1. Always give them a reasoned and thoughtful “Why” we do X.
2. Give them the opportunity to voice their views on what should be done, but be clear that when a decision is to be made, it’s the leader breaking any deadlocks.
3. Walk the fine line between Decisiveness and Open-to-Change.
1) Roll up your sleeves. Nothing inspires confidence and conviction among your team members more than seeing a leader play a role in even the little things. In the early days of a startup, that could be bringing packages to the post office, cleaning the kitchen, or answering the phone. But it shouldn’t stop even after you’ve grown.
2) Be transparent about your mistakes. Making mistakes comes with the job. Any job. Team members need to see leadership own up to mistakes so they can feel comfortable enough when they make their own to fix them and learn from them.
3) Listen to your team. Even the best leaders don’t know everything. And none of them see everything. Your team members are your eyes and ears. And when they know that you hear them, and that you will act on what you hear, they’re more engaged and more committed to the team’s mission.
Elad AmirDesign Cleaning Services - Founder & Managing Director
Treat everyone the same way you wish to be treated.
Never ask them to do something you wouldn’t like doing yourself!
Get your hands “dirty”. When I ask a team member to clean a toilet, I first show them how I clean one myself, step by step.
Richard ToyAuctus - CEO
The three things for me which all leaders should have in their locker
1. Always treat everyone with respect and dignity, no matter what the situation, you never know where they are going to end up, potentially working for your biggest client or being able to influence you in winning or retaining work. Good manners cost nothing.
2. Learn the art of delegation, recognise the things you are both good and not so good at, passing the not so good areas to people you can trust to deliver and who can see and believe in your vision. Always look to recruit people who are better than you, makes your life and workload so much easier.
3. Engage and listen, know your teams by their first name, send them an email on their birthday, say hello every morning, make them a tea or coffee every once in a while. By creating an open environment don’t be afraid to share information good and bad (to a degree), you want your staff on your side backing you up and you will get this if you are honest and upfront, ask for help when you need it and implement some of their ideas however small to show that you listen, they wont necessarily cost you anything in £££’s but you will get much more back.
Paul JaggardBabease Foods - Chief Operating Officer
Be a decent human being, this one quality alone will win the respect of many. Listen, really really listen. Leaders that open their ears fully stand more chance of leading in a style that works with their colleagues. Make the brave decisions. Too many leaders take too long, over analyse or simply sit on the fence.
To earn respect you need to treat everyone fairly and deal with issues quickly. Understanding issues and limits within your team is key to your team trusting and respecting you. Admitting when you have made a mistake or could have done something better allows your team to take risks without fear of the culture is one of no mistakes allowed, allowing you to provide constructive feedback and growth.
Set a vision; stick to it and make it realistic.
Communicate relentlessly – probably more than you think you need to.
Be transparent. Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself – as my headmaster used to tell me.
As the world moves to a remote working / Anywhere working model:
1. TRUST – just because you can’t see your workers doesn’t mean they are not working
2. LET THEM SEE SUNLIGHT – it does not make sense to lock your staff up inside all day so the majority of their lives are lived at night. Work should be about getting quality outputs completed on deadline. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is created, so long as your staff are contactable when they need to be and are producing great work. Let them work when it best suits their lifestyle. You will get more from them if they can see sunlight, their families and friends and be able to pursue their hobbies.
3. CHECK IN – set up a system for checking in on your staff so you stay connected. A daily 5 minute stand-up call so you understand their priorities and any barriers that you can support to get the work done. Set up a weekly report system which the send to you tracking their progress against their priorities. Listen before you speak so you understand what is going on with their work and lives.
Being a true leader means that you have the ability to inspire and you have the trust of your team to follow you and your instinct.
I heard it somewhere that leadership means that when you jump out of the trench you don’t need to look back to see is you team behind you.
That kind of trust and following is earned and never given.
1 – Lead by example
Be bold, be furious and work hard.
2 – Carry your team and your people with you
You have to understand each and every individual in your team. the way they work, what makes them click, what makes them pull out of their shell and express their best ideas, you have to motivate your team and your team needs to know that you are there for them any time they feel they need your help.
3 – Trust and respect
You have picked your team for a reason. Thats why you need to trust their judgement and respect their passion. You can argue your case against theirs, and they have to be free and argue theirs with the same passion and stubbornness.
I love our work passion infused arguments.
Frazer MackayPlastic Energy - Chief Operating Officer
1. Make decisions based on the information presented. – Constantly asking for more back up makes people feel that they are not trusted or empowered.
2. Respect people’s time. – Give them plenty of notice of meetings. Don’t demand that they fit around your diary. If they are earning money for the company, then their time is every bit as important as yours. Maybe more? Time is one of the things in life that you cant get back. Treat it as an investment… yours, theirs or both.
3. Be consistent. Be reasonable. Be fair. In other words, assume that you are constantly having to earn that respect.- Erratic behaviour destroys confidence. Unreasonable expectations destroy trust. Bias creates inequality.
Help them decide what not to do as much as what to do
Be clear and focused, don’t over complicate things
Communicate clearly and listen, “If you think you’re talking to an idiot, make sure they’re not doing the same”
The first is about commitment to the cause. As a leader, you have the options to adapt and or completely change the cause. Whatever it is you have to believe in it, or others won’t. People will see through a lack of commitment, and any company purpose will start to stumble.
Secondly, treat people with respect. I personally prefer kindness as well but that doesn’t suit everyone. If you treat people well and are open and honest with them, any good or bad news is received better. In these turbulent times, it has never been more true and we have all heard of circumstances where leaders have performed remarkably and ineptly in their dealings with their teams.
