What makes a leader? What are those key traits that you require to really motivate your workforce and keep them working hard with a smile on their face during the busy summer period?
Leadership is an art. It is something that you are constantly refining and learning how to do better each and every day. Leadership is not about being the most loved person in the room, but instead about making the right decision for your company and its people, and you need to motivate and treat your employees and their needs fairly at the same time. It is a balancing act and something that all business owners should be working on as a priority each and every day.
Leadership varies from business to business, and everyone has a different take on what a true leader is, but here are some of the qualities I think are crucial for leadership in a customer focused business.
Innovation is a critical one. Things are moving faster than ever before in the world of business, and leaders in the industry need to be able to adapt and change tact when and as required. Doing what you did in food trends or marketing (for example) 10 years ago often won’t apply to what you need to do today to get people through your doors. You will need to be innovative in the way you do things, and sometimes this means listening to staff who might have their finger on the pulse on what is trending for a younger demographic.
Vision, Values, and Care
These traits all tie in well together from a leadership perspective. You can’t expect people to follow you in to battle if they don’t know what direction you want to go in. Having a vision for what your business is, and a direction for the business can help your employees have the confidence in their own abilities to do their job to a high standard.
By knowing your core values and your company values inside and out, and instilling these in your employees from hiring through to training, you are ensuring that your staff understand who you are and how best to work with you.
Also, a vital and often overlooked trait of care for your employees. In an industry when you are often asking staff to work long hours in sometime intense conditions, having care for your staff and respect for what they do both inside and outside of work is key to success in the industry.
Inspiration & Leading by example
And last but by no means least, being inspirational and leading by example are critical factors to being a successful leader. It is up to you to inspire your staff daily to show up, put a smile on their face, and sell your product. Remember that your staff will watch you to set the standard for how they work. If you do everything to a high standard with care and respect for others, so will your staff.
Your staff will look to you for the next move and how to act in the workplace. If you want them to smile and work hard, do so yourself. This is the best thing you can do to motivate your workforce. Lead by example and walk with them, not ahead of them.
Leadership is about taking the time to develop your employees, and also taking time to develop your own leadership style.
Having great staff starts with great leaders.
Love to hear your thoughts, KB
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: