The adage ‘it’s lonely at the top’ is outmoded in today’s increasingly socially connected environment. To become a more successful leader, it’s now more important to understand the people you work with than to issue orders from the comfort of your spacious office looking out over the bustle of Dubai’s business districts.
Here are five key ways to becoming a better manager of people in your company.
Know what is needed from you
Not everyone has the same hopes and dreams in life. By listening to your team and understanding how they think and feel, a good leader can begin to see how better to motivate individuals to achieve a more high achieving unit.
Act how you want your team to act
For a team to be ethical in their dealings with each other and with customers, leaders have to show the way. If they see you acting against the company code of practice, your team will feel they have the right to do so as well. This creates a situation where, very quickly, the team disintegrates into cells pulling in different directions. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
A company stagnates if it ignores new ideas and modes of working. Not only are successful leaders more creative thinkers, they include their team in developing innovate ways of doing business. This type of creativity isn’t the sole preserve of the marketing and R&D and should be encouraged throughout the company, from the accounts department to the operations management team.
Put succession on the agenda
Succession planning is important for two reasons:
- At some point a senior figure in your company will retire, suffer ill health, or leave the company to work elsewhere.
- Developing talent within the company is more cost effective than head-hunting outside the company.
If you are actively ensuring talented individuals in your company are groomed for succession, you will develop a long-term strategy to encourage employees to be more involved in the company’s success.
Be inclusive and give praise
‘What are your thoughts on this?’ should be a regular phrase in your dealings with your team. Great leaders always know when to throw open their ideas to others for comment. You may have overlooked something important, or someone may come up with an idea from their personal hobby that adds huge value to a new product line.
And always acknowledge the input of others. When your team knows their work or ideas are appreciated, they are more likely to speak up with other ideas. Even if the idea doesn’t go anywhere, thank people for chipping in all the same.
From simply knowing your operations officer eats at Ravi’s to understanding how a family get together at the weekend is going to affect your secretary’s performance the following week, getting a firm grip on the dynamics of your team is key to helping your team achieve the overall goals of the company.