Lastly, recognition that everyone in the room has something to add. Disney has a concept called ‘plus-ing it up’, where at the end of discussion, anyone can pitch in ideas about making an agreed course of action a little bit better. I like the concept as it realises that good ideas and valuable contributions can come from anywhere. Creating an environment where everyone feels they have a voice builds respect for the leader but also for each other.
Be honest, be kind, be human. I sense we are entering a new age of collectivism following this great wake up call. Values will change as we re-assess our worlds. And people, not governments or big business, will be the beating heart of change for the better. Lead with humanity, pursue a purpose rather than profit and know that every person has a unique contribution to make.
Someone who is Motivational, Real & Values feedback from their team.
I am a firm believer that a good leader not only leads the team to success but learns from each and every individual so they can grow with their team.
Alicia DrummondTeen Tips - Founder
1. Set high standards but allow intelligent failure – when team members live in fear of making mistakes, the best ideas are lost and talent moves on
2. Listen to understand – team members who feel heard will feel valued which builds trust, respect and commitment
3. Appreciate the small things your team members get right to build confidence, loyalty and positive relationships
1. Engage them.
2. Listen to them.
3. If you agree, implement their ideas; if you don’t then explain your reasoning.
Dimitar DimitrovRossi Security - Operations Director
It is very simple to say it and hard to achieve it but for me is:
-set the standard with your actions, not with words
-admit when wrong, gets you a long way
-convince everyone that they work for themselves first, not for you
Be a listener – you are not the expert in most cases, so listen to your team and encourage them to roll with their ideas and solutions.
Be a servant leader – always ask what it is that is required of you to enable someone in your team to be successful, and make sure you follow through.
Be practical – when introducing something new to the team, do it yourself, learn what is required and take on the experience so you can appreciate the challenges your team will face.
1. Leadership is about listening – Listen to your teams, their experience, their ideas, their point of view, understand their pain – then do something about it
2. Be prepared to take tough decisions – they never get easier
3. Hire people who are better than you – better qualified, greater breadth of experience, greater potential, better in every sense. Don’t be afraid of great talent, if you are your company will diminish rather than grow
Favourite Quote – “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t ……………. you’re probably right!! – Henry Ford!
1. Let employees know they are doing a good job: It’s easy to focus on your own goals and ambitions and forget that the team you work with might not realise they are doing well. Everyone has an inner critic and a tiny bit of time taken out of your day to recognise individuals 121 goes such a long way.
2. Don’t loose your temper: I have witnessed many ‘managers’ or ‘bosses’ who completely lost their temper in front of their teams, staff or piers and the damage is irreparable. Raise concerns in an adult manor and process your own emotions before approaching any of your team.
3. Set an example: Be the person who you wanted as a manger/boss when you started out. In the creative industry there are a lot of bad managers, they are amazing creatives but when it comes to people they shouldn’t be in senior leading positions. Even though a lot of my experiences where negative, I walked away knowing what type of leader I DO NOT want to be.
1) Give freedom and flexibility, long gone are the days of micro-management! If you trust your staff show them!
2) Be available – have an open door policy so your staff can come to you for advice and guidance, be approachable!
3) Lead my example, be open and honest and role model what you expect from your staff and you will get this in return.
Check your ego at the door – Focus on the team and the company goals, stop worrying about getting the credit.
Be Trustworthy – By being open and honest and willing to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy way.
Be consistent – Your team should know exactly what to expect from you and you should be accountable for your actions.
Know your team – know their strengths and weaknesses, take advantage of their strengths and help them improve (or avoid) their weaknesses.
Get your hands dirty – do the work, learn new things, speak directly to customers/vendors. Knowledge and expertise bring respect
Be there – Be present, be approachable. be open and honest, encourage and accept criticism.
Listen , care , challenge! , these 3 things have really helped me develop and move forward as a leader not just in m Team but in the indutry as a whole. I care personally about what people feel and how they act , but also challenge directly where needed like any good leader or mentor, radical candour has really helped through my journey as a leader. People around you see that you care but your also there to challenge and help motivate , provide that outside opionon that can often make such a difference or the typical helipcopter view where instead of being so focused on one part you can see holistaically the bigger picture. As the Team can see that i care they also care back which i believe makes them care that they want to impress, support , change, or reflect with me and be together in the journey to reach our goals and constantly set new ones.
I would say, not in any particular order:
(1) Be consistent and lead by example: This covers a multitude of areas and behaviours.. Everything from treating your staff equally to simple things like turning up for meetings and calls on time. If a leader can’t do these things then it’s impossible to inspire and expect their staff to do so either. Likewise a leader doesn’t have to be the first in and last to leave, expecting their staff to do the same. Demonstrate a work/life balance and give your staff the opportunity to do the same.. This will show a level of compassion and respect for staff as individuals and enable a supportive work environment.
(2) Know your business: A leader doesn’t have to know each and every nut and bolt of the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of everyones job but they should know wha the business is all about in detail. Being able to demonstrate the goals and objectives of the business and the ‘why’ and how an individual and their works fits in with the company lets everyone feel comfortable in the knowledge that they’re a valuable player and that their contribution to the business is valued.
(3) Be available. Open door policies are great in principle but if as a leader you’re never ‘there’ then it’s just window dressing. As a leader, this doesn’t mean having to sit at your desk all day but what it does mean is that you have to engage regularly with your staff. Schedule group meetings every now and again, sure, but more importantly, do the rounds and walk around the office. Being seen and giving staff the opportunity to approach and have a chat outside the desk/office/meeting room environment often reaps more benefits that just sitting everyone down and delivering monologues..
1. Be transparent – Honesty is the best policy. When you’re transparent, you invite trust by revealing that you have nothing to hide. You establish yourself as an honest, credible person in the eyes of others. Share your vision, goals and thoughts with the team, they will feel valued and it will strengthen the workplace environment and culture.
