Leadership: Getting Back To Basics

“Some people are born leaders” – it’s a saying we've all heard before and it’s true. Some people have a natural flair for leadership.  However even those natural leaders can still find themselves developing poor leadership habits.  Everyone comes to a time where they need a refresher in leadership and getting back to basics.

Clichés are clichés for a reason

They may be dusty old sayings but clichés can still act as valuable reminders of how we should conduct ourselves as leaders; whether that is as leaders in business, families or life in general.

Fish rot from the head

Indeed they do.  Teams and businesses fail because of poor leadership.  Statistics prove that people are more motivated to leave their job because of poor management than because of the job itself.  If you have a poor team culture or demotivated employees, the onus falls on the management and leadership of the team. 

Don’t ask of anyone what you won’t do yourself

 Leaders or people in management positions can often feel a false sense of entitlement or that they are superior to their team and deserve special treatment or exceptions.  Do not excuse yourself from the rules!  If you behave the way you want your team to behave, they will follow suit.  If you want your staff to be on time, make sure you’re the first one there.  Show your staff you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get work done; no matter what the job.

All for one and one for all

It is amazing to see how much trust people will put in you if you put trust in them.  By supporting your staff and backing them when the pressure is on, you communicate a very important message to them; that you believe in their abilities, will stand up for them and offer them help when they need it.  Open communication is paramount for any team to successfully function and providing a supportive environment creates a safe space to share problems in a professional manner as they arise.

Give credit when credit is due

Recognition is the easiest way to motivate someone in their role and the best part is that it doesn't cost a company anything! Thank your employees for their work regularly and give them praise when they do a particularly hard job and go that extra mile.  We all respond positively to recognition when it is genuinely given.  Assuming your people know that you appreciate them is a mistake often made. Never assume; give them credit when credit is due and watch them repeat their performance and strive towards further improvement.

Clichés may be prosaic and over-used, but it is amazing how easy it can be to lose sight of the basics in the day-to-day stress of deadlines, budgets, agendas and targets.  Today, try to employ each of these clichés in your leadership role and investigate the difference in the behaviour of your employees.  The simplest changes can often yield the best results!