6 things a great business leader does every day
If the road to success came with accurate directions Forbes Rich List would be gridlocked. Quite simply, there is no tried and true 'Do this, do that, then do that' formula for business success.
Every company has its own unique set of opportunities and challenges; every workforce has its share of dynamos and duds. Yet there are a few things great business leaders have in common in their day-to-day rituals. This is by no means a definitive list, but these six suggestions should at least set your success Sat Nav with the right basic calibrations.
Keep an ear on your peers
Great business leaders first become great listeners. You know what you think and believe already, so spend more time listening than talking and amend what you think and believe accordingly.
Leave obstinacy and autonomy to male drivers refusing to read maps or ask directions. Get a good set of navigators around you and drive your business by consensus and accumulated commonsense.
Win wars before they start
Internal conflicts are land mines on the path to success, so diffuse them before they take hold. Great business leaders aren't afraid to make the tough calls. If those tough calls involve disruptive or dysfunctional elements within your business culture, take action.
It may not be pretty, but if done in a dignified manner, your staff will thank you for it and respect you more as a leader with spine.
Think big, stay small
Great business leaders don't cut a blinkered path between their walnut desk and drinks cabinet; they spend more time out of their office than in it. They stay in touch with the day-to-day workings of their business, assessing people, products and performance. Great business leaders remain humble and human and never stop taking the daily snapshots that make up their big picture.
Lead by example
Perform as you want others to perform and don't just invite them to follow your lead, expect them to. Having high expectations of staff is empowering if that expectation is expressed as belief in their ability.
Don't pigeonhole performances
Great leaders don't just fill jobs to make up a staff roster; they match strengths to make a genuine workforce. Put the right people in the right jobs, not the right CV with the right job description. A less qualified candidate may be a far better fit due to some other trait or talent. So don't pigeonhole your staff; have a free range attitude to recruitment and promotion.
Make one-on-ones your number one priority
Have regular one-on-one meetings with all your managers and senior staff. And regular means diarised dates and times, preferably weekly. These informal chats may be the most important thing you do as they are a highlights (and low lights) reel of your business at every level and the perfect chance to smooth out any rough edges both professionally and personally.