2. Communicate and listen – This and the previous one go hand-in-hand. Lack of communication and lack of transparency can quickly erode a team’s trust for their leader. Communicate with your team, keep them informed about what’s going on in the organisation at every stage, this will build trust and honesty within the team. Listen and value each member in the team. If you let them know that their opinion is heard and valued, they will feel more comfortable to share their thoughts and feedback with you, which is essential for the growth of the business.
3. Acknowledge and inspire – Become an inspiration for the team, in the good and bad moments of the journey, by taking responsibility. Great leaders maintain a positive attitude in the face of difficulty, acting as an example of desired morale.One of the greatest things a leader can do to inspire a team to keep working hard is to provide feedback. Feedback doesn’t have to be in the form of criticism – constructive or otherwise. Recognise, acknowledge and reward those who have done a great job, this will motivate them to do better and keep going.
1. Be clear about how to achieve the vision – if you can’t, then it’s not a vision, but a hallucination
2. It’s good to be the dumbest person in the room if you’re surrounded by the smartest people you can find
3. Always be honest, but be kind with it
1. Stop thinking you need to be smartest person in the room. Often new leaders get to be leaders through having been just that, so it’s hard to adjust. Suddenly when you’re talking to someone success is not that they come away thinking you’re super smart, it’s they come away feeling they’re super smart.
2. It’s almost impossible to over-estimate the effects of what you say (or don’t way) will have. The seemingly most trivial thing can result in sleepless nights for your reports. This is another way of saying that you earn respect by showing respect, or that respect is commanded not demanded.
3. Do not shy away from difficult conversations. Your people will notice you doing this. You need to have acted with high integrity and shown respect for your people in order to have built up credit so that people will receive those difficult messages in a positive and constructive way.
Always treat people how you would like to be treated yourself, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and never take anyone for granted. Whatever the situation, empathy and understanding is important, even when you’re faced with tough decisions, own them and never ask a member of your team to do something that you wouldn’t do or haven’t done yourself. Equally, whatever your achievements, it’s a team game and recognise the contribution of your colleagues with every success.
Be seen – if you are leading a large organisation get out there and spend time talking to people. Smile and say hello to everyone. Structure this into your week. Drop into digital zoom-meetings to chat in the same way as you visit teams in person. Be seen MORE in troubled times, when difficult things are happening, being out there rather than hiding away earns respect, even if people don’t like what you are doing.
Be straight – Always try to create simple messages to guide your organisation through the complexity of the world. Give direct answers to things, say what you think, trust people to deal with the consequences of their questions, treat them like grown-ups. Choose your leadership messages, reinforce them over and over again, and link current action to those messages. If you speak simply people will want to listen and respect you for it.
Be someone – Bring the whole of yourself to work, you are probably a leader not because of what you do but because of who you are, so don’t hide some of it for your ‘private life’. Be confident enough to show your vulnerabilities, people will see you as an authentic leader, a whole person, respect you, and follow you.
A colleague once said to me, ‘The sign of a leader is when you jump out the trench and don’t need to turn around to know your team have followed’ and the only way that is achieved is through trust.
We pride ourselves on our culture and we boil it down to:
1. Nothing is beneath you. Status and Title means nothing in the trust equation and can actually be a barrier. I am always willing to try a task that i would expect from my team, I may not be the best at it as my job is to find the best people for the tasks we need but my mindset is always that I’m willing to try and learn from the ranks.
2. Ask stupid questions – BS is usually the sign of a gap in knowledge and as you become more senior, BS seems to be used more to hold status with peers than actually tying to lead. A stupid question is so powerful as it shows a remarkable level of comfort and trust in your own ability, showing your willing to admit not know something that others expect you to know breads a culture of integrity
3. Pull rank sparingly – My boss encourages all the managers in the business to think about when they need to exert authority much like a hand of cards and the more senior you are, the less cards you have. Every so often you need to show you are the boss and those moments must be felt by everyone, they need impact. The best impact is demonstrating your leadership qualities and not your knowledge of a minute technical detail – whether it is a tricky client others avoid, a rousing of the troops or the directive deadline people need to walk away thinking ‘that’s why I would follow them onto the battlefield’
Clarity – Have a very clear focussed vision about what do we want to achieve as a team. This vision should then be clarified and broken down to individual responsibilities for each team member along with defined KPIs.
Communication – Have transparent and honest conversations with your team. It may be difficult at times but always have very clear communication. Praise in public, provide feedback in private. Never put your employees down verbally – no matter what!
Credibility – Empower your team to make decisions and give them the due credit when a task/project is executed successfully. Instil the feeling of credibility every time they achieve something.
I’m a strong believer in respect being earned by your teams through transparency, strong communication and by listening to & understanding their career aspirations.
Transparency – by sharing your goals, thoughts and directions with your team, there becomes a clear shared sense of purpose, understanding and drive. Transparency will strengthen your workplace culture and help build trust, respect and value – company-wide.
More communication the better – communication is just as much about actively listening, as it is about talking. It builds clarity around what motivates and engages your team, but also allows you to understand what you can do as a manager to best support and help them. The more you can communicate with your team, the further your relationships will develop.
Listening & understanding career aspirations – having an understanding of where your team members career aspirations lay is important. Often it is listening to what their needs are and then assessing how you can help them get there, is what will earn respect and reinforce employee engagement.
1) Everyone is unique, so make them feel special. Like, really special. Bring out their strengths for the good of the team
2) Value every one of their contributions, and don’t dismiss ideas – this is the starting point of innovation and ultimately not only building respect as a leader, but creating tangible value in your organisation.
3) Be overwhelmingly generous
I Believe for leaders to gain respect from their teams, it boils down to, what I call, the 3 A’s:
Empower Teams with Authenticity
Leaders that have a solid understanding of their values are able to inspire teams by empowering and supporting them to challenge ideas and share insights. Successful leaders often develop a strategic vision around that shared knowledge.
