In the series of articles I am currently writing about the financial aspects of business, there is a key ingredient which is an overriding requirement to creating a successful company. I have seen and experienced it first hand with my own business and clients I work with, and it is by no means instant, it is your ability as a leader to create a culture that impacts on the bottom line.
I can honestly say this type of culture is probably one of the most important aspects to running a successful business. To nurture a profitable culture and make the changes necessary to do so within yourself and within your people should be part of your long-term plan. The ultimate goal is to create a team of leaders, those that will lead your business for you in all departments and roles.
"There are two things people want more than sex and money -- recognition and praise." -- Mary Kay Ash
Another old saying is it is more rewarding to give than it is to take, and human nature means we are a species that love recognition for our hard work, and we like to gain respect and and appreciation from our friends, family, colleagues and indeed our own team leaders and members. In turn our people will work for the praise far and above the salary. Yes of course the money they earn is important to them, but the recognition and praise they receive is what makes them tick, how they think, and ultimately their commitment to the success of your business.
It’s great to feel important!
Great leaders will make others feel important. They will not only provide the financial rewards for hard work, they will give verbal rewards by praising their people. It’s the ability to inspire followership, a shared vision and direction for the business. They empower their people to take ownership of that vision.
Adopting this strategy for your business may come natural to some, but for many leaders it is an alien concept. Poor leaders tend to be blinkered, thinking they are the only one who can do the job properly, or have an attitude that the staff aren’t capable of doing the job properly, which is actually damaging to the success of a business. Also your people pick up on this very quickly, and feel inadequate in the first instance, but latterly disillusioned and far detached from their position in the company. This is a negative cycle which is very very hard to break.
Getting under the skin of becoming a great leader
You will see a lot of business advisors of all kinds repeating over and over again that you need to work on your business, not within it. Also a ‘real’ business is one you own, but don’t need to be involved in on a daily basis, and let your teams take control. In reality you first have to create this culture, and that requires much deeper thinking. You need to create a culture by putting in place structure first and foremost, so all of your people fully understand how they fit in that structure, and what their responsibilities are.
The next stage is to focus on morale, building confidence and desire to perform. I have witnessed leaders who try to manipulate by being deceitful, or making false and unrealistic promises that they cannot fulfil. This is deeply damaging to the individual, and it generates a culture of people who don’t trust their leaders.
So what is the bi product of a great leader?
Financial rewards are a common denominator of being a great leader. Your teams work with passion, they are more organised because you have created structure, and a culture that breeds a winning mentality from them. They want to be the recipients of continued praise for their hard work and determination, and this almost becomes a drug they want to have more and more of. They are continually inspired by the respect they gain from others, and they become more supportive of their colleagues, working as part of a team and not an internal competitor – they like to compete as part of a team.
Create the opportunity for marginal gains
I have talked in the past about marginal gains in your business, and as part of the leadership training I give to leaders, whether they are the owners of the company, or heads of department, I instil a tangible and quantifiable stepped process. So your first step is to look at improving the structure and understanding within your company of what roles and responsibilities consist of – that is a marginal gain, and will immediately impact on the efficiency within your business. A financial reward for the business!
If you would like to hear more about my Leadership Training, and how you can empower yourself and others in your business to become great leaders, please do get in contact, and we can start that process together.