Running a business? It’s mostly about being an effective leader. The basis of your leadership is seen through how you can motivate your team to succeed while instilling a focus on improvement within your employees. You must also help build a team via loyalty, and if you aren’t cut out for it, you might lead your team to disaster. Leading a team? It isn’t actually that hard. It’s one of those subjects that has a bark much worse than its bite, and it can be broken down into bitesize chunks. For many owners, you want to worry about your business and profit margins rather than micro-managing your staff, but unless you’ve got the right team in place, you’re going to have to dive deep into your role as a leader. Success in leadership can be found through learning how you can delegate tasks and responsibilities, or even the leadership of a team to certain people. Remember that term ‘micro-managing’? If you try to engineer every single facet of your business, you’re going to run into trouble. Delegate roles and tasks to your employees so you can concentrate on what you need to do, and they can concentrate on exactly what they need to do. This is how a team should work, so don’t be afraid to dole out higher responsibilities to your team. Even when you aren’t at a point where you need to delegate responsibilities, you should still assign goals and targets to your employees. Each employee should have a goal that you’d like to see them achieve. This works two ways – not only will it ensure that you can measure employee performance, but if targets are not met, then you can look into further training to help your employees meet goals and increase performance. As well as delegating roles and responsibilities, you also need to take responsibility. If you do something wrong, own it – own that mistake and never pass the buck as this will ensure that your employees lose faith and loyalty in you. If you can build an environment in which you, as a leader, are open and honest, you’ll benefit from that, and your staff will put their full faith in you and likely work harder for if you if can correct your mistakes and make sure they do not occur again. Your workplace needs to have an open communication policy as too many places of work don’t treat communication, or talking, with respect. Bosses and leaders are guilty of this as well, and you might view yourself too busy, at times. However, you should never be so busy that you can’t manage your staff. It is your responsibility to keep your staff up-to-date with business matters and company news and furthermore ensure that they are given the information that they need to be efficient in their role. Communication also takes a personal role in the company. You need to be open to speaking to your employees about anything and everything. If an employee wants to speak to you, you can’t ignore this. Set aside the time to speak to your employee and focus on them as a human, not just a part of your company. This helps build trust in your skills as a leader and allows your staff to feel valued. Don’t close your door to the people in your team. Aside from this, all of your employees want to know they’ve done a good job, so be proactive with your communication and offer recognition to your employees when they’ve done a good job. Don’t be scared to reward employees as well for a job well done. There’s a lot you can do here, so be proactive, take a few minutes and recognize your hard working staff. Communication is hard work because each employee will respond differently to each manner of communication. This means you need to learn how you can efficiently communicate with each and every single member of your team. Some respond to direct and firm communication while some will respect a softer approach. Your management style NEEDS to be flexible to suit your employees. This doesn’t mean you should be dishonest. Always be straightforward and completely honest with your communication, don’t be subtle and mask things as this can lead to serious problems when issues are not correctly highlighted. Explain issues to those who are accountable and ensure your company is firing on ALL cylinders. There are some tough items on the agenda for a leader, from dealing with confrontation to figuring out how to dismiss someone on sick leave. There’s a potential professional minefield in confrontation, so you as a leader need to speak to your staff, confront bad performance and resolve disputes. Set limits, keep the office in harmony and if you can’t do this competently, hire someone who can deal with your employees because your company will live and die on how it can deal with staff. Troublesome staff, especially. As stated, the running of a team is a professional minefield and if you don’t treat your staff with respect, you might be on the end of a lawsuit. You must ensure that you foster a respectful working environment and make sure you have a legal case for all your serious actions. Running a business is, well, business! You must meet sales targets, and you have to make money. These are huge responsibilities. Despite all of this, you should try to make your workplace a nice place to be. Employees will actively seek to disrupt their work life if they are not working in a nice environment. Work hard, play hard is the best way forward here and can result in more energized and dedicated staff, ready to do it all for your business. Your business needs you to be a good leader, so manage your team effectively. It seems harder than it is!