Whilst leadership is most commonly assumed to be a quality required at the very highest levels in organizations, managers at the sharp end of business need to develop some leadership skills as well.
Management is often defined as ‘delivery’; with leadership being associated with the strategies, visioning, thinking and ‘bigger picture’ that develop and progress an organization.
Why management at ‘small team’ level would dissociate itself from a little progressive contemplation seems, on the face of it, strange. This delineation of roles has been commonplace in organizational cultures nonetheless.
Not any more. ‘Management’ is now seen as ‘delivery plus’ – and savvy managers also take on board the need for a good smattering of leadership capabilities as well.
Let’s take ‘visioning’ as an example. Only a truly foolish manager would not take the time to consider how he would wish for his team to perform in an ideal situation – the better ones would include team members in the activity as well. Failing to consider ‘what good looks like’ by a certain point in time creates an gap in the goals for any team.
Above all, leaders ‘lead’ their team of people. In small teams, the leadership principles are underpinned by a great ability to both communicate openly as well as the capacity to have trusting, supportive, encouraging and developmental relationships with team members. The ‘team leader’ who is not focused on being the very best to every one of their people will not succeed.
It’s a ‘givers gain’ model that truly adds value to any leader’s proposition.
Evidence from a number of sources suggests that employees ‘join organizations and leave their line manager’ (some say as many as 70% leave because of the behavior of their immediate superior). With that in mind, the leadership qualities to ‘lead’ people are vital.
Whether you have a large slice of charisma in your capability set or not, there are actions you can take as a leader to create the relationships with your people that will have them onboard. Relationships that mean your people only leave you because they find something new; something better or at worst, simply leave because of something that you – as their leader – cannot influence. Relationships that mean someone leaving is in the 30% that you personally cannot change.
Small teams require a level of initmacy that a leader is able to define, deliver and indeed demand from every player.
No excuses now, only you can do it.