By John Sutherland
When business performance needs to be improved, it may well be wise to start by looking at the source of leadership in the business, and yes, as business owners, that often means looking at ourselves.
I’ve often found that where a business is not performing, the leadership direction is unclear and is not understood by the team.
So why do we need to be strong leaders?
Leadership is about painting a picture of the future in the form of a vision.
The common thing in all of the great leadership stories of the world is the ability to create a vision and then be able to share it with people.
“Leadership is a powerful creative tool and when embraced by us as business owners, it can have immense impact on our success”
Managers in corporations have been guided by this concept for some time;.
“Every executive, every manager, to fulfil the role, must have a vision – a vision of where the organisation will be and what it will look like in the future.
They must create that vision and then share it with those reporting to them, if they are to gain a high level of employee involvement and commitment and attain a high level of productivity.” – Anon
Not just for big business.
Now you might not believe it, but this isn’t just true in the realm of large organisations; it’s the same for any small to medium size business too.
The same thinking also applies to those that are currently “one-man” operations. It’s easy to forget to think strategically when it’s just you. It’s a good idea to regularly put your “leaders head” on. You’ll look at things from a different perspective when you do. Imagine that you’re the CEO at a meeting of your own board, you’ll find yourself asking different questions (of yourself). Try it…
Anyway, back to our point,
To succeed, the business owner must paint the picture, be willing to share that vision with the team, and encourage them to become part of the dream.
It is from this beginning that so many success stories have evolved. It’s the absence of this level of engagement with your team that leads to so many businesses failing.
Who’s driving your business?
So, who is driving your business? Is it you as the business leader or are you being led by external forces?, the market place, the economy, etc., or indeed being dragged along by the people that work for you!
It is in this area that most small to medium size business owners are challenged. When the future becomes unclear because of rapid and continual changes occurring within the market place or change generated by technology, without any clear direction a business can drift aimlessly and be at the mercy of those changes.
As a result we can lose control of, not only the direction of our business but ultimately in the business itself.
“Low team moral, poor performance, Poor Quality Work, Absenteeism and Resignations are some of the signs that our leadership is in need of repair.”
Increasingly, we’re encountering business owners who are looking for the help necessary to re-focus and to reignite their vision for success, and to re-engage their teams.
So, How’s your leadership?