Below is a list of things we’ve learned from working and talking with many of you this year. Which of these would you describe yourself as?
How resilient we all have to be. From exiting covid, the perma-crisis, cost of living worries, the list is endless. You’re spinning lots of plates and providing emotional support to many people at work and at home. But who’s supporting you? We often talk about the aeroplane oxygen mask example, making sure your mask is secure first before helping others, seems counter-intuitive but it’s exactly the same with your own mental and physical health. You can only be the best leader for others if you’re in a good place yourself.
You have to make some tough decisions on people. Those that helped get your business to where it is today are probably not the right people to get you to where you want to be tomorrow. And that applies to you also as leaders, are you being self-critical about your skills? What do you need to improve, who around you can fill in for your weaknesses, what do you want to be known for as a leader in the next 12 months?
You have great vision and clear values, but sometimes struggle to make them part of your culture or get your teams behind them. Obviously as the leader you need to live and breathe them, but have you really communicated the behaviours that you expect from everyone? For instance it’s great to say you promote an innovative culture but what does that actually mean in practice? Do you allow everyone to spend at least half a day a week focusing on improving things or coming up with new ideas?
Be careful what you wish for and who you listen to. From investors who are getting too involved to advisors who believe they know best. You have to make decisions as a leader and you need to make sure you’re always moving forwards. If people are holding you back or challenging your personal beliefs then it’s time to think about who you listen to and perhaps find a better external sounding board.
Lack of self belief and imposter syndrome is rife. Everyone at every level suffers from it at some point. Just remember why you’re doing what you do, all the positive experiences you’ve had, all the positive experiences you’ve given others. Leadership is all about how others experience you, if you’re feeling unsure then ask your team for some feedback.