Possessing entrepreneurial flair doesn’t always go hand in hand with being a natural leader. On paper, you may have the credentials to turn an idea into a successful business, but what happens when you throw leadership into the equation? Managing teams presents a completely different challenge to overseeing a supply chain, promoting your business and balancing the books. If you take an active role in the day to day running of your company, and you want your team to look up to you, admire and respect you, here are some steps to hone your management skills.
- Be clear about what you want. There’s nothing more off-putting than arriving at work every day not really understanding what needs to be done and what your individual role involves. If you have employees who know exactly what every day holds, and they work towards clear objectives with minimal fuss and confusion, your business is going to be a lot more efficient and productive. If you lead a team, get together on a regular basis, set targets, and discuss the ways you’re going to hit them as a unit. Make time for one-on-ones to see how each individual employee is getting on, and use policies and systems that clarify tasks and help your workforce tackle them methodically and effectively. A lack of clarity will cost time and money.
- Utilize technology that promotes teamwork and cohesive working. Today, the world of work is a very different place from twenty or even ten years ago. If you run a business, there are all kinds of technological systems and innovations you can use to promote cohesive and collaborative working. If you’ve got a number of people working on a single project, it makes sense for everyone to have access to the same files, and to have the ability to update their progress, share ideas and pass on images, clips, and data analysis reports at the touch of a button. Options like a BPM program enable multiple users to access and use programs at the same time, promoting efficiency, and encouraging teams to work together. Communications technology is another area of interest, especially if you have teams based in different locations. You can take advantage of video conferencing and multiway calls to bring people together without wasting money on transport and accommodation or time on travel.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Not every business owner feels comfortable leading a team. If you have weaknesses that you’re keen to address, look into courses and workshops that you could help you develop and expand your skill set. Perhaps you find it difficult to manage conflict, or you struggle to motivate employees who seem to be struggling. Play to your strengths, but always be aware of areas where you lack experience or practical skills. Learn on the job, and use your own experiences as an employee to become a better boss.
If you’re a business owner, and you play an active role in leading your team, it’s natural to want to get the best out of your employees and to enforce systems, procedures, and processes that work. Nobody is a perfect boss, but there are steps you can take to develop your management skills.