By Barry Potter, Partner at Haines Watts
Having listened to the experiences of the leaders across our very entrepreneurial client base, I believe that the basic values and guiding principles needed to make a good leader rarely change. These can be summarised as follows:
- Honesty: create a friendly and helpful workplace. Be the best you can be and set the standards that you would like your staff to aspire to.
- Ability to delegate: trust and empower your staff as a default. Identify their strengths and build on them to use them to maximum effect.
- Sense of humour: we are all human and the ability to laugh is sometimes precious. Morale and productivity are intrinsically linked and will increase if you can instill that positive energy.
- Confidence: leading by example, staying calm and taking responsibility for your staff are what will make you stand out in a crowd. Engage with your team and the world at large – the more you give, the more you will get in return.
- Commitment: roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, especially when the going gets tough. There is no better form of motivation and example you can set your staff.
- Positive attitude: remember that everyone is an individual. Think of Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and his belief that people strive to satisfy a certain set of needs in order to reach self-actualisation. Show your appreciation to your staff, even simple gestures such as saying thank you and smiling more!
- Creativity: be open-minded and suspend your pre-conceived ideas when you go into a meeting. Listen to your team and give them the headroom to grow.
- Instinct: establish who you are and learn to trust yourself. Trusting yourself is as important as learning to trust your team.
Such simple things really do make a difference. There’s no substitute for hard work and this, along with establishing who you are and your values, should help people want to follow you as a leader.
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