In successful companies, it’s often the leader of the business who jumps out as being the secret sauce.
Think about a company that failed and usually the leader sticks out in your mind too.
Whichever way you look at it, if you are going to be successful in business, it will 99 per cent not happen unless you have a good to great leader running the show.
This applies to firms of all sizes and industries. Business leaders need to ask themselves whether their company is as successful as it could be and if not, how much of the reason for not reaching potential success is due to their leadership.
There are numerous traits of the best leaders. Here are four critical ones:
The best leaders proactively address what needs addressing now. That’s NOW – no putting it off! They keep a live list of all the things that they are unhappy with and prioritise them, working through each one by one. They will also remember to follow up in a few weeks time to see how the change they helped to implement has gone.
Sad but true is that people will not always just do what you ask them to do, you do need to follow up to check that they both did it and that also the changes have had the expected and desired impact.
How many people out there have a job description and perhaps even key performance indicators, but are never held accountable to deliver what they are supposed to?
I would suggest the majority of us. The best leaders know what their team members are accountable for. They make sure systems are in place where people know how they are tracking against expected levels of performance. Most importantly when people are not meeting their accountabilities something is done about it.
Culture starts at the top. Where are you unhappy about your company culture? What will you do about it?
Having a great culture makes the job of a leader so much easier, particularly when you have to have the harder conversations, The person receiving the message should already know they are letting the team down. They should already be aware of their performance or behaviours not meeting company expectations or core values.
This is perhaps the most important skill. Make sure everyone knows where the company is going. Most employees have no idea.
When your team knows what you are truly trying to achieve, it is likely they will try harder week to week to get to that future state.