Fine tuning how you manage and lead is one of the most important business investments you’ll ever make. Here’s a quick view on improving your skills. Click on the links to the other management and leadership pages in this section (after each tip) to dig deeper and take your business where you want it to go.
Whatever your reasons for being in business, you can’t do it alone.
To succeed in business, you need to:
When you invest in your management and leadership you’re more likely to do this well — which makes life better for your people, your business and you.
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Good communication underpins every aspect of being an effective manager or leader.
Strengthen your communication skills to:
Check the way you give staff feedback. Make sure people are able to act on what you say, eg if someone has done something well, let them know what you liked so they can do it again. If somebody needs to improve, make sure you convey how.
Make sure you’re getting messages across clearly. That people understand what you’re trying to say, and you’re using the best tools.
And remember, different people may have different preferences, and you may tackle different situations in different ways, eg always try to deliver bad news and give complicated or urgent instructions face-to-face.
Leadership expert John Maxwell.
Healthy, trusting relationships with your workers are a key part of leading and managing well. When your business is based on trust:
Make sure your people have the right skills and tools to do their jobs and trust them to perform well. Take time to win employees’ trust in you.
You’ll be rewarded with high functioning and loyal teams, more time to give to your family and hobbies, or to watch your business grow.
Treat people fairly and fairly manage your business policies and processes.
Being fair doesn’t always mean treating everyone the same.
For example, if one of your employees has a low stress threshold because of a medical condition, it would be unfair if you didn’t make special allowances for their circumstances.
In some other situations treating everyone the same is essential, eg applying the same criteria when you manage people’s performance.
When it comes to leadership, there’s no one size fits all. Most leaders tend towards a certain style. But sometimes an approach other than your go-to may get better results. Learn to adapt your leadership style to suit:
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer Facebook.
Motivate your people and they’re more likely to care about your business. Understanding employees’ values is the key to motivating your team. If you want your business to fire on all cylinders, take time to discover what lights employees’ fires.
Just as you would take care to service your most valuable equipment or machinery, it’s important to actively help your people perform.
Look after your employees, find out what they need. Identify any problems and work out how to fix them together. Give them the right tools and develop their skills.
Performance management allows people to:
Connect what employees work on with what’s going to make your business succeed — whatever success looks like for you.
If an employee is underperforming, check you’ve done all you can to help before moving on to a formal performance management plan.
Set workers up for great performance by removing anything that may be stopping them from performing well. Give them the tools and support they need.
Planning for underperformance helps you:
Don’t leave your culture to chance. Your market position, your strategy and long-term business goals should all play a part.
Getting your culture right helps you:
Most workplace cultures are people or process led. Smart leaders adjust the levels of one or the other to support their long-term business plans.
Be afraid to change your culture to deal with performance issues or win competitive advantage.
Forget the role that work space and dress code can play in shaping your culture.
Underestimate the value of leading by example.