Are you the leader your company really needs?

Most of our material is about growing sales but every so often we stray into related areas – especially when we have an acknowledged expert to bring you and their input will directly impact your sales growth.  Our friend and colleague Jane Bromley has been helping Directors and Owners of businesses become outstanding leaders for over 15 years and really knows her stuff.

Here’s what she has to say on becoming an outstanding leader…

Let’s be honest – most companies lack strong leadership.

Business people flounder without good leaders. What is more, people need someone who will ensure the company is going somewhere worthwhile. It brings a bounce to their step, making them much more effective. And, when you lead well, you will make a HUGE impact.

Example: A great leader

For a while now I have been working with a lovely professional services business. The Managing Director was brand new in. He was determined to transform the business so he started by defining the leader he wanted to be. Then, as it was in his nature, he spent a lot of time listening to the employees and solving their problems. As a result, they started to work more effectively, more creatively. Teams started to become more aligned and the staff felt encouraged. Morale improved. He knew he did not have the strategic ability to define where the business was going or the strategies needed to get there but he was smart enough to know he did not need to know all the answers and found external help to do just that. The business’ results started to improve quickly. Everyone began to feel part of something really worthwhile and confident that the company knew how to get there. Productivity increased dramatically. So did the results!

When someone decides to become a really good leader it has a surprisingly positive impact on their success; on the results their company enjoys and, above all, on how productive, fulfilled and engaged their staff become.

Two surprisingly powerful steps to become the leader your company needs

Step 1 – Define the leader you want to become

First of all, draw two columns on a piece of paper.

In the left hand column, list all the characteristics of someone who would be a great leader for your team or organisation. Have some fun with this. So, first of all, list all the ideas you immediately think of (e.g. good listener, decisive, inspiring confidence) until you look at your list and think: “Yes. This is what we need!”

When you have done that, think of some people you regard as great leaders. For instance, Steve Jobs . . . or Jack Welch of GE.

What was Steve Jobs renowned for? What made him such a good leader? Well… I think it was his passion; total commitment; focus on products with huge potential; determination to create top product quality; desire to push the boundaries and ability to inspire such enthusiasm and confidence that thousands wanted to follow his lead. When he re-joined Apple, if you spoke to an Apple employee you got the impression of an inspired army of people marching “unstoppably” where he led. This was despite the fact that he was a far from perfect Manager. He brought about impressive people alignment – across the whole company. Does that spark more ideas for your list?

On the other hand, Jack Welch brought outstanding focus, drive and passion into GE. His decision that GE would only remain in markets where they could be the market leader or number 2 meant that, in just a few years, GE had refocused totally and had 14 global, market leading businesses. Wow! Under his guidance GE became the most valuable company in the world. Outstanding leadership!

Which other inspiring leaders can you think of, in business, sports or any other area? You do not want to write a thesis here – just the aspects you think are important. Go with the flow…

Now consider the following:

  • What is the leadership style you want?
  • What type of leaders would you like to be known for?
  • Will you be results focused?
  • What do you envisage your team/ business achieving?
  • What impact will you have on the people in your team because, after all, that is what leadership is all about . . .
  • What will ensure you achieve excellent results?
  • What will the level of trust be like? Be precise about that. Not just “high trust”.
  • Finally, how will you inspire the staff to want to follow you?

Take at least 45 minutes to an hour to complete your list. Play with it. Have fun. This is your creation – so enjoy creating it.

Now, in the second column, simply compare objectively where you stand today against each characteristic from the first column.

Take all pressure off. Have fun with it. This is an exercise for you to enjoy.

So, there is a gap between where you are and where your future leads is. Which two or three areas will make a big difference to your ability to lead your team?

Example: A Pan-European Managing Director

I worked with an MD of a pan-European construction business. He was brand new into the role, although he had been a Director before. We went through this same exercise. Then we worked out how we could close the gap to become the leader he wanted to be. It only took six hours of 1:1 coaching. As a result, the company saw an immense difference:

  • His direct reports appreciated his leadership far more
  • He felt so much better in himself – he really knew who he was and what he stood for
  • All the staff across the company began to feel more confident about the business
  • The business aligned and revenue grew for the first time in five years

So you can see how incredibly powerful this exercise is!

Step 2- How to fast track your progress as a leader

This step will bring the leader in you to life – in a tangible way.

Now you have defined the leader you want to be, think of two or three scenarios where better leadership would be extremely useful in your business. What impact you would like to have in those scenarios? Envisage the result you desire. Go through the basics first – if one scenario is a meeting, how can you set it up to have the greatest impact? Which questions would you ask? How will you ensure that you gain insight from everyone in the team to gain maximum benefit? What outcome will you achieve together? How will you feel during and afterwards? How would you like the team to feel?

Then . . . just see yourself there. See how you do it. See it happening before your very eyes. How do you feel? Luxuriate in it going well. Enjoy it.

Did you know that, when your brain imagines something happening it cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality? So, once you have envisaged this scene, your brain will persevere until it works out how it will make it happen.

So, if you wish to fast-track your progress, visualise each scene quite a few times, just as you would like them to happen. It will help you a great deal.

Example: A Fintech Software Director

We ran a similar exercise in a Fintech company. I was working with a Director and I guided him through these two steps. Due to challenging circumstances, he was far too hands-on in his job, bogged down in day to day issues instead of providing the leadership staff were crying out for. In just six single hours of 1:1 coaching, he defined the leader he wanted to become. He suddenly saw how he could empower his team to love their work and achieve so much more. It was incredible to see the change in him.

Summary

There are simple, actionable steps you can take today that will make a big difference to your leadership in your business.  If you wish to get some help in this process, we have a great track record helping leaders fulfil their potential.

A few client examples:

  • An £11m creative agency more than doubled sales and profits in 3 months€5m increase in sales in 6 months, followed by 12% growth pa for pan-European division of Raytheon – where sales had previously stalled for 5 years
  • A technology company increased sales by 400% in under 3 years
  • A Fintech business where sales had stalled, started to work as a team and developed a value proposition their customers love, with the power to totally transform their industry

What clients say:

“Thank you for helping us to develop strategies to improve sales performance. Your expert support proved very beneficial in helping us to grow the business.”
Nigel Norman, MD, Sarsen Technology

“When I look back at how hard we have worked, what we have achieved and where we are headed, I realise working with you on your growth strategy was one of my good decisions.” Mark Oliver, MD, Raytheon Professional Services.

“Jane Bromley of Strategenic Ltd speeds up business growth through her sound strategic planning ability. Recommended.” Graeme Hogg, Director Business Strategy HP

Are you ready to talk?

If you’re a leader looking for results like the ones Jane describes here, Jane meets a few senior Executives each month to help them define exactly what they wish to achieve and to investigate how they can make faster progress.

Just call or email Jane to see if she has any slots left this month:

Tel:         +44 (0)207 0604 006
Email:    enquiries@strategenic.co.uk
http://strategicplanningforgrowth.co.uk/