As the head of your company, employees look to you for decisions, direction and support. Should you fail to provide these, workers may begin looking towards others within the business for proper leadership. The last thing you want is for employees to consider someone else as their go-to leader, even if they all work for you. Yes, having a strong support staff and trusted managers is important to your business, but when employees begin to look to them instead of you, you’ll have more than just a leadership problem on your hand . . . you’ll have a sure-fire mutiny afoot. Thankfully you won’t be marooned on a deserted island, but your company may oust you from the CEO position should they find you lacking in leadership skills. To set yourself up as a capable, dynamic leader for your employees to turn to for direction, support and decisions, make sure to follow these seven steps towards becoming a dynamic leader.
Look Toward the Positive
Change is an inevitable part of running a business. Often times, change needs to happen, so when it does, look for for the positive in it. So what exactly is going to make a positive improvement in both the company’s bottom line and your employees? First, invest in ways to improve worker efficiency or reduce the amount of time required to put into a task. Whether you know it or not, there are a handful of tasks your employees hate. It’s just part of work. You probably have something you must do, but completely detest carrying out. You know how happy you’d be if you could cut down on the amount of time dealing with it. Just think how happy your entire company would be if you found a way to cut down on the time for these undesirable activities company wide. It will boost morale, improve the mood of workers and make it less likely for them to seek out employment elsewhere.
Positive change may also come from simplifying a task. If you have to bring in a consultant or a coach to help your employees, is it really all that great of an improvement? Look towards the positives and your employees will love you for it.
"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails." -John Maxwell
Leadership is an Evolution
Did your parents ever tell you how much you stressed them out early on as a child? Parents sure have a nice way of putting things, don’t they? Well, as long as they learned from whatever caused them stress, it worked out for both ends, right? After all, you were just acting up to make them better parents (at least that’s what you told them). Here’s the thing though. Someone in a leadership role will go through these stresses and difficult times. You just need to evolve and learn from it.
A bad leader is someone who doesn’t change. They stick to what they’ve done time and time again. Sure, there’s something to be said about consistency. It can help with a wide range of tasks, but doing the same thing the same way without growing and looking for ways to improve is not acceptable. Employees are constantly asked to evolve with their position. Regardless of if you run a sandwich shop or a financial consulting firm, you need to learn from mistakes and use these errors as guidance towards improving yourself. If you don’t grow from your mistakes, you’ll repeat the same errors again.
Everything is a Decision, Including Indecision
As a leader, anything and everything you do is a decision. This means not making a decision is also a decision. Sure, you don’t want to make the wrong one, but time is wasted if you wait in making decisions. You need to understand the situation, and then analyze what is going on and then make a clear, decisive decision. Not only does your business count on it, but your employees will most certainly notice. They will see whether you made a decision based on what you thought was right, or if you did nothing. It is hard to remain confident in a leader who fails to take charge and lead.
"Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity." -Jim Rohn
Time is Always Money
Whether you heard it in business school or from a character on your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, time is money. No matter how you slice it, in the business world time is always money. Let’s say you hold a meeting in the office. Maybe there is a delay in the PowerPoint (presentation nothing like waiting for the system to update at the last minute) or another issue comes up and you start the meeting 20 minutes after the original time. Stop and look at all the employees in the room, then think about how much time went into sitting around, waiting for the meeting to start. If everything had been ironed out early on, you could have avoided potentially several hours of lost work. This is both money you are paying employees to sit around and it is productivity you have now lost.
A truly dynamic leader is able to plan ahead and avoid these kinds of situations. The old saying of “if it can happen, it will” needs to be a mentality of yours. So first, always have a backup plan so you can push forward. And second, plan on everything going wrong. If you account for something going wrong, you’ll be able to move through the problem without an issue of your own. Not only will this save you time while with your employees, but also the workers will see how you were able to move flawlessly through the situation. Time is always money, so always plan ahead.
Leadership is Improving Those Around You
Improving yourself is important. As a leader you need to improve upon what you do for your work. However, improving yourself is not your main task as a leader. Instead, leadership is all about improving the workers around you. By improving your workers, your company will thrive. Yes, making yourself better is always necessary. It is why one of the key steps of becoming a dynamic leader is to continually evolve in the position. However, while improving yourself is good, think about how much better your company can be if all of your employees improve in some shape or form? You’ll get far more done, boost productivity and likely see a substantial improvement in the overall bottom line. So, while you should grow in the leadership position, always look for ways to improve those around you.
Be Effective. Be Efficient
The main drive of your business is to be effective. You want to offer up a quality product or service in an effective way. You might market to your demographic or set up meetings with clients in order to sell the product. All of that is fine and good, but you can be incredibly inefficient when striving to be effective at the same time.
Did you ever watch the television show “The Office”? In the comedy television program, Regional Manager Michael Scott ran a paper company. Michael Scott is an excellent example of being an effective leader, but not necessarily being efficient. The man wastes so much time--he probably could have done his entire job in a 30-minute window. He didn’t have much respect from his employees, nor did they typically look to him for advice. Instead, many of the workers saw him as their friend, but not as a qualified boss. You’re not in the business world to make friends with employees. By staying professional, and placing your focus on running an effective business in an efficient manner, both you and your employees will prove successful.
Watch The First Person Phrasing
You’re the head of a business. You might have even created it. However, it is not you alone that runs it. Without your employees, you wouldn’t be anywhere. So be careful of talking in the first person with regards to your business. You didn’t make the sale and you didn’t grow the company on your own. “We” made the sale and “we” grew the company. Your employees work hard, so make sure they know they are appreciated.
As the boss, you don’t want to just instruct your employees what to do. You want to lead them. A dynamic leader understands how to lead their employees through difficult situations and to reach their goals. Failure to become a dynamic leader has potentially devastating consequences, as employees could start to look towards others within their ranks for guidance and assistance. Once employees begin looking elsewhere for leadership, gaining their support back does become difficult. While not everyone is born a leader, you can become a dynamic leader over time. You just need to do what you can to better yourself as such a professional. One of the best ways to do this is to follow these seven principles of dynamic leadership.