Leadership is a never-ending topic for conversation. In our view, anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader, is. We all have to lead ourselves after all. There are of course, different types of leadership and some of those styles connect with some people while others do not. You do not have to be everything to everyone.
There are also different types of leaders for different times in business. For a period of huge growth, you may need someone focused on really motivating and rallying people and managing different personalities, while a business in need of a turn-around might need a more financially focused leader.
I was recently asked by a business leader, how much connecting with their people they really needed to do?
It’s a great question and the answer really sits in that grey area of “it depends”.
- It depends on what stage the business is at: If the business is new and needing to build a team, then you need to know the team well and be deeply connected. If the business is strong and stable, you may not need to be quite as connected with the team for a period of time.
- It depends on what stage the people are at and what they’ve been through: Are the team confident and self-motivating? If so, they are probably happy to push forward and feel empowered to do so with a lower amount of connection. If they are wavering and unsure for any reason, you need to be there for them.
- It depends on your leadership style: Do you thrive off working with others or are you more independently driven? Knowing what comes more naturally to you is important and if connecting with others is not your forte then it would be a great idea to bring in a supporting leader who is a natural connector.
Whatever stage you, your people or your business are up to, generally, people love to be inspired by other people. We look to our leaders to provide that inspiration and there is a massive amount of research on people staying in their roles being linked to the people they are led by.
It can be easy to get swept up by the day-to-day work in a leadership role, especially if there are high expectations being put on you by a board or larger body. However, the greatest impact you are going to make in a business is through the people you empower to do their roles really well. While doing it yourself is often the quick way to get a lot done initially, investing in a connection with your team is going to be the most efficient way to get more done in the long term.
Also, believe it or not, your team want to be there to do the work and be part of the vision you are behind. If connecting with your people is a challenge for any reason, take some time to look into what might a gentle way to build that connection. Start small. Ask questions. You won’t regret it!