- The best leaders make the deliberate choice be close to, and to empower everyone they lead, and make themselves easily accessible to all staff and customers.
- When they do, individuals flourish, customers are happy and everyone gets timely audience and attention.
- As a business leader start by getting to know your staff and your customers.
You may have noticed this: business leaders who lead their team indirectly through supervisors and hands-on ones who are directly in touch with the team.
The former are inaccessible to the team with the supervisor being the only link.
The latter is the captain who knows nearly all members by name and is available for anyone on consultation or chit chat.
In small firms leaders who are with the team are usually very successful in forming and inspiring a great team. Allowing your staff to be at the mercy of one supervisor or manager regardless how trusted or effective they seem is not healthy for a small and growing firm
The best leaders make the deliberate choice be close to, and to empower everyone they lead, and make themselves easily accessible to all staff and customers. When they do, individuals flourish, customers are happy and everyone gets timely audience and attention.
As a business leader start by getting to know your staff and your customers. Employees are empowered when they are in charge of their work with blessings from the top.
Customers are empowered when they are recognised, appreciated and all their issues attended to.
Create time to meet your team members one-on-one—casually or formally, over coffee or as they go on with their work. Get to know their goals and aspirations and how your firm could be of help in achieving them. Find out if they have other talents or contributions they can make given a chance.
Ensure there is timely and correct circulation of information on where the team is headed to avoid some members pulling in different direction.
Take time to share your own experiences in life and some of the lessons you have learnt which could be on interest to them. They will appreciate that your path to success has not always been smooth and you had to work hard to polish your skills and competences that seems so natural to them.
As a human being it is natural to like or be drawn to some members than others. It could be because you have some things in common or you like traits like speed of delivery, diligence or confidentiality.
However, as a leader you should strive to be unprejudiced when it comes to things like promotion, rewards and assignment of various roles. Otherwise you may break or demoralise the team.
Nothing breaks a team faster than favourism, whether real or perceived socially from the leadership.
Do not make sacred cow of some team members, or in the words of Gorge Owell create a situation where “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others,” then there is no team any more.
In a team every individual success is a team success and is cerebrated across the board. Equally, when an individual loses the entire team feels the loss and owns it without undue criticism.
Ultimately, a true measure of a leader is the ability to form a united team and treat everyone without prejudice.
Mr Kiunga is author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’.