If you type “What is Leadership?” into Google (the starting point for pretty much everything I do) you are faced with lots of inspiring words and quotes, which are great but quite frankly could mean whatever you want them to mean.
Leadership is a very personal thing to both the person leading and the person being led. For me, it’s about what you believe in for the future, how you communicate, behave and how that creates common purpose within your team.
But effective leadership is not guaranteed by a job title, by owing company shares, by age or experience. Most business owners tend to be good at delivering the ‘what’ of their business but not necessarily the ‘why.’ And it is the ‘why’ that galvanises people behind a common purpose.
Leadership is distinct from management. Management is about processes that keep your business working today and how you hit your targets. It is about executing strategy and vision, where leadership is about setting the strategy and vision.
We often hear business owners never have enough time to create their future strategy. To help, when working with clients, we show them a simple matrix called ‘The Directors Box’, which highlights the different areas that they could spend their time. We start by asking where they spend most of their time in their own business. Is it being a:
Directors – where leaders should spend most of their time (and where their staff expect them to be).
Meddler – doing unimportant things that aren’t urgent. Just getting in the way.
Fire Fighter – It’s all about today and now, which is exhausting if you are always here.
Super Hero – showing their people how clever they are but not focused on building the future.
Directors have the choice on where, when and how often they occupy the directors’ box. Remember they are the boss!
All too often business owners do not share their plans, which leaves their people guessing at the content! To grow your business and achieve your goals, you need to focus on getting your people to understand and share the vision and work with you to achieve it . It is the common purpose theme again!
So start by acknowledging the need to explore the issue by creating time. Invest in your own leadership development and recognise the need for a capable management team to work with you.
If you are looking for some further reading on the above and other related matters, have a read of our new report https://www.hwca.com/for-love-or-money-tool/one_plan_report.pdf.
We also discuss the subject in our latest video https://www.hwca.com/videos/get-maximum-business-team/