The Leadership AM Series on October 24th featured lead speakers Flo Brett, Founder and Executive Director of Effective Leadership Academy, Mike Nwankwo Founder and CEO of Apogee Leadership Group, LLC., and Wayne Lawrence, President of Weiss Movers & Storage. This roundtable focused on the important topic of business leadership. Our discussion leaders shared different trends they see within business leadership and ways to improve your personal leadership skills.
Education is Key
The work model is changing, so it’s important to change the way of leadership. In discussion Flo Brett said, “everyone should be a student, because everyone is on their life long journey”. As generations change and grow into the workforce it is important to continue your leadership education. A current trend identified by our discussion leads is that leaders today need to do a better job of embracing the younger generation. Things are getting better, but there are still some challenges. Younger generations do things differently and, as a leader, you cannot feel threatened by new ideas. Leaders who think they have arrived are only harming their business because an organization can only grow to the level of their top leader. So, one challenge leaders are facing today is the incorporation of modern distractions.
Dealing with Distractions
Let’s face it, we live in an agitated society. From technology, to the constant need of entertainment, distractions can cause costly situations for some businesses. However, when asked, the roundtable discussion agreed on a few tips to deal with distractions.
- First, set boundaries and explain why they are important for the business.
- Second, give individuals a space where they are allowed to get distracted. Some individuals will be more motivated knowing they can get a short break after completing tasks.
- And third, give people the opportunity to destress and feel comfortable at work. This way they don’t bring it home with them and they don’t associate the feeling with work.
In general, as a leader, know your employees and incorporate what they like into their workspaces.
3 Tips to Improve Leadership
Building relationships with those you lead is one way to improve the leadership relationship. However, here are three more tips that were shared by our discussion leads to improve your leadership skills.
- Become More Self-aware – As a leader you want to set an example for others. You need to take the time for strategic reflection and be present in your leadership decisions. Our leads also suggested staying open-minded as well as creating discussion opportunities for those you lead to evaluate you.
- Coach Potential – It is important to enable others to act. In discussion Mike Nwankwo said, “Some leaders are micromanagers. The real success of a leader is the ability to depart and the organization still runs smoothly”. Leadership and authority are not the same thing. Once you find the thing that people are good at, let them do it.
- Embrace Conflict – Conflict is not about attacking each other, but about attacking a problem. When conflict is handled properly, ideas can be expressed and create the potential for innovation. When conflict is accepted, you can find the thing that everyone brings to the table and use it to help you.
The Key Takeaway
In discussion, Wayne Lawrence said, “you’re not a leader unless someone is following you”. One of the main reasons that people leave a business is not because of the job, but because of the people. Which also means the leadership. Our discussion leads agreed that, in a time where employees typically stay at one job between 3 and 4 years, adapting and improving your leadership style is a big step to increasing job retention. Looking out for your businesses’ best interests means looking out for the interests of your employees.