In business, there’s a lot to say about the principles of good leadership, and what a start-up founder, CEO, or manager, should do in order to ensure that they have the best possible impact on the company as a whole, as well as those who work under them.
Time and again, however, one principle tends to emerge more than all the others in sources as disparate as the memoirs of successful entrepreneurs, and leadership training manuals put together by former US Navy SEALs.
The principle is: lead from the front, and maintain accountability, whether your business is undergoing a process of upheaval such as Plant Relocation, or is enjoying a period of record growth.
Here’s why leading from the front is important in business.
Because as company owner, you set the tone for all interactions between your employees
One of the factors that has the biggest overall impact on whether or not employees report being happy working for a company, is the office culture within that company.
When everyone cooperates smoothly, takes personal accountability, and maintains good manners and professional etiquette, the situation tends to be a pleasure for everyone involved.
On the other hand, however, in an office environment where everyone is combative, where “passing the buck” is the norm and where backbiting frequently occurs, good employees will frequently be sprinting for the doors as quickly as possible.
A key thing to keep in mind is that, as the company owner – particularly in the case of small businesses where you are regularly interacting with your employees – you will set the tone for all interactions between your employees.
Company culture tends to flow down from management. If you lead in a way that demonstrates the virtues you find important in a professional setting, it’s much more likely that those same virtues will be mirrored throughout the company as a whole.
Because people generally hate attempted micromanaging, but tend to act according to example
It’s probably fair to say that one of the most frustrating things for the average employee, is when those in senior roles attempt to micromanage everything they do.
Not only does micromanaging generate resentment, as a rule, but it frequently backfires and doesn’t lead to better outcomes or enhanced productivity, either.
Nonetheless, as an owner or senior manager in a company, you will inevitably want to ensure that things are steered towards particular outcomes, and that the right approaches are taken.
Keep in mind that, while people generally hate attempted micromanaging, virtually everyone tends to pay attention to both positive and negative examples, and to mould their behaviour accordingly.
Leading from the front, and setting the right example, is one of the best ways of “steering the ship” in a relatively hands-off way and optimising your business.
Because remaining accountable helps to keep you in touch with risks and developments within the business and industry
As a general rule, “leading from the front” is synonymous with “remaining accountable,” and ensuring that you have “skin in the game,” professionally.
One of the most devastating things for any business is when management becomes detached from what’s happening on the ground, and so fails to properly foresee and adjust to rising risks and game changing developments in the industry or company.
Leading from the front is a great way to mitigate against this potential issue.
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