In working with a new client this month, a topic of discussion has been about “good leadership” and what that should look like in the workplace. We have discussed the differences between a manager and a leader and how being good at one doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is good at both. These discussions were not only interesting, but critical to the future direction and growth of our client’s business.

The discussion started with the directors of the business and we then took the question to the different teams. Have you stopped to consider what leadership looks like in your business?

A business without leadership will stagnate and neither personal nor business growth will be achieved. Having a title or managing a team does not make someone a good leader. In working through this with my client’s team, they cited the following as important attributes in a leader:

Clear Communication and providing feedback in a timely manner. Not being afraid to ask for what the business needs and if someone is not performing, not being afraid to have the conversation.

Set Expectations from the first interview. Let people know what the business expects so there are no surprises and keep informing the team if expectations change.

Define Responsibilities and be clear about the job you are hiring me to do.

Trust me to do the job you hired me to do.

Set a good example by treating everyone the way you would like to be treated, and find ways to motivate and show confidence in your team.

When asked what a good leader can do to motivate his or her team, the response was simple – show me that I matter.
These all sound simple, yet we may not give them as much attention as we should in our busy day.

Stopping to ask and take note of what their team needs from their leaders has enabled our client to move forward with several key pieces of work. With feedback from the team the business has defined their company values and vision and are on their way to making some key changes to how the business operates.

Businesses need to identify and nurture leaders for both individual and business growth. Create a workplace that makes it safe for leaders to put forward ideas, take calculated risks without feeling that their job will be on the line if something does not go to plan and give them the support and guidance they need to succeed. If in doubt, ask them what they need.

What would your team say about what good leadership looks like in your business? Would asking this question and taking the time to consider the responses provide invaluable insights that could take your business to the next level?