Lead Your Business Team Effectively

Effective teams demand strong leaders who can see the future, communicate the business plan’s vision, inspire and influence others, and make things happen. The best leaders are people who move easily among the following three management styles, laying down the law when they need to but also eliciting help or asking for advice when appropriate:

  • The boss: Using this approach, the leader tells employees what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

  • The advisor: This style gives employees a fair amount of independence and responsibility while keeping the boss available to help or advise as necessary.

  • The colleague: In this style, managers sit down with employees for a free exchange of ideas in which employees treat each other with equal respect and make mutual decisions.

Different kinds of companies and even different situations within each company call for the use of different leadership styles. If you run a design or advertising agency, for example, you need to serve as an advisor or colleague, giving people plenty of freedom to be as creative as possible, but you also need to be the boss who sets a clear vision and direction that everyone within the agency follows.

If you start a local courier service, you need the ability to give instructions, direct people, and keep everyone on schedule, but you also need to remain open to ideas from your couriers regarding what could make the operation run more efficiently and effectively.

Always look for opportunities to practice leadership skills and traits. If tight deadlines are a fact of life in your business, develop ways to make colleagues aware of each deadline and make them comfortable meeting it. If creativity is the hallmark of your business, sit down with your colleagues to brainstorm the best ways to encourage it.

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