fbpx

Developing Your Leadership Skills

By Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, excellence, Goals, Leadership, management, mindset, opportunities

The business world is ever changing and is always moving forward. The only thing that remains constant is competition. You need to keep on improving to stay competitive. Staying stagnant is one sure way of getting left behind and eventually fading away from the market. A company needs to stay relevant to keep on growing. In order to maintain growth, the business owner needs to have the passion, vision and leadership to successfully lead his company to its goals.

Having excellent leadership skills is a must if you are the business owner. Having the passion, vision and great ideas are not enough if you cannot effectively lead your staff to a common goal. Yes, you can hire managers but they are most effective at their jobs at managing teams within the company. They will still look to you for guidance and advice. The company as a whole needs you to pave the way to success. In a competitive business world, you need to constantly develop your leadership skills to be able to keep up or stay ahead. You might be a natural leader but it does not mean you cannot improve.

Discipline

Practicing good discipline is a strong foundation in developing your leadership skills. Discipline in your professional and personal life is a must if you want to be an effective leader. This will also inspire your staff to be disciplined as well. Again, you are the leader and your employees not only look to you for guidance but for inspiration as well.

You can practice discipline by simply keeping appointments, showing up on meetings on time as well as ending them on time. On a personal level, you can develop this by getting up on time, committing to a weekly exercise routine and sticking to your diet. Little things like this can help you strengthen your discipline which you can then apply to on how you lead your organisation.

Keeping An Open Mind

What’s better than a good idea? An even better idea. Keep your mind open when in a meeting with your team. Do not feel threatened when someone has a better idea than yours. Embrace it and give it a chance to see how it works out. As I’ve mentioned before, the business world is always changing. New trends and methods are constantly being discovered on how to compete in the market. Keep on learning by being open to criticism and feedback.

Resolving Conflicts

An organisation is composed of people with different personalities. It is unavoidable that these different personalities will eventually clash with each other. Learn to resolve them by having personal meetings with the involved individuals. Do not ignore even small conflicts as this can worsen and will affect the company as a whole. If need be, you can re-assign them to different teams. Resolving conflicts will help you improve on how you deal with different types of people.

Characteristics Of Bad Leaders In Your Organisation That You Should Look Out For

By challenges, Blogpost, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities

One of your responsibilities as a leader is to look out for your team. As the leader, you are the driving force that motivates your team towards the company’s business goals. Achieving those goals will lead your company to growth and with growth comes the need for other leaders to help you manage your growing company. This is one of the realities that you will have to face when expanding your business. You cannot do everything alone. Even a small business needs people to manage the different aspects of the business. No matter how good you are, everybody has their limits and you are no exception. The sooner you understand that you need help managing your business, the sooner you will achieve your goals.

Hiring individuals to help you manage your team comes with a new set of challenges. One of them is unknowingly hiring bad leaders or leaders who develop bad habits over time. The damage that it can cause your company as a whole can be avoided or minimized if you are able to identify those characteristics as soon as possible.

Power Tripping

A good leader empowers not only those under him or his team but also others. A bad leader lets their position go to their heads. Instead of helping members of the team succeed they do the exact opposite – they boost their own self-worth at the expense of others. Leadership is about guiding and not exerting control over others.

Not Taking Accountability

Whether a project has a positive or negative outcome, a leader should always take responsibility. A good leader does not only take credit for positive results but also own up to negative results. It is easier to point fingers when a project does not go so well. The point is, bad leaders take the easy way out. Good leaders learn from bad experiences and make improvements in future projects.

Not Listening

I always stress the importance of communication when running a business. Think of your company as a team with a common goal. If there is no solid communication between the team members then progress towards your common goal would be painfully slow and inefficient. The leaders in your company should be the ones fostering open communication between themselves and their team. On the opposite end, bad leaders do not listen, do not give feedback or let others give their feedback.

Developing Leaders In Your Company

By Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

As your business grows, you need to hire new people to sustain that growth. You need to build new teams or departments to handle the specific areas of the business. The hiring process itself can be challenging. This is especially true if you are looking for leaders to manage the teams. The hiring process when it comes to looking for leaders or managers can be more tedious compared to the hiring process for regular employees. This is because managers have bigger responsibilities within the company. They are responsible for the people under them and have to answer to the people above them.

To save time and resources, one approach that you can take is to hire within the company. The ability to hire homegrown talent can give your company that competitive edge in the market. But you just can’t give anyone the responsibilities of a manager or a leader. Most employees are often promoted because of their excellent performance with their jobs and not their leadership skills. What I’m saying is – your top sales guy might not be a good leader.

