If you’re in business, there are probably many things that keep you awake at night.
Some will be out of your control – economic instability, political turmoil and changing consumer attitudes – but many of the niggly little issues which cause stress and anxiety are things you can do something about.
Poor leadership within your business is one of them.
Whether you’re a business owner director or senior manager, the key to success is getting everyone within your organisation on the same page.
If they’re not, it not only causes frustration, but can also have a real toll on your mental wellbeing to know that while you’re extremely passionate about your vision and the journey you want to take the business on, there are people within your leadership team that aren’t pulling in the same direction.
It can often make you feel isolated and alone, as if you’re banging your head against a wall, when it seems you’re the only one who buys into the vision for your business and your team ‘just doesn’t get it’.
The emotional impact is one thing, but there are also some practical implications too, which should be viewed as warning signs that your business is not running as efficiently as it could be.
The real-world impacts of having a team which doesn’t buy into the strategic vision for the business include:
A High Turnover of Staff
Many employees relish the opportunity to develop and advance their careers by learning new skills, taking on new challenges and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones.
When they don’t get these opportunities or see little point in doing things which seemingly don’t make a difference to the business, it leads to dissatisfaction and can prompt them to look elsewhere.
Career development, not financial compensation, is often the reason why people switch jobs and employers, so if you struggle with a high turnover of staff, it could be because there is disunity in your team stemming from a lack of strong leadership.
I worked with Fiona for over a year on a management development training programme to up- skill 20 area managers in a variety of sales, customer service and team management skills. She delivered an innovative, challenging and relevant programme which has inspired a number of the managers to greater ambition and performance. Several are now regional directors. Rob McDougall, Skill Force
A Lack of Collaboration
If a team and its members aren’t clear on what their objectives are and why they are being asked to do something, it limits collaboration and causes people to focus more on themselves than on the wider goals and objectives of their team and the business. It also creates a lack of accountability and responsibility.
The way a team is led has a big impact on this. If you’re team leaders are setting bad examples by not communicating clearly, withholding information and not listening to ideas or input, these habits will slowly but surely embed themselves within the team and hinder its ability to work together to achieve long-term goals.
Low Team Morale
When people don’t feel like their employer is willing to invest in them, they’re not going to have the motivation or willingness to put in the effort required of them to effectively do their jobs.
This all stems from poor leadership.
If they feel disengaged or not listened to by their line managers; if they are constantly denied opportunities to develop and learn new skills; if they are not properly incentivised to perform to their best, they’ll lose interest and just plod along. Over time, this can create a toxic work environment that undermines the best efforts of the rest of the business.
There are many more impacts, but the reality is, if you’re team is disengaged, if your leaders don’t motivate and inspire, and if there is no collective buy-in to the overall objectives of your business, then your growth, your sales and your bottom line will suffer.
Poor leaders don’t value communication with their employees. Understanding the traits of poor leaders can help you avoid leadership pitfalls and strengthen your leadership abilities.
So, What’s the Solution?
Former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, once famously said:
To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.
These were sage words indeed. It’s not enough to connect with your people on an intellectual level, you have to engage them emotionally too, to stir up that passion for achieving your organisation’s goals.
Best-selling author and leadership and management expert Simon Sinek breaks it down simply as:
Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.
The starting point is ensuring your management team has a common understanding of the long-term vision of the business.
Too often, FP Training works with businesses which complain that there is no buy-in to the strategic vision of the organisation. However, the problem often stems from the fact that the vision is not clearly defined enough or has not been communicated properly at all levels of the business, so there is a lack of clarity around personal and team objectives and how they feed into the bigger picture.
So, being clear on your vision and objectives and then communicating them throughout your organisation is a key first step.
If you’ve done that successfully, the next thing you need to ensure is a commitment to the changes required to achieve your vision, and the buy-in to these changes.
It’s also important to clarify what good leadership looks like in the business, how managers can ‘step-up’ into the role that they need to fulfil, and how they can lead their teams successfully.
Good Leadership Starts from the Top
By ensuring your senior managers are communicative, collaborative, nurturing and encouraging, you are creating the framework in which your team will start to buy into the overall aims of the company and can see the impacts that their individual efforts will have on achieving the overall goals of the business.
What Steps Can My Business Take to Achieve This?
There are a few practical steps your business can take today to achieve a better understanding of your key objectives and goals.
However, a professional leadership consultant from FP Training can help you to really focus your efforts and create the framework in which to implement the changes you need to achieve success.
- Reflecting on the strategic aims and vision for the organisation and what your leaders need to do to achieve those aims. This will result in generating the clear vision your organisation needs, and the priorities for achieving it
- Taking a view on what’s going well as a management team, what can be improved or optimised and what needs to stop
- Identifying the barriers and challenges that are getting in the way of achieving your vision and communicating it effectively across your organisation
- Looking at the impacts these have, both on a personal level and on an organisational level
FP Training can facilitate activities designed to identify the issues and challenges and develop the solutions to address them, culminating in the production of an improvement plan and getting buy in and accountability for its delivery from your senior staff.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how FP Training can help you define and communicate your vision and values effectively, and develop exceptional leadership skills within your business, we’d love to hear from you.
Get in touch today for an informal chat by calling 01332 527144 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.