Communicate with Adaptability
Knowing how to adapt your communication style for highly diverse teams is a crucial skill. This includes knowing how to listen to your team as well as knowing how to adapt your delivery of a message through different channels like emails, calls, Slack, Telegram, Whats App, etc.
Inspire Action with Assertiveness
Communication is key, yes, but assertiveness is what sets a high standard of communication between team members. By getting a point across with conviction, and harmonizing that with an underlying intention to inspire action, leaders can empower teams to become better communicators and in turn, gain more respect from their peers.
A leader should inspire their team through drive, energy and action by:
1. Ensuring they are nurtured and developed and share in the vision by getting a complete picture of the objectives and strategy of the organisation, which by being approachable and honest with them encourages effective two way dialogue.
2. Providing them the freedom to come up with ideas so that they have a voice and a level of autonomy as opposed to micro management so that they grow.
3. Giving them credit for their work and take responsibility when the chips are down as opposed to blaming subordinates.
Listen: Don’t get caught in a feedback bubble — you need people to believe they can give feedback and share ideas. Diversity of thinking and experience will generate understanding and results. Make sure everyone knows you are not just willing — but actually wanting — to listen.
Be Honest: It’s a leaders’ job to motivate the team, but you have to balance that with reality. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and help everyone on the team understand the challenges the business faces, as well as all divisions within the company. If you lose your credibility, it’s very difficult to get it back. Be as transparent as you can, make everyone feel trusted and part of the business.
Plan: You must have a plan, and one that everyone gets — from the most senior to the most junior person in the room. Flesh it out as much as possible, and get a good CFO involved, because cash flow and bad debt can kill even a great business. Plans can always be adjusted if the market lines up differently. But it’s important to have a plan, a direction that everyone can pull towards.
I could name a few things but what use are generic ideas when you are dealing with people? We aren’t machines, we are driven by aspirations, fears, passions and all the other complicated feelings that are thrown around in our blended brains.
True respect is built from mutual understanding.
The trick is to learn what your individual team members need YOU to understand, not the other way around.
Show them your understanding of their concerns, their dreams, their day to day world..
Listen, Watch, Learn… only then can you earn their respect.
1. remember the key word in the question is ‘earn’ – so listen, discuss, decide and then, crucially DO.
2. Be consistent
3. Over-invest in communications – deciding how, when, what, where and with whom you communicate IS the job.
1. Treat people as people – it sounds obvious, but if you treat people how you would like to be treated, then you rarely have to refer to the HR rules, even for some of the hardest decisions. Communicate every unpleasant decision yourself – never leave it to others!
2. Make decisions – being decisive, and sometimes getting it wrong, is far better than delaying decisions because you’re worried about making a mistake. And the more decisions you make, the more you will learn from their outcomes.
3. Live your business values – be the embodiment of what your business stands for. That sets the direction for everybody.
You will never be respected by everybody. Respect does not guarantee success, success does not guarantee respect. Rather than worrying about earning the respect of your colleagues, concern yourself with your team’s success, personal growth and camaraderie—the rest will follow.
If a team is failing to reach their goals, the people will lose trust in their leader and want to exchange them for someone they feel can lead them to both collective and personal prosperity.
Nurture your team—recognize their talents, recognize their shortcomings, work with them to make the most of what they have. Respect cannot be forced, respect is a by-product of being a successful leader. Respect is deserved.
1. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. This is massively important as it’s inevitable leadership will not always make the right decision. Transparency with the entire team regarding mistakes helps everyone realize they shouldn’t be afraid to admit mistakes either – the key is learning from them.
2. Over communicate. This is especially true right now with teams working remotely and not having the in-person meetings or ad hoc conversations we are all used to working in an office. Even if messages are repeated, it’s so important to ensure everyone on the team is aware of company goals, progress, opportunities and performance.
3. Live up to company values and show support for local, national and international organizations that provide essential work to help others. Being a successful company is not just a matter of growing revenues and turning a profit, it’s equally important to use your platform to do good. Taking an active role and contributing to society is increasingly important for team members and potential hires, clients and customers.
1.) Try to always lead with integrity and a people first mindset. If your teams don’t feel you put them first and genuinely care about their well being you will always struggle to gain and retain their respect.
2.) Stay Humble…never lose sight of the leader that “the younger version of you” wanted you to be and would be proud of you becoming. It’s human to make mistakes and get things wrong, but its vital that you own these mistakes and show that you will learn from them so you can make stronger decisions for your teams in the future.
3.) Don’t shy away from making the tough calls, but always ensure you demonstrate compassion and integrity when communicating these decisions…above all be honest and heartfelt, in my opinion its this sort of leader that people want to follow and can respect.
Being clear and honest and empathic with your teams, where you create an authentic relationship with people.
Value Diversity of genders, sexualities, ages, class, ability etc.. Be aware of one’s own power and privilege and listen to and amplify the voices of more marginalised people. A diverse team is a strong team.
Listen to ideas, be willing to be flexible and adapt to incorporate fresh ideas from the team
Listen, understand their challenges – resentment comes from the sense of not being heard. You do not need to have all the answers but instead work the problems with your team to find the solution.
Be honest, with their mistakes, your mistakes, and the shared success. There should be a sense of being in it together.
Most important, build the right team to start with! Yes, staff need skills and hire people who are more skilled than yourself (how else will you grow?). But just as important, hire people with the right values and energy – a bad hire will suck the life from a team.
As a supplied of global technical resource, we have multiple service teams in many different countries, and many different cultures, and we like them to feel they are all part of the ORION family, so the three things that earn the respect of our teams, are
1) Make them feel that they belong, not a fragmented team or a team of individuals.
