement them by looking for individuals that are strong where they are weak.

Leaders from the past were not too concerned about finding individuals who might help them become better because that kind of collaboration simply did not exist back then.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership|5 Leadership Traits You Didn’t Need 50 Years Ago4. Aware of the People’s Heart

Generation X and Y employees are a different kind of workforce. These individuals know how important they are to companies and use that as leverage to get what they want.

This workforce does not mind jumping from job to job and a workforce that values experience more than pay.
A leader from the past might just alienate today’s employees so much that it might be hard to fill certain positions.

This is the reason contemporary authority figures need to be able to keep employees happy by listening to them and finding ways to create a good corporate culture.

Company culture actually helps keep employees in their positions and helps employees feel more invested in their positions, which increases productivity.

One way modern leaders do this is by rewarding the entire team instead of individual efforts, which makes employees collaborate better rather than compete with each other.

5. A Focus on Diversity

Another trait that is quite important for modern overseers is the ability to connect with all sorts of workers. The new age workforce is filled with all sorts of people as the country continues to become more diverse.

Being sensitive to all the cultural differences is important in order to make individuals feel welcomed and to respect other people’s customs. This is a trait that simply was not too important in the past.

Yesterday’s authority figures barely communicated with their workforce; the only thing that was important was getting the job done.

Leaders back in the day could have been offensive, yet they might have still been valued by their employers.
Well, new age authority figures definitely need to be more sensitive because failing to do so could not only alienate employees but could also put the company at risk of lawsuits.

Tips For Being A Better Boss & Manager

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Better Boss|Tips For Being A Better Boss & ManagerBeing in charge is nice because you get to call the shots but can also be a very difficult position to be in. You have other people relying on you to improve the business and to make sure you’re all achieving your goals.

There’s a lot to think about and attend to, and it can be tempting to have your ego get in the way of doing what’s right. If you want to truly be a better boss and manager, then you have to commit to following through in a couple of areas in particular. Accept that you’ll make mistakes along the way, but what’s most important is that you learn from them and stay flexible with your approach.

Take Care of Yourself

You can be a better boss and manager by being consistent about taking good care of yourself. This includes controlling your mood by eating healthy foods and choosing to exercise regularly. Stay hydrated after breaking a sweat by stocking up on plenty of Halo Sport so you can replenish your body with all of your lost fluids. You’ll find you perform better at work when you have a lot of natural energy to carry you through the day and are committed to practicing self-care.

Have A Positive Attitude

It’s also important that as the boss and manager, you maintain a positive attitude around the office. Your employees are watching you and looking up to you and view you as a role model. Therefore, prove to them you’re the right person for the position by not letting your emotions get the best of you. Encourage others to keep up the good work and to continue on strong even when there are problems to tackle and obstacles to face.

Learn to Delegate out Tasks

You’re going to be doing yourself a favor when you learn how to delegate out tasks properly. You’ll be able to focus more on critical matters such as how to run a better business when you do so properly and regularly. You can be a better boss and manager by making sure your employees are staying busy and challenged on a daily basis.
Check in with them often and make sure they feel that the work they’re doing is putting their skills to good use and is rewarding. It’s your job as the boss to ensure everyone on your team is contributing to the bigger picture and aren’t sitting around with nothing to do.

Avoid Playing Favorites

While it’s okay to build relationships with your employees and subordinates, you do want to stay away from playing favorites. Recognize individuals based on their annual evaluations and daily performance versus whose personality you find the most appealing. You can be a better boss and manager and get more done when you avoid office politics and don’t cause or create drama around the workplace. Instead, focus on motivating the team as a whole and seeing who steps up and stands out all on their own.