3. Lead So That Others Want to Follow You
Poor or no leadership ability was identified as one of the big problems facing many of the respondents.
They all realise either by experience or by observing other businesses, that some form of leadership skill was a necessary part of their trusted business solutions toolkit.
However, most business people said that they were frustrated with the theoretical BS that is widely available in the name of leadership. They want practical leadership steps, strategies and tools that they can use to get results which will last.
I agree entirely because in reality, leadership occurs in a specific context and in a particular environment. For small businesses, the circumstances which require effective leadership skills are constantly changing and owners must be able to respond appropriately.
The one thing you can do right now that will revolutionise your leadership is to be able to recognize the type of team you are leading.
2 types of teams you might have to lead…
To explain this I rely on Kevin Eikenberry’s concept of teams, a view which I support whole-heartedly. He advances the argument that there are basically two types of teams – a basketball (hockey, football, netball) team and a track and field team.
The “basketball” team operates as a single unit. In this unit, the position you hold on the team does not matter. Its success requires you to be flexible and be able to perform any or many roles on that team at a moment’s notice.
The players depend on each other, acutely aware that goals are reached and success achieved only when they are working together.
On the other hand there’s the “track and field” team. The members on this team represent the same club or organisation and in this regard can be considered a team, but they really operate independently of each other.
What this means is, that if enough of the team members perform at a high level the team will win. But the actions of the sprinter is not dependent on those of the high jumper and neither is hers dependent on those of the cyclist.
What does all this mean to you?
Both types of teams can exist in your small business at the same time…and that’s okay. Your mission, should you accept, is to recognize which type of team, or even if both types exist in your small business, and how to deal with each team.
When you get this right, learning and applying the appropriate leadership skills to your business improves your productivity, enhances the closeness of the team and results in fully engaged employees. In the fastest time.
Leadership should indeed be in your trusted business solutions toolkit but…don’t rush to implement any old form of leadership.
Understand your business, the team you have acquired or you have inherited and find a form of leadership that will be right for you.