2) Let them enjoy the job, try and stimulate them, no micro management, be fair with them, encourage communication.
3) Be approachable, communicate regularly with the teams, make time to talk to them, lets face it, it can be a lonely old job on a 24 x 7 x 365 service centre call desk, a simple, “how are you all doing”, goes a long way.
I would include a few other things that we maybe we all take for granted, this includes giving them honesty and trust, I try to talk all members of the teams, and encourage them, ask them how they feel, do they have any problems, I have an open door policy, they know I will always speak to them,
another point that I learnt years ago is to ask myself “how would I like to be treated in this situation” its amazing sometimes the answers I get back.
1. Be Visionary – have a very clear sense of purpose for the business and always communicate it to everyone. Everyone needs to know where they are heading and why they are there
2. Keep Nurturing – your talent is all you are so make sure they are constantly developed and you always consider their mental health and ensure they are diverse as possible
3. Be Vulnerable – you do not need to know everything or be perfect all the time. You are only human after all
Albert Einstein’s definition of madness, was to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. So if you’re not getting the results you need, it’s time to look at the way you’re doing things. Change, innovate and lead by example. If not now, when?
1. Be present and approachable – Always be there for your teams. No matter how small the issue may appear to you, it’s a big issue for them as otherwise they wouldn’t come to you.
2. Be consistent – It’s important that the team know what to expect from you. Being a family business for 29 years has given us a culture that we are proud of and longevity of staff. We value their input.
3. Have fun – Mortgages can be a dull subject! So we encourage the team to have fun, it’s important people enjoy coming to work. A number of our team have been with us for 10+ years and the buzz in the office every day shows me a happy and engaged team. It makes me smile, but I never take this for granted.
Lead from the front – Have a clear vision and plan and demonstrate your deep personal commitment to it. Things won’t always go according to plan (see Covid 19…) and you need to show that you will work with the team to find solutions and make the difficult decisions.
Show trust and respect – You should have lots of people in your team who are more experienced than you about many things. Respect their experience, trust them to do their jobs, support them when they ask you for help and celebrate them when they have successes. Don’t be afraid to challenge if things don’t seem to be going in the right direction, but understand it from their perspective first.
Communicate often and honestly – Be present and keep people in the loop on how things are going. Be as transparent as possible, recognising that some things need to be released at the appropriate time. If you don’t know the answers – be open about it. Don’t be afraid to show some vulnerability – it can be a very positive thing to do if done with complete honesty. And if you say you’re going to do something – Do it and communicate about it (especially if you can’t do it in the original time-frame)!
1. Be agile. Conditions – business, social and economic can all change overnight, as we have witnessed this year, so rather than hunkering down and hoping for the best, evaluate the situation and identify new opportunities that may arise. Don’t be afraid to pivot if it makes sense; you’re not compromising your vision, but rather moulding it to fit the present conditions. Taking the time to explain your rationale to your team ensures they will get behind you.
2. Always have faith and belief in what you are doing. Hesitation and uncertainty can compromise judgement. If you have doubts, bring in people whose experiences and opinions you trust and brainstorm with them. 2 heads are ALWAYS better than one. If you don’t have faith in your decision-making then how can you expect your team to?
3. When a major decision needs to be made, and you have finalised your choice, sleep on it if you have the time to do so. And never, ever make a decision after waking up in the middle of the night with a ‘Eureka’ moment. Sleep on that too, and evaluate its validity in the morning.
1/ Lead from the front and always be honest and straight talking. Do not ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself unless you can openly admit you can’t do it!
2/ Instil positivity and a “can do” approach to build confidence and belief. Reign in the big characters and position their energy to build up everyone in the team.
3/ Make your goal helping someone to reach theirs. Building a successful company generally requires a huge range of skills from cleaner to executive. Always give every person in your team the same level of rights and respect.
1: Turn the org-tree upside down. Too often those parts of business that want you to report stuff tend to see themselves as internal customers and can be very demanding. I consider myself, my senior team and all those parts of the business that need data and information to all be acting in support of the teams and indivduals that actually deliver our value to our customers. It turns ego on its head and helps really focus respect the right way.
2: Respect capability over seniority. The value individuals bring comes in many forms. Don’t over-emphasise management skills when you have people with the deep knowledge you need to provide your uniqueness. Of course you can’t really get anywhere, as an organisation, without being good with people; managers, in that respect, can be ‘force multipliers’. But really valuing and respecting the hard work, experience and creativity in people cuts through unnecessary layers and builds stronger teams.
3: Humility and tenacity in the right measure. Being able to accept your shortcomings, failings and blatant mistakes and then having the mental toughness to respond well to it: improve yourself, implement a change, plan a new direction even admit defeat and kill a failing project. It all comes from being open to criticism, being willing to learn and being prepared to put the work in!
From my personal experience I believe there are three key elements to gaining credibility from your team;
1. The leader implements clear actions which evidences that they prioritise the safety and personal wellbeing of each team member.
2. The leader is seen to be listening to their team, actively addressing concerns and ensuring accountability across the company.
3. The leader is seen to be implementing and communicating logical and transparent strategical operative processes.
– Have a plan and share it. This plan needs to ensure you’re looking after your current clients, attracting new clients and will ultimately help the business grow. Ensure everyone is on the same mission so the team can pull together and understand ‘why’ things are happening. People want to be in the know rather than feeling like they’re a cog in a larger wheel.
– Be a team player i.e. not being above the team just due to the title. The team are more important than any one individual. Be human and be a representation of them as an individual. Get rid of all the management and professional speak unless it’s really necessary and make work-life an extension of your day-to-day life where possible. Always keep front of mind that we’re all human and deserve respect.