Recognize Potential

Keep on the lookout for individuals who go the extra mile. Leaders want to see how far they can go. Push people out of their comfort zones and see who will stand out. Great leaders can adapt to any situation and would still succeed or make the best out of the given situation. Do not forget to observe beyond their job related skills. Observe their behaviours and attitudes. Do they have the right mindset to manage a team? Do their colleagues look to them for advice? How are their people skills? If you can see the potential then you are on your way to finding a homegrown leader.

Opportunities for Development

If you are looking to grow your business, having a leadership development plan as part of your strategy is a good idea. A leadership development plan does not only involve training but hands on experience. Giving out challenging tasks and rotating jobs can help develop skills, improve confidence and will give a deeper insight into your business and your business goals. Get this plan started as early as possible because you’ll never know when you might need someone to manage a team.

Coach

As a leader yourself, impart your knowledge, values and experiences to the potential leaders in your organisation. Since they are part of your company, that knowledge will not go to waste and would not only benefit them, but also your business. Think of this as another type of investment. But remember, as the leader and the business owner, live what you preach and be honest when interacting your team.

Mistakes In Corporate Team Building

By Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

A team building’s purpose is to improve trust within the team, increase communication, collaboration and motivate team members. This is one way for the team to just relax and relieve them of work-related stress. You must never forget that although your team is dedicated to their jobs they are still human beings who need a break every now and then.

Team building can also help foster friendships. Friendships within the team can help boost morale and performance within the team. A side effect of this is it builds trust, which is one of the goals of a well thought out team building. This trust can also extend to the manager or supervisor. Trust between the team and the one who manages it will help improve communications and in turn the performance. Improved communication will lead to better engagement. Better employee engagement will lead to reduced employee attrition. The point is, a well thought out team building has an overall positive impact in your organisation. You might already have some ideas for an awesome team building event but check out these things on what to avoid when planning a team building event.

Holding The Event In The Workplace

Holding the activity in the workplace is not a good idea. It beats one the purpose of the team building which is to relieve your staff of work related stress. Even if they are not doing any type of work during the activity, the workplace’s atmosphere can still give the impression to some of your employees that they are still working. It can be consciously or subconsciously. It can also come off as cheap and boring. Spice it up and go to a different venue. Anywhere but on-site.

No Goals In Mind

When planning a team building event, you must have a goal in mind. Think of one of the purposes of team building events. You can have activities centered around good communication or building trust. Maybe talk about your experiences with regards to the goal of the team building. As mentioned in one of my previous articles, spending resources on team building is like investing. Your company should be able to get something out of it in the future. A team building event without a goal is just a day off.

The Team Comes First

A team building event should be first and foremost, fun. Choose activities that cater to the members of the team. Maybe do a survey during the planning phase. Activities should be varied to cater to the different personalities of the team members. But do not forget that those activities should have a goal in mind.

Negative Team Culture To Watch Out For

By Blogpost, challenges, Food for thought, Goals, inspirations, Leadership, management, opportunities

A winning team culture can easily give your company that extra advantage over the competition. The team or corporate culture is one of the foundations of a strong business. This can greatly contribute on how fast you can achieve your goals or better yet, be a factor in your company’s longevity.

Take a look at today’s most successful and long running companies and examine their respective corporate cultures. You can probably see how similar their corporate team culture is to their brand image and the quality of their products. The corporate culture in one way or another reflects what the company’s image is.

A winning team culture is achievable by any organisation but does not come easy. A team culture is developed over time. It takes time, discipline and good leadership. A leader’s job is to encourage positive values and prevent negative ones. There are negative values that need to be stamped out before they can become deeply ingrained in your team.

Poor Communication

This is the easiest one to detect and is easily one of the most toxic. Poor communication goes against the very concept of a team. Communication between team members is essential if they are expected to work with each other to achieve their common goals. Poor communication stifles creativity and hinders great ideas from being implemented. This can also turn off high-performing members – causing them to quit and look for another company to work for. Give the team members the freedom to speak their minds. Encourage open communication but do not force. Just like any value you want to instill in the team culture, it takes time.

Micromanaging

Managing your team is indeed your job as the leader but do not overdo it. You hired these people because you are confident that they can do their jobs. This is what the hiring and the interview process is for. The fact that they are already employed means that you have already decided that they are the right people for the job at hand. Micromanaging can put your staff under unnecessary pressure and can stress yourself out. Whether it’s you or a person of managing position in your company, avoid micromanaging. Trust the team. Guide them but give them enough freedom to do what they do best.

Too Profit Focused

Ensuring that your company makes a profit is important but should not be the be-all and end-all. This can lead to aiming for short term results and focusing more on the bottom line. A profit focused culture can lead to poor employee engagement. Just like having a culture of poor communication, this can lead to individuals, possible high-performing individuals, leaving for another company. Strike for a good balance between profit and employee engagement. Remember, without employees, you cannot run a business.

