Leaders shape all of society. They build our nations, communities, and organisations. When it comes to creating a successful business, you need a good leader at the helm.
Good managers inspire creativity, motivation and work well in a crisis. But, when you see that 43% of workers find their line manager ineffective – why are so many bosses getting it so wrong?
In a recent episode of The Psychology of Entrepreneurship, I spoke with best-selling author, speaker and prolific entrepreneur, Robert Glazer. Now, Rob is the Founder and CEO of the global performance marketing agency, Acceleration Partners. This $20 million business is named ‘best place to work' by Inc, Fortune, Forbes, Entrepreneur, the Boston Globe and Glassdoor.
When it comes to excellent management skills, this guy has you covered.
Get Your Core Values Right
In 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras published the book Built to Last. They touted that any company that created a set of principals called “Core Values” were almost guaranteed success.
Naturally, Corporate America went crazy for the idea. And today, you'll find at least 80% of Fortune 100 companies shouting their values from the rooftops. Sadly, as we've seen in the news lately, many of these values have no grounding and reflect the buzzwords du jour.
What Are Core Values?
Your core values must be at the centre of your business. They are the non-negotiables that allow you to make better business decisions. For example, three of Apple's top values are Accessibility, Education, Inclusion and Diversity. Notably, Apple stands by these, which is why they're one of the world's leading brands.
“Our core values are ‘own it,' 'embrace relationships,' and ‘excel and improve,'” says Rob. Rob knows the score when it comes to values. He's written an entire course specifically focused on establishing your own.
“We built out a curriculum to help them understand their personal core values. Because I think it's how they lead. It's how they interact with their team. It's how they figure out whether they're doing the right thing.”
The bottom line is, if you're skimping on your core values, you're missing an opportunity. So, what are yours? Build a list of the ones that stand out the most. Test them amongst your staff or peers and start refining them, until you feel them at your very core.
Have Those Difficult Conversations
Most of us do our best to avoid having those difficult conversations. Just the mere thought of addressing an issue or decision can lead to an anxiety attack. Yet, if you want to create a well-rounded business, you need to sweat the small stuff.
“A lot of times we're people pleasers. We feel like our job is to not be the bad guy,” says Rob. So, even though you can see problems arising, there's a hope that if you ignore it, it will go away.
In reality, the best kinds of leaders are the ones that take action and strive to find solutions.
“The conversation you're not having is the one you need to have,” Rob beams.
Trust us; he knows that the longer you wish away something, the worse it will get. “Putting off that conversation or that decision never made it better or easier in the long run. Only harder,” he explains. “I think that that's been one of my biggest learnings. I'm much more direct now.”
Let Go and Delegate
Our businesses are our babies. No, seriously, it's rooted in scientific fact. New research has finally confirmed what we knew all along. Our emotional connection to our businesses is just that same as towards our child.
When you are unable to DIY your way through something like your finances, it's hard to pass the responsibility on. For a manager, letting go and delegating is a crucial skill. “Deciding to let go of things and trust people,” says Rob, “I think that's a hard area.”
“A lot of new managers on, they just hold on too tight,” Rob mentions.
“One of my key takeaways for new managers is that success; it's done 85% how you want it, without you being involved.”
So, How Do You Delegate Effectively?
That's simple- put in the work to ensure the person you're trusting, knows the game. “As a manager or someone who's switching to delegation, you've got to understand that that is twice as much work upfront.”
“I need to bring you on ALL of my calls for a week. Do the calls, debrief them with you.”
An effective leader knows how to show others what is required. In brief, teach instead of just giving orders. It's your task to ensure that when you let go of a specific area, you're training that new assignee to the fullest degree.
Becoming a better leader isn't about winning a popularity contest. It's about serving and influencing others, no matter what their job title is. It's about standing by your core values and creating an environment where people want to work together. All while also making space for yourself.
For more on my conversation with Rob about core values, click here.
Author: Kaili Bonnyman
Kaili is the Queen of Audio at Must Amplify.