– Don’t be a dick (dictator in continuous kneed) i.e. someone that is constantly asking for same things just in different ways and therefore stopping their team from doing their job. Be consistent with communication (say what they do, do what they say) and really think about what you need from people rather than just thinking out loud.
In the ideal world knowledge and experience should always be appreciated, but in the real world we have ego’s, a set way of doing things and change is a major thing! As intelligent competent people they should feel confident in their actions, being able to deliver on their individual role and responsibilities. Micro management leaves people feeling undermined, devalued and mistrusted. So to earn respect you should:
1. Allow people to grow and flourish, encouraging them to give their opinion.
2. Build and support confidence
3. Say thank you!
In these uncertain times as we wait to see which businesses rise from the ashes of lock down and social distancing, many business leaders are facing the toughest challenges of their careers. We know a deep recession is already gathering pace in an environment where many businesses are still unable to trade, with global unemployment growing exponentially and company failures increasing daily. Unless your business is one of the lucky few that will thrive in the new world order, hard decisions need to be made and made NOW.
1. Accept that remote working must be a personal choice. We do not have the right to force our people to commute and put their life at risk so implement the necessary infrastructure for this to work well.
2. Build you business plans on your best (and conservative) assumptions of the resources you will need to meet the new level of demand and take the decision on the staff you can afford to service it. Then cut your costs now to conserve cash. Do not make the mistake of “wait and see” as you risk the entire business failing. The staff you retain will be grateful for the clarity, the increased security and the decisive actions taken.
3. Honesty, clarity and great communication are the best policies. Many businesses will struggle, so having everyone on board, with clear objectives and pulling in the same direction is essential to win through to the post recession grasslands beyond.
1. Accountability: As a leader you need to demonstrate this and empower your team to do the same – setting clear goals is key.
2. Celebrate success: No matter what the size of the achievement is celebrating success makes the individual and team feel good and so building trust in the leader and each other.
3. Be human: Show empathy, have a laugh with your team, be firm but fair when needed and be truthful. If we all enjoy working together, knowing there are no ‘hidden agendas’ there will be greater productivity and collaboration.
1) Lead by Example – Show what you require / are aiming for by practical demonstration. If you can’t do it, how can you expect them to do it.
2) Keep it Simple – Focus on simplifying your terminology and key messaging. If someone joins the team / looks at your offering for the first time, will they get what you require / do?
3) Never be afraid to ask for help – No one gets there without asking for help. It lets your people know that you are constantly learning, but if that lesson can then be channeled into winning a new account / progressing the business, your team see first hand how a lesson learned can be used to good effect. It is also a good way to engage someone who is a little stand-offish..shy and help them build confidence.
These are the three things that have worked well for me are:
1. Be open and transparent about situations, sometimes it’s not all pretty, but when you let your team in on what’s going on, and if you are sincere about it, they will genuinely help you. Most of the time, your team will understand and do their best to work with you to get through the good and bad times.
2. When things get tough and rough, don’t sit on your high chair and bark out orders, you have to get into the trenches, roll up your sleeves and support your team. They will respect you more because you don’t have to do that, but you did it anyway.
3. Praise openly, reprimand privately; this should have been the first. No one likes to be embarrassed publicly, especially in front of peers. However, most people want to be recognised especially in front of their peers.
I firmly believe that if you keep to these three things, you will earn the respect of your team and they will fight your corner, every time.
Never underestimate the importance of having good finance input to the business – no matter how good the ideas are you need to understand the key financial metrics of the business, raise finance etc.
Cash is king – don’t be mislead into a false sense of security just because the P&L says you are making a profit. Understand how it is critical to monitor and manage cash.
The most difficult challenge is finding good people, so give that activity real focus and attention and time.
Teams are made up of a mixture of natural leaders, followers, creatives and doers. It’s almost impossible to be in sync with everyone in your team. There will be people who love you, people who resent you, people who are inspired by you and people who think they can do better than you. With that in mind here are the 3 things:
1. Accept what I’ve written above. It is fact. Too many people are worried about being liked or loved and fearful of being disliked. Do your best by the team as a whole and not that one dissenting voice that always pipes up.
2. Always put your team first, even before customers. Customers will come and go according to their own selfish needs, a happy team that stays a long time is what produces high quality and a sustainable, successful business.
3. Never ask anyone to do something you aren’t prepared to do yourself. Got a tight deadline and your team will be working late? Be there with them, show your appreciation and show them you will be in the trenches with them.
If you want the respect of your colleagues
Firstly, let your colleagues be themselves
Secondly, be yourself
If you want them to respect you, you have to respect them. This mutuality comes about by trust in each other. Trust comes from spending time together to get to know each other.
Everyone knows something you don’t, so everyone is worth listening to, everyone has a story to tell that you can learn from if you are prepared to be patient, listen and be kind and want to learn.
When you want to manage your team treat them as individuals drawing on their individual skills and strengths, when you want to be a leader treat everyone the same by drawing on their common desires and a common purpose.
Engagement: Consult, listen, act decisively and transparently on what you learn
Diversity: Value and unite differences, promote equity, empower creativity
Trust: Grow aspirations whilst keeping all promises, operate an open and relaxed environment
1. People aren’t robots. Respect their needs. They’ll all have mini-meltdowns at one point or another – even if they appear to be outwardly coping. It can be something major like the loss of a loved-one, family sickness, car issues, mental health issues etc. This means greater flexibility and trust so…. “Give employees the time they need to be able to cope with what else life throws at them outside of work – and they’ll normally work even harder for you, by way of thanks. Ultimately we all respect people who have respected our needs”.