Managing High-Performing Teams

By challenges, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, mindset, opportunities

You finally have the best of the best and have them working in the same team. You now have your go-to team for high priority tasks or projects. Your team can spearhead your organisation’s path to success. In short, you now have a high-performing team working for you. Having a high-performing team in a company is like having a Special Forces division in the military. These are the guys you go to if you want something done. As mentioned before, they are the best of the best.

Having a high-performing team in your organisation does not mean that you can go on auto-pilot mode. Teams are composed of people and not machines. People within an organisation still need to be managed by people one step above the corporate ladder. If you think about it, even machines need to be guided on how to effectively complete their tasks – but they are not as flexible as humans. As a leader, you might enjoy high productivity from high performing teams but you will also have the difficult task of dealing with varying attitudes from team members. There is also an issue with teams that follow their own rules. This is especially true with teams that have been working with each other for a long time. So how do you strike that balance between keeping the team in top form but at the same time have a semblance of managerial control?

Recognition

Give credit where credit is due. Recognize the team’s achievements. Even better, recognize individuals within the team that went one step beyond what is expected of them. Show everyone in the team how much you respect them and their work. This is after all, THE team in your organisation. Giving recognition not only boosts their morale but also serves as an inspiration to the rest of the company.

Accountability

One of the reasons why high-performing teams are able to achieve success is that they tend to do things their own way. Allow them to keep on doing what they do best, but make sure that they understand that it must be done within a reasonable time period and within the company budget. With this type of freedom, it is also important that they be held accountable for both successes and failures.

Balance

Challenge the team to think creatively but that creativity must be in service to the organisation’s mission and goals. Give them the freedom to choose which methods to go for but the objectives must be in line with the organisation’s goals.

Changing Your Team Culture for the Better

By challenges, Blogpost, Food for thought, habits, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

No company is perfect. Not even yours. There is always something to improve on. And that is a good thing. Those flaws keep you on your toes and if you have the right mindset for it and you love a good challenge every now and then, you can consider it as the fun part of running a business.

One aspect of the company that you can improve is the team culture. As I have mentioned in one of my previous articles, Building a Winning Team Culture, team culture is the sum of the beliefs, values and attitudes shared by the team members. Since a team is composed of different individuals with different personalities and attitudes, there is a tendency that bad habits will form overtime. It can start with one or two members and would then rub off onto their teammates thus becoming part of the team culture. If left unchecked, it can negatively affect the team and in turn your company. As the business owner, the challenge is to look out for these bad habits and change them. It is not easy to change a deeply ingrained habit in the team but it is never too late to change it.

Choosing What to Add or Change

Changing or adding a value in the existing team culture is a long process. It can take months or years depending on how deeply ingrained the value is. Since it can take a lot of time and effort, let’s make sure that those resources are not wasted. Carefully consider which value is worth adding or changing. Think how big of an impact it can make in the team. Ask yourself if adding or changing a value can come into conflict with some of the existing values in the team culture. Careful consideration and forward thinking are essential when making this decision.

Keep on Repeating

If you want a value to sink in to the team, you need to keep on repeating it. A team meeting is not the only way to remind the team, you can use different mediums to get the point across. You can use e-mail to talk about it or tell stories that are related to that value or habit. You can even build a company event around it. Be creative and fun when going about it. You may sound like a broken record, but you will achieve the results that you are aiming for.

Lead by Example

You are the leader and the team culture is not something that is posted on the wall or a fancy presentation. It’s your team’s core values and attitudes on how you face challenges. If you want the team to adopt a new value or remove an existing one, then you as the team leader should lead by example. Show them how you live by those values and how to apply them.

Qualities of a High-Performing Team

By challenges, Blogpost, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities

Recruiting the right people for your organisation is not the only thing that matters when running a business. Though it is one of the most important, you also need to evaluate your existing teams on how they are currently doing with their tasks.

Regularly evaluating team members can be beneficial especially if you have new business projects in mind and need a team to handle it. With a new project in the works, you could be tempted to recruit new people to handle the project. This is a tedious process which could cause setbacks with your existing projects. Through regular evaluations you would be able to determine if a certain team in your company can handle the new project. Not only does this save time in the recruitment process, you might not even need to recruit new employees. So before thinking of hiring new team members, look inside your own company. The team that you need could already be working for you.

