Shakespeare wrote “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”.
Being a Business owner, CEO or CFO can be a lonely place sometimes. Everyone expects you to have all the answers.
However, running a successful business should be a team challenge and no one should be expected to go it alone. Companies run better when leaders are supported by their entire team.
Often the staff themselves are the best people to solve the problems as they are the ones dealing with the issues daily.
To really do your best work, you have to have a finger on the pulse of how all of your business is operating, but when you are locked away and on your own, that doesn’t happen. Leaders should aim for a certain detachment and be observing participants. But they don’t want to be so detached that they’re always in the balcony observing things, they must spend time in the fray.
It’s tempting for all of us to believe that unless we do something ourselves, it won’t be done right.
Leaders need to understand that if they don’t delegate, then they’re disrespecting not only others but themselves. Competent, creative, hardworking people want their talents and effort recognised.
Lack of delegation will become the limiting factor in the growth of your business or department. It’s very difficult for some people to let go, but being an effective leader absolutely requires it.
So how do you create an environment where you’re surrounded by people who inspire you and feel genuine concern for your wellbeing?
Start by rethinking the old-style framework of how a boss behaves and open the door to real human connection.
The gap between you and your staff isn’t set in stone. It can be bridged by building an empathic connection with your team.
Here are some changes to make to create an environment where you are supported by your team.
1. Build an empathic connection with your Team. As a leader, you set the tone of how the Team operates. Practice empathy, and general interest in your employees, and they will do the same for you.
2. Admit your mistakes. Show your team that you’re a person and not just a title by being open and admitting to your mistakes.
3. Look for the good qualities in your team. Leaders have a habit of focusing on the bad habits of staff, but it’s easier to lead when you’re focusing on your team’s good qualities. Focus on your own weaknesses instead, so you can improve. Ask yourself “what have I done to create this situation?
4. Find the positive within the negative. When one of your team comes to you with bad news, look for the positive such as, it was good they found the problem early or now we know what to do differently next time. Thinking with a positive perspective helps you stay focused on moving forward. Your team will also learn that it is safe to report on negative issues and issues won’t get swept under the carpet. The goal is not to blame but to understand. Accepting failure is pretty easy, but understanding it is the hard part.
5. Practice being a servant leader. Consider how you can better “serve” your team instead of just “leading” your team. How can you set them up for success? Because when they succeed, you succeed.
You don’t have to be lonely at the top. In fact, your business works better when you’re not.
Lastly, every business leader should have at least one Mentor who can act as that strategic sounding board or voice of experience and reason.