This article originally appeared on bizjournals.com/charlotte
Leadership is at the forefront of limitless conversations, especially when it comes to business ownership. Business owners are constantly reassessing their own style and impact on the team members they serve. However, it’s not just business owners who fit into the leadership discussion.
Here are five things leaders should remember.
You don’t need to know everything
We have all heard successful leaders say that a big reason for their success is because they surrounded themselves with great people. Certainly, there is some humility speaking in this statement, but the rest is fitting. You don’t need to have all the answers. First of all, it’s impossible to know everything, and secondly, there’s a reason you have other team members or employees. Don’t overwhelm yourself; surround yourself.
Listen and ask questions
These two naturally work together. When confronting a challenge, listen to the individuals on the frontline and ask appropriate questions. Have you encountered this issue before? What has worked in the past? What possible solutions do you think you should pursue? Force people to think. This will enable them to instinctively present solutions in the future.
There’s more than one way
We all approach and carry out comparable tasks in a slightly different way. The “my way or the highway” mentality has never worked well for inspiring future leaders and preserving culture. For example, video editors may vary in the way they assemble a video on their digital timeline or the process they undertake to get to a finished product. The difference in steps doesn’t matter as long as efficiency remains and the end product sings. Remain open to different paths that get to the same destination.
Work for your people
I came across a recent tweet from author and speaker Simon Sinek that really drives this point home. He said, “A poor leader will tell you how many people work for them. A great leader will tell you how many people they work for.” If only we could live this out consistently, we could change the world. Well, maybe not the world, but certainly the lives of those in our direct sphere of influence. We must change our motivation to the following: What can I do for you to help you succeed? When they win, you win.
Leadership is not easy and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. You have the privilege of making decisions that impact the lives of individuals and families, overall happiness, career achievement, etc. Sometimes the toughest thing to do is allow people to push ideas forward on their own. Failure is always an option and sometimes a probable outcome. Allowing people to fail in the right scenarios is a must. We learn the most when we experience discomfort and disappointment. Create a teaching moment. Assess the risk and let go.
As mentioned above, leadership is challenging. Selflessness and humility are two prerequisites for success. On the flip side, you should be selfish about continued learning, constant self-evaluation and a strong belief in what’s possible. Stop thinking you need to have all the answers and get to work for your people.