A Leader Nonetheless: Finding the Right Style
Leaders aren’t all the dominant, decisive types we normally think of. There are many types of business owners out there, with various styles of leadership. But regardless of the style, successful companies need strong leaders.
Where to Start
If you are not the leader your company needs, then more than likely, the full value of your team members are not being realized. You might have the best of intentions, but nevertheless, it results in decisions not being made. Let’s look at an example of someone who is struggling with finding their leadership style – we’ll call him Bill.
Bill includes any number of people in decision-making, including a newly formed board of directors. But one person really needs to take all the input and make the decisions. The more people involved in decision-making, the less you, as a leader, own the responsibility to make that decision. That leads to a less-effective company and a rise in frustrations across the organization.
No leader can be hands-off and still be effective.
Finding the Root of the Problem
All organizations need a leader; a captain, a direction-setter, etc. But at the root of Bill’s indecisive approach to his business is an uncertainty about how he and his wife want to proceed with their personal lives now and in the future. They need to decide how to integrate the business into their lives, or determine that it’s time to step back from the company. So now Bill has to figure out his options and next steps:
Option 1 is to:
- Figure out what he wants to do besides work
- Determine how long he can reasonably be away at any one time without returning, while factoring in that he’s the company leader and the salesperson
- Set up a small, dynamic leadership team that will take responsibility for the company while he’s away. When he’s present, the team will help him make decisions more quickly.
Option 1 also assumes that Bill wants to remain running his company. If he determines that he does not, Option 2 is to stop running the company altogether — also a legitimate outcome.
Bill’s third option is to downsize the company, only working with people who are “get ‘er done” personalities. That could work well with some of the steps from Option 1. He would have to assemble a small group as a leadership team, but he has existing personnel in place who can do that.
Bill is not what we think of as a “natural” leader. However, his company needs him to be the leader in order to be successful.
Make the First Decision, the Rest will Follow
If you see yourself in Bill, you have to get clear about what the company should do for you — and what you need to do for the company as a leader. You can release untapped potential and achieve the success you want and deserve.
You own a company. What do you want it to do for you — and by when? Decide that, and work to be the leader your good employees are silently begging you to be.
You don’t have to be dominant to be a good leader, but you do need to be decisive.