We spend a lot of time focusing on how to gain recognition as an industry leader, but it can be a lot more difficult to hone your skills as a leader within your business. The way you work with your team every day, the opportunities and nurturing you provide, and the environment you create all determine how satisfying your business culture is and what kind of talent you attract to your team. If you want to provide the best product and services delivered by the best in the business, you must start by becoming a good leader.
Characteristics of Good Leadership
The best leaders are concise, inspirational and collaborative. Where some leaders try to lead by intimidation, a good leader builds trust through strong communication, honesty and an open door policy. I try to be as approachable as possible, and have found that when people aren’t afraid of me, they are more open and sharing. The best ideas and biggest advances in business result from great collaborative relationships.
Build a Strong Culture
Having a great business culture is definitely the way to stand out among other businesses and feature your leadership skills to attract great talent to your team. Allow your business culture to shine through in your social media, but avoid singing your own praises. Be special enough that others will sing them for you. Such praise has more credibility when it originates outside of your organization.
Handle Challenges Gracefully
Your business should have a mission statement to which you can refer in tough times. Resort back to it whenever you need direction and have difficult decisions to make. This will help you avoid allowing emotions to take over your decision making process. Keep your mission statement in mind, and encourage your whole team to do the same, always. Doing so will keep your business on track.
Include Team Satisfaction as a Measure of Success
You can count your social media followers, engagement, review, bookings and awards as measures of your business’ success, but they shouldn’t be the only areas you focus on. Are your clients AND your employees happy? When everyone is happy, we trust that we are doing something right.
Productivity is Key
A team that achieves greatness together stays motivated together. Make efficiency and productivity priorities. Time mapping is so important – schedule appointments with yourself to ensure that everything stays on track. We try to do that across the board at Fantasy Sound, and have found that when we all do it, we are more productive overall.
Finally, remember that a team is made of more than talent – it is made of people. I keep my team motivated by treating them with respect, being flexible with their schedules, showing a genuine interest in their lives and by intentionally keep the office environment fun. A daily Sound Off meeting including as many games as possible keeps the mood light. When people have fun at work, they stay motivated.
A highly productive, effective and happy team starts with superior leadership. Make becoming a good leader one of your most important goals and enjoy the satisfaction that comes when a group of talented professionals works together to create great things.
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.