I’ve been in leadership roles for much of my career and thinking about how to improve all the time. I’ve had the benefit of working for some great leaders and seen what they do, and also had the privilege of being coached by a professional external coach. So what have I learnt?
Here are my top tips. I’ll come back to how I try and achieve each of them in subsequent blogs. Have I missed any good ones?
1 Be self aware – know your own strengths and limitations. Do lots of what you are good at make sure your team has people who are great at doing the rest. To do that, don’t forget to let them know what your gaps are.
2. Be authentic at all times. If I’ve learnt one thing it is to be myself, it’s far easier than trying to be someone else.
3. Develop your direct reports to be able to do your job. You can see this as a threat or a great opportunity – you choose. I do this by being a coach and empower my team (different to delegating). Know your team, find the right roles for them.
4. Protect your team. This means stopping senior managers (including yourself) trying to help and letting your team do what they are paid to. Compliment them and go out and find positive praise and feed it back. “Happy staff
Sell deliver” (Nev, The Call Centre)
5. Focus on the customer not metrics. Get out there, and listen to your customers, then measure the bare minimum. Focus on customer experience and spend time with those who work with your customers, not just managers.
6. Communicate and then communicate and then communicate some more. Blogs, memos, walking around, listening – what ever works for you with your managers, your team and your customers. Make your communications real and authentic.
That’s my list and I’ll do a blog on how I try, in my own way, to do each of these over the next few weeks. What do you think? Have I missed any? I know I have missed all the normal stuff like setting out strategy, having plans but I am sure you know that.
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