During my leadership development programmes, there is great discussion about what makes a leader great. Many of the leaders I coach are dramatically growing their businesses in rapidly changing environments. They are responsible for not only their leadership role but also for winning new business. They are often highly successful entrepreneurs who come to realise that they need to shift from “doing” the operational day to day to “guiding” their growing teams. So what are the 5 things that a leader should do?
Develop the strategy and vision. This does not mean creating it in isolation and then telling everyone what it is. It means engaging and involving different perspectives in the process.
Securing the resources. This includes finance, people and everything else a growing business needs.
Identifying opportunities and removing obstacles. Whatever they may be. Obstacles can be found by asking the simple question of teams”What’s getting in the way of our being successful?” and “What’s getting in the way of your success?” of individuals.
Recruitment and development. One CEO was rather surprised that he was responsible for people development stating that his business hired professionals and he had an HR person for that. Coaching and developing people is the fastest way to inspire and create the team of motivated people that leaders need.
Communication. This includes regular messages to employees, customers, suppliers, the market and beyond. Delivered through as many channels as possible.
So, what else are you doing and are you the best person to be doing it? Just because you can does not mean that you should! If you are a leader of a fast-growing business, ask yourself whether what you are doing is sustainable for the future. If not, you need to identify what you can delegate and find the right people to develop and take over. They may do it differently but they couldn’t do the top 5 leadership priorities – that needs to be you.