You're not the only leader of your business
Updated: May 29
Leadership isn’t about standing up in front of people and shouting the loudest (I think most people know this); it’s more about setting the standards in performance, ethics, morality and culture that encourage others to do likewise. We hear everyday that x person is a great leader or that y person has shown great ‘leadership’, but aside from the platitudes and the somewhat bizarre context in which we often hear these statements made, have you thought about the leadership within your organisation? With that, I don’t mean you as the owner or C-something exec, I mean the person or people nestled in your organisation who is/are quietly maintaining a positive and effective culture?
Maybe it’s the person who gets the team around them and who instinctively yet without fuss, gets people organised and focussed on the task at hand?
The person who isn’t afraid to say what they think but does so in such a manner so as not to undermine or obstruct?
The person who is as involved as management is in the wellbeing and performance of others and who really cares about what they do? These people. Your organisational Leaders of tomorrow.
Natural leaders could be anybody within your organisation and plenty of them never get noticed nor the support to flourish. They may not have any official status or title, they may not even appreciate they are leading others. As the head of your business, you’ve got to consider them more often. How are you supporting or rewarding this person in their role? What do they need to help them be successful but also prevent them from burning out? Where does this person figure in your succession planning and how can you encourage others to develop their leadership skills?
There are plenty of theories of leadership and management, but none are as real or relevant as those in your business right now. Some theories might seem overly complex and confusing but fundamentally, perhaps instinctively, most of us can identify with those who possess a healthy combination of the innate soft & hard skills. You don't need to follow a prescribed theory but understanding some might be beneficial to you and your new found leader(s), and indeed the wider organisation.
Look around your organisation and see for yourself. You might already know who these people are but do they know how much their leadership skills are appreciated?
You might well learn a thing or two from them too…