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Friday, January 19, 2007

What is required of you as a leader in hard times ?

What is expected of you as a start up leader ?

When you get into running your own enterprise you find out very quickly that it is not an easy task, or you can be a hard ass manager bottom line driven with a flack jacket for skin and the adventure will pass you by and will have missed one of life's greatest challenges. on the other hand you can be a leader who gets involved with the grass roots of your enterprise and engages with your employees, as you engage there will be greater requirements and demands laid on to you. The key thing to remember is that you are responsible for your employees, and as relationships develop you will find yourself being involved in more and more of there life's events. The leader needs to have empathy but also be able to step away at times and look at the overall picture, businesses can go badly wrong when there is too much concern given to individuals, leaders don't take the corrective actions necessary to fix performance or behavioural issues because they are too close to the individuals concerned. This seems to be a mixed message be a "people person" on one hand and the other be remote, I do not think these are at odds if the leader follows a few guidelines.

  • Be honest with people, tell them how things are, if they are performing bad tell them if they are doing well then tell them.
  • Set demanding goals and objectives for the organization, people will measure themselves against them and most will correct there own performance.
  • Look at issues with the "360" approach and apply the helicopter analysis to put fixes in place.
  • Be loyal to your employees where loyalty is returned, dump those who are not.
  • Be consistent in all your decisions.

When there is a strong prevailing wind blowing and no safe harbour

So how do we need to behave in times of trouble, we need to show a calm, steady resolve that you will fix what is wrong if you can, and if not, you will communicate the worst in the same manor. If you have been honest and developed trust with the employees they will appreciate the openness, even when the news is personally bad.

I will close this post with this statement, yes!! your employees have a choice to work for you or not, but if they have chosen to work for you, that means you have sold them on the enterprise vision and they have put there trust in you, the least you can do as a leader is honour that.

See you all tonight

Slainte

Gordon

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