2. It’s not all about profit. When you receive a sales call, treat everyone like family in terms of helping them. Don’t try to push for a high-end sale – but use your knowledge to recommend the best path for your customer. It’s how you’d want a business to treat you and your family if you needed their specialist help and advice. This kind of company ethos of ‘caring’ passes down to employees and there is a sense of happiness and wellbeing in a workplace which focuses more on helping people, rather than blindly hitting sales targets. So…”Foster customer-caring as a focal point of sales – this builds a caring attitude in the workplace and a happier workforce, and it also engages customers to buy from a trustworthy source. People like working for a company where honesty and helpfulness rules versus hitting sales targets. It helps to engender respect when you control the direction of the company ethos”.
3. Be open to your team’s ideas and always give credit where credit is due. As MD’s we often make many of the key decisions but you should ask your team for ideas as it helps engage them further. Everyone likes to feel important. So…”Ask your team for ideas and be clear their ideas are important – be sure you always give credit where it’s due …nothing embitters an employee more if they aren’t listened to or if their great idea is stolen and not credited back to them. Taking part in company strategy/ideas/direction makes your team feel both important and valued”.
We might be leaders and entrepreneurs, but we have to accept we can’t know everything. I think it’s vital for leaders to know their weaknesses and select their team with the strengths to support that. It makes for an all-round great team and one that can tackle any issues that arise or any challenges to the business, no matter how tough. Whilst we all run businesses to make a profit, I’m acutely aware that any poor decisions I make can put the earnings of my team and their ability to provide for their families at risk; we should all make sure we remind ourselves of that and make sure our staff are our top priority. Lastly, if three suggestions is all I can have, I’ve learned over the years that I don’t always have to be the strongest, aloof leader, distancing myself from the workforce; of course I need to have focus and strength and lead my team, but I need to work with my team in an honest and forthright way. We’re all people; we’re all in this together (particularly now during the Covid 19 impact on business!) and I’ll never cease to be amazed at what my team can achieve when we pull together.
Leaders should begin with empathy. The psychologist William James said ‘the greatest human need is to be appreciated and understood’. Treat each person as an individual, taking the time to understand their unique challenges and work with them to establish meaningful goals. Never has this been more true than during the Coronavirus lockdown. Leaders can lose a lot of respect by making generalisations, e.g. ‘now we’ve all got more time on our hands…’, which, for many, are just not true.
Second, leaders earn respect when they communicate clearly. Good news, bad news, vision for the future – whatever the content make sure the message is honest, definitive and easily understood.
Third, share solutions and invite the team to do likewise. Create a positive, can-do environment based on practical, realistic steps towards creating the best possible future. However bleak the current situation may be, leaders galvanise people to take positive action.
1) In the current moment recognize that your employees who are WFH have competing pressures of home and family. Be available, be human and be flexible and acknowledge the inevitable uncertainty.
2) Bring clarity of purpose to the organisation, and reinforce its values and relevance to addressing pandemic needs. Ozo’s Pandemic Priorities are: 1) Keep our staff safe; 2) Protect our Business; 3) Use our knowledge of disinfection and infection control to protect others.
3) Be open to answering your employees questions, and truthful about the things that you can control and influence and factors that you can not.
1. Be the first to pick up a bit of rubbish off the floor, be the first to vacuum the floor, be the first to wash someone else tea cup = If you can do it, they can do it. Lead by example. Practice what you preach.
2. Be inquisitive, and train inquisitiveness to all the team. Its a golden quality in business. Try to ask a question from an answer. Fully understand a statement/view, and if you don’t, then ask another question, and another until you feel you have 100% “got it”!
3. Get to know all your team. Have “normal” non business conversations with them. Without prying but by showing interest, get to know their life and family outside the workplace. Be empathetic, but always show leadership qualities when required. Be fair, be firm. Strive to be considered a good boss with high standards.
1. Lead by example – demonstrate the behaviour you want to see in your team and make everyone, including yourself, accountable.
2. Get your hands dirty – delegating is important but once in a while do pick up the mundane tasks that no-one wants to.
3. Don’t try to hide it when you’re wrong – if you’ve made a mistake, acknowledge it and if needed apologies for it, no-one’s perfect not even you so don’t act as if you were.
Firstly, in order to gain respect you need to show respect, be part of the team but not too close. Open door is fine but walking onto the factory floor counts for a lot more.
You should never ask anyone to do something you would no be prepared to do you self, be authentic and trustworthy
Have vision and set a clear direction but give your team the respect, power and authority to do the job in hand and allow them to grow. You job is to develop them to a level where they can take over you roll.
While Takind ownership and giving feedback where required and celebrate achievement.
All of this requires patience tolerance and Understanding.
1. Provide a clear vision based on demonstrably great values motivating creative and constructive energy in all team memebers.
2. Encourage and listen to constructive feedback from all team members (and identify and deal with negative feedback quickly, appropriately and decisively).
3. Demonstrate, and motivate in others, a relentless desire to move the company forwards towards creating ever-greater value for clients/customers or patients.
1. Straight talking – if bad news needs to be communicated do it sooner rather than later.
2. Clear vision – do not get deflected or distracted from your ultimate goals.
3. Strong, but fair leadership – build a strong team around you and encourage their skills and abilities to run the day to day business whilst allowing you to look at the business as a whole.
The top three things that I could share are:
1. Have a vision, understand your WHY? Describe it to people. communicate it verbally, visually and practically through the way in which you conduct your duties, the way in which you talk and they way that you present yourself/work. believe your vision, at times you will be side tracked… however never lose sight.
2. Know your business throughout, not just your role! It will help you lead when others dither, it will empower you to make clear decisions based on data and enable you to track progression. Understand each aspect… take time to understand people, understand the process, understand the procedures… and listen! Use that knowledge to forge progression whilst also assisting others in your team/business to simplify there work, simplify their thinking and simplify their efforts.
