When it comes to ensuring success for your business, it’s important to both be a good leader and cultivate leadership among your employees. Yet what, exactly, does it mean to be a leader, and how can you encourage leadership in your workforce?
First, there’s a difference between a manager and a leader. A manager is someone who facilitates his or her employees, making sure they are well-trained, have all the necessary information to reach certain well-defined goals, and are recognized when they perform well.. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who thinks outside of the box, and can use his or her creative strengths to make something unique and worthwhile.
The best managers can recognize the leaders among their employees, and then encourage those leaders to step into their creative strengths. One of the best ways to do this? Leading by example. Of course, that’s a phrase that’s tossed around so much, it’s lost much of its meaning. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five ways to lead by example in your business:
Rather than continuously telling your employees what to do — something that often creates more antagonism than not — let them watch you work creatively and excellently. After all, your employees are likely to take their cues from their managers, so if you are modeling excellence, your employees will likely follow.
Determine the goals, leave the means.
There’s a reason you hired your employees: they have a set of skills which you need. Rather than micromanaging every part of a project, a leader can determine the end goal, while leaving the means of achieving that goal up to the employees.
Value people over profit.
One of the most important aspects of a successful business? The health of its employees. Which is why it’s so important to encourage healthy emotional bonds and trust among them. One way to do this is simply by befriending your own coworkers, be they employees, fellow managers, or your own boss. This sets a good example for solid work relationships.
Ask for employee input.
Instead of treating your business like a tyranny, consider asking your employees for their input on various projects. By yourself modeling an openness toward new ideas, you foster a welcoming space where creativity and input are valued, which leads to stronger teamwork and better ideas.
Encourage personal strengths.
While leading from example often requires not saying anything, but rather modelling certain values, sometimes it’s helpful to encourage individual employees to develop their particular strengths. This added push might be just what an employee needs to take his or her work to the next level.
Think your business might be need some help developing its management and leadership teams? At Safeguard, we offer a variety of business solutions tailored to fit your needs. Don’t hesitate to call — talk with one of our consultants today!