Steering Philadelphia Business With Strong Leadership
Whether you’re running a worldwide investment firm from the top of Commerce Square or opening a brand new cheesesteak food truck and building a new business from the ground up, leadership is one of the keys to success in Philadelphia. A business is only as strong as the team that runs it, and a strong team needs a strong leader. To succeed, you need to be able to inspire your employees to give their best effort. Leadership is more than just making the big decisions, though.
Too often, leaders look too much at external factors like competitors and the market. While those are certainly important in business, focusing on them too much can cause you to neglect internal factors. By making sure both internal and external issues are attended to, you can build a truly successful enterprise.
Trust Employees, but Keep High Expectations
To put it simply, people who trust each other in business are more likely to be successful. Allowing workers freedom to do their work as needed without constantly hovering over them and enforcing needlessly strict protocols often has a negative impact on productivity. If you are focused on the minutiae, that means you are expending energy that could better be spent on growing your business.
That isn’t to say that workers should have not have to meet any expectations—far from it. Along with the trust you give your employees comes accountability for their work. Set expectations for your workers, then hold them to those expectations. There’s a difference between trusting your employees and being a pushover. Find the balance, then work with your team to get the results you seek.
Lead by Example
“Do as I say, not as I do” simply doesn’t work in business. Yes, you’ve worked hard to achieve your leadership position. Yes, that position comes with some benefits. But just as you are holding your employees accountable for their work, you need to hold yourself to the same standard. Look at how you’re presenting yourself to your workers and do an honest leadership assessment of your work.
If you expect something of your workers, you need to be willing to put in the same amount of work yourself. If you want your employees to put all their effort into their jobs, show them how. You can’t expect your employees to come into the office over the weekend while you take off on a vacation. A leader’s job is to be at the front of the workforce, leading the charge.
Keep Employees Engaged
Don’t just pay attention to employees in the context of what they can do for your company. Take an interest in them as individuals and learn how to get them actively engaged in their work. Getting them to show up and perform their daily tasks is only half of a leader’s job. What’s even more important is to help them to take ownership of their jobs and engage with their work. In fact, one Gallup poll shows that employee engagement is a key factor in driving bottom-line results. According to the study, 70 percent of workers in the United States are not engaged in their jobs. Employees who were not engaged or actively disengaged with their work brought in 23 percent and 28 percent less in revenue, respectively, than workers who are engaged with their jobs.
So how can you keep your employees engaged? Communicate with them. Let them know your expectations and the expectations of the company. Provide regular support, and give feedback on their performance. Make sure that their work environment is dynamic without feeling overwhelming. Encourage friendships between employees, and make it clear that you are willing to work with them. If your employees feel their needs are being met, then they will feel more like a part of a team working towards a goal rather than just a drudge in a dead-end job.
To be a strong leader, you have to know your employees, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to play to their strengths, and help them to strengthen themselves in areas where they may be weak. Trust them, and if you want them to give their best effort, give your own best effort to inspire them. By leading—truly leading—you will be able to guide your business in the direction you want it and achieve success for everyone involved.
Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
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