Your Answers Lie in Your Leadership

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Staff shortages. Supply chain issues. Burn out. There are a lot of challenges facing businesses and business owners right now. At times, some of these challenges may seem insurmountable. But there is good news and that is that you have everything you need to solve these problems through leadership. Being a leader means finding the solution to your problems. Leadership seems to be such a buzz word these days, so what does it mean to lead or have leadership?.

Connect with your why and communicate this vision

One of the main roles of any leader is to cast vision and then translate that vision into reality. To be able to do this, some leaders need to reconnect with their why and get clear on their vision. It is your vision that inspires your team and others to join it. If you are clear on what you want to achieve and can paint that picture clearly and simply, then you will attract the right people to join your team and help you realize your goals.

Tip: Your why should be about making a difference or solving a problem. Leaders don't set out to be leaders, they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role; it's about the goal.

Remember who you are leading

Leadership starts with the simple reminder of who you are leading. For example, in the funeral profession, you are selling a service first and foremost. So, it's your people, your team, that should be your number one client and the most important to you. Your team comes before your clients. Without them you don't have a business. A friend of mine in the profession, Bruno Carchidi, from Tubman Funeral Homes in Ottawa, shared this diagram with me recently when I was on the road and it stuck with me.

The diagram outlines that to lead successfully you need to make sure you are leading in the right direction.

1. Start with your company culture and values

2. Feed this into your team first

3. They will lead and serve families better

4. This, in turn, feeds stakeholders, which in turn feeds the company.

If you are leading the reverse way, you have it backwards. "Great leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders". (Tom Peters)

Tip: Create your own leadership diagram. Start with your why and then identify your team, your clients and your stakeholders.

Be conscious of your script

I have recently listened to many business owners and managers talk about hiring as their biggest issue. They say things like, "I need more staff". When I hear this, I think that a simple shift in their mindset and vocabulary from staff to team sets a very different tone and may help. When you are building a team, everyone feels like they are in this together, which is how it should be. At MyBabbo, many of the great new team members we have hired have been through referrals from our team. Get your team involved in hiring and building your team and it will lighten your load. Not to mention you can build off each other's ideas and create a better plan.

Tip: Offer a fun challenge or promotion to get new resumes or hires that have been referred by your team.

Listen to your team

It is important as a leader to make your team feel heard. In order to do this, you need to be vulnerable to hearing their feedback on your leadership. I recently participated in the Leadership Circle Profile which provided 360-degree feedback from all of my team on how I am doing as a leader. This information was very valuable and our team also felt like they had a voice. If you don't ask, you will never know how you are doing as a leader.

Tip: For some of us just getting back to weekly meetings as a team or 1-1 meetings and asking more probing questions and listening will be a huge help.

Create a culture of learning

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. You never arrive as a leader - you should always be learning and growing. If it is our role to build up other leaders within our organizations, then we need to be investing in our team's leadership as well. There is a saying that has stuck with me that says, "Everyone wins when a leader gets better." (Bill Hybel).

There are endless opportunities to attend leadership conferences. I recently attended a women's leadership conference in Miami to connect with other female leaders. For my birthday every year, I gift myself a ticket to attend the global leadership conference. It brings the best leaders in business, faith and politics together in one conference. Check it out here. There are also endless books, podcasts and courses that you can take to grow in your leadership. I love to listen to lots of podcasts and audiobooks on leadership. One of my favourites is Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast or Simon Sinek.

Tip: Make an actionable plan to learn something new. Attend a conference or listen to a podcast - it all adds up to make a difference.

I believe that organizations are only as strong as their leadership. So, as leaders, let's get re-rooted in our why and cast our meaningful vision, take a people-first approach prioritizing listening and communication with our team which will help develop them as leaders and only help to strengthen your business and solve some of your problems.

What are your thoughts/concerns/challenges on leadership? Let’s chat in the comments.

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Connection is why we're here;

to our lives.

-   Brene Brown

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