Whatever the size of your business, if you want to get ahead, enjoy good growth and drive your business forward, it’s important that you hire great leaders. Outstanding leadership takes a special range of skills including problem solving, people skills, communication and strategic thinking.
Many business look for employees who can demonstrate great leadership skills, but even when they find them, sometimes it’s not enough. The truth is, great leaders can’t lead in a bubble, to be effective they need to be able to work together and build a relationship as a team and in truth, this can be more difficult than it sounds.
Just like any other long-term relationship, being part of a leadership team takes hard work and compromise. Unfortunately many of the qualities that might make your managers great as team leaders, can also make them resistant to compromise and reluctant to see things from other peoples’ point of view.
Why do leaders need to work together?
When your leadership team are in meetings do they get defensive, pass the blame for things going wrong and defend their decisions at all costs? This behaviour could be holding your organisation back and preventing your leaders working together and co-operating to make the best decisions for the business as a whole.
As well as everyday leadership skills, effective leaders need to have good relationships skills to allow them to work co-operatively and harmoniously together for the long haul. Working as part of a leadership team is like any other relationship and it takes three core skills.
- They need to be good at what they do
To have an effective leadership team, everyone needs to be strong and capable in their own right. As well as being gifted leaders, to work together effectively, your team also need to be great communicators, have outstanding conflict resolution skills and be able to adapt to changing needs as your business evolves.
- They need to be generous
This means being respectful to other team members and taking the time to learn about what they do and why it’s important. It also means putting the good of the organisation ahead of their own personal goals and those of their department.
- They need to be brave
Courage is an essential quality of effective leaders. Leaders must be open to taking risks and not afraid of appearing vulnerable or of admitting if they have made a mistake. It takes a high degree of confidence to be questioned by others without getting defensive but if you want your leaders to work well together, they will need to be able to do this.
Just like with any relationship, it can take time and hard work before your leadership team will be able to work effectively together, but it is well worth the effort. An engaged, strong leadership team can help drive your business forwards and increase your success in the future.
About the Author
Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here.