3. Be bold! Most say… What can go wrong? I say… What cannot be put right! Having your vision and applied with the knowledge gained, whilst also being driven by your passion will enable you to naturally make the right choices. Don’t be afraid of making the wrong decision, no decision is far worse than a bad decision… remember that things can always be put right, if not put back, in essence this is part of the learning curve… never blame! This way of working will build trust with those around, which in turn increases motivation, positivity and one of the most desired human necessities… a sense of achievement.
Give a damn – care deeply and passionately about every one of your team, nurture and develop them, always…
Be trustworthy – keep your promises, forget nothing, be dependable…
Be a leader – create direction and momentum, move fast…
Facilitate an environment of trust, consistency and respect whereby all involved in your business can contribute their ideas and concerns openly and transparently to the process of reflection, development and growth that enables teams to work with confidence and enjoyment to develop others, themselves and the Vision for the business.
Hear the experience of teams or individuals within teams and support them to seek appropriate responses and solutions to work challenges and curve balls that undoubtedly arise within the context of their work.
Encourage leaders to create a culture of recognition of the input of teams and the individuals within teams.
In the modern workplace EQ is increasingly ranking alongside IQ when working with colleagues. It’s more and more important to remember to lead people and manage process.
The key three things I’ve learned both as a leader, and a team member, when it comes to earning respect are:
1. Be loyal with credit. Noone likes a boss who takes your work, substitutes your name for theirs, and takes the glory. When one of your team succeeds call it out, and not just in your department but wider. People deserve to be noticed and it will strengthen you, not weaken you, as a leader.
2. Be willing to change your mind. If you make a decision and someone challenges it with data to show a better solution, that’s a positive. It means your team understand you acknowledge the right answer over your answer, and they will be more willing to work with you and support you as a result.
3. Care. It’s a simple one but a genuine interest in people will build more cohesion than any amount of bonuses or forced bonding can ever do. Caring about your colleagues’ success and helping them to achieve will earn respect and loyalty more than anything else. Remember though, people can spot self-interest masquerading as concern for them a mile away.
There are many qualities that add up to being a good leader. But as a top 3, here are my suggestions:
1. Be open and honest, admit when you’re wrong, it happens.
2. Give people room to find their own way, even if it might result in a slower process.
3. Roll your sleeves up when needed, don’t feel that it might somehow lessen respect, it will do the opposite.
1. It is very important to make sure that your team are comfortable, healthy, and happy working for your institutions, this will automatically earn you the teams respect.
2. Listen more than you talk and always give and ask for honest feedback.
3. Choose your words wisely and build respect in to the way you communicate.
1) Being honest with your team through the good and the bad.
2) Especially in a SME, everyone needs to muck in and that includes the leadership team
3) Be fair – one rule of them is also the rule for you. If you offer 30 days holiday then you should only take 30 days holiday also etc.
1) Work for & alongside the team so that you are seen and treated as an equal. No one likes to have work dictated to them from a throne. People tend to work better when they know you are in the trenches with them.
2) Put teams well being ahead of bottom line profits. When you have a happy and balanced team the output and bottom line will follow naturally.
3) Share openly with your team. Too many firms keep everything confidential. When you share as a leadership team with your team, it is funny how much more trust and confidence you will generate.
1. Be inspiring.
All leaders should be passionate in what they do and inspire others through their actions. Even when the going gets tough, they should always be optimistic and lead and others will naturally follow.
2. Show compassion.
When the going does get tough (as it always does), let your experience and wisdom guide others through those challenges. Never doubt your experience or underplay it as it’s your most valuable asset so use it to help guide and shape others around you.
3. Take responsibility.
Projects don’t always go to plan but remember that there’s always a solution but only if you take the project on head first. Don’t be shy and expect others to find the solution. Leaders are always the first in so be courageous and take charge!
1). Show passion in everything you do – passion breeds passion and if teams witness passion for projects, clients or general work from the top, this will be bred into their work and general outlook.
2). Accountability – accepting full accountability is essential. Accept accountability when things go wrong and share it with your team when things go right.
3). Delegation – it’s crucial to realise what you are good at and what you are not good at. Stick to what you are good at (generally what put you in the position you are in) and delegate other tasks to team members who have a more suited skillset.
1. Share your vision for the business with enthusiasm and energy. Communication is key – if everyone know’s what they’re working towards, you’ll all be on track to deliver the outcome.
2. Mentor and empower your team. Trust them to deliver and always recognise their achievements – this drives their confidence and a willingness to always deliver.
3. Listen. Give your team the confidence to offer their opinion – it makes them feel valued, listened to and respected – which ultimately improves morale.
1) Be Omnipresent: Show that you care by being visible and interested in all levels of the business as much as possible. 2) Delgate: Don’t be afraid to give team members highly responsible tasks; showing you trust them will give them greater confidence. 3) Accept When you are Wrong: When things go wrong, accept your failures and show humility to your team.
1. Lead by example. Don’t expect others to do what you wouldn’t do yourself. It can be powerful to work alongside the team to show them how you would approach a particular situation and gain their respect at the same time.
2. Dont micro manage. Give individuals and the team a clear direction and brief and let them know they can get your help if they need it. Then let them get on with it! If it goes wrong and there are criticisms from elsewhere, take the blame. Always back your team members openly to others. They will follow you and learn from you.
3. Listen and learn. Be aware of yourself and others. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Play to individual strengths and continuously assess and develop skills and knowledge gaps. Know how your behaviours can impact on others and modify yours to get the best from your team.
1) Say thank you, the reaction far outweighs the cost, I promise.
2) Learn to make decisions quickly and consistently. Too often leaders can’t pull the trigger in an information vacuum and an inert leader doesn’t inspire any confidence.
3) Come down from that ivory tower every now and then and muck in, it will keep you sharp, but more importantly, it will give you a flavour of what it’s like to be a team member under your own leadership.