Individual Strengths

A high-performing team is composed of different members with their own individual strengths. These qualities can be strategic thinking, smart decision making, creativity, organizational skills and excellent attention to detail, you name it. The best teams have enough talent diversity that when combined produce great results. It is your job as a leader to recognize these strengths and to take note of the results or what they have accomplished as a team. This would allow you to determine if that particular team can handle future special tasks for your company.

Team Trust

Members of a high-performing team trust each other. People in this team have a deep trust of each other’s abilities. They know that their teammates have what it takes to accomplish a given task and completely eliminates second guessing when faced with a challenge. They know that their colleagues are the best at what they do and would only need to worry about their own role in the team. A strong foundation of trust within the team also encourages the members to voice out if something needs to be attended to. This also allows them to freely bounce around ideas to help the team accomplish their goals.

Team Chemistry

A team might have the most talented members but if they don’t work well with each other, those talents are wasted. A high-performing team has a good team chemistry. Egos have no place in this team. Each member knows their weaknesses and have no problem asking for assistance. They are clear on how to work together and what their roles are. Every team member supports each other and work off each other. They have a clear understanding of what the plan is and what the goals are.

Common Mistakes with KPIs

By Blogpost, challenges, Goals, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose, Success

One common problem that business owners encounter is determining if their company’s current performance is on track with their long term business goals. They need to have some sort of data to show them if they are on the right track. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) become essential when running a business. This data will give you an idea how your company is doing in the areas that matter and if it is line with your future plans and goals for the business. Think of it as a measuring and planning tool for your business.

Just like everything in business, there are challenges and this includes setting up your business’ KPI. The challenge is finding right and meaningful measures. Without a well thought out KPI, it can become vague and useless – wasting time, effort and resources.

Generic KPIs

You might be tempted to use KPIs that are used by other companies with the idea that if it worked for them then it should work for you. This type of thinking is okay if it involves best business practices or brilliant business ideas but not with KPIs. Even if two companies are engaged in the same line of business, they are still different in some way. You might also adopt “off the shelf” KPIs that other companies use that worked for them. You are basically measuring something that may not have an impact in your own business. The problem with this is that they are generic and may not be a good fit for your strategy and goals. Come up with your own KPI that is in line with your current plans and you will see better results.

Linking KPIs to Incentives

Linking KPIs to bonuses or incentives has its advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it does make your employees work harder to achieve their targets and receive that sweet bonus. On the down side, it prevents the true purpose of the KPI. That is to let the team members know where they are in the company in relation to their goals. It stops being a compass and can be manipulated for personal monetary gains. Be careful when linking these two. Provide a good enough incentive but not too much that will encourage manipulation. Striking a good balance is the key.

Not Using Your KPIs

KPIs are valuable as they can provide facts that you can use when making business decisions. The biggest mistake that you can do with KPIs is not using them. You might have come up with the best designed KPI that fits in perfectly with your company’s plans and goals but if you are not acting based on the actual data then you just wasted a lot of time and effort. If you have the information, use them to your advantage.

The Benefits of a Good Team Building

By challenges, Goals, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose, Work Life Balance

For the past few articles we have been talking about hiring high performing team members, properly integrating new hires to the company, watching out for signs of problems with recently hired employees and others. These things are essential when running a company and growing your business. Once you have the right kind of talent working for you, it doesn’t mean that the work is over. You are still the leader and it is your responsibility to take care of those working under you. It is not just about making sure that they are doing their tasks to your standards but also making sure that they are mentally satisfied and to put it simply, happy with their jobs. A happy employee is more productive and has a lesser chance of being burnt out.

This is where team building comes into play. A team building event allows your team to just have fun and relax. Think of it as an investment – you will be spending money, but will be reaping the benefits from it in the future.

Trust Within the Team

Trust is very important within a team. But trust does not come easily amongst staff, especially in a big company or workplace. How can the team members work towards a common goal if there is no trust? There would be a lot of second guessing to the point that a project would go nowhere.

A team building event can encourage the team members to interact and get to know each other. They might not trust each other right away but it does build a good foundation in earning each other’s trust.

Better Teamwork

There is no “I’ in team. Big companies, especially successful companies rely on excellent teamwork in achieving company goals. It does not matter how good an individual is, he or she cannot do everything.

A team building event can encourage teamwork in your employees. There are others that are naturally good at teamwork while others find it challenging. This is an opportunity for the latter to see how it works. Who knows, you might find your next leader during these events.

Discovering Potential

Look from within your own workforce for talent before considering hiring from the outside. It is a good idea to watch out for talented individuals within your company and nurture them to become even better.

A team building event allows your employees to relax. And what usually happens when we are in a relaxed state? We tend to let our guards down. People show a different side to them that can be negative or positive. Keep an eye out for those positive things. You might discover a particular skill or attribute from someone that could greatly benefit the team.