How can you master the 4 spheres of your Business?
Building a great business requires mastering, or certainly being in control of, each of the four major categories – Leadership, Sales & Marketing, Finance and Operations. Understanding each category and ensuring that you are strong across all four spheres, has proven to produce hugely successful businesses.
But how do you know whether you are weaker in one area and stronger in another? In some instances, it may be obvious. Other times you made need an external eye to review your business for you, or use assessment tools (such as these) to shed light on where to begin. Finding out the weakest point in a business using the four spheres is critical because a business cannot grow further than its weakest link. The ultimate aim, however, is to develop a team or a skill set that ‘turns up’ to a business each day, and ensures all 4 areas are operating at their best.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you how to master each of these four major categories, starting with Leadership.
A good place to start is the first sphere – Leadership. It is often spoken about however it can be relatively difficult to quantify. So what really what makes a great leader?
There are many qualities that are common to people that make great leaders. For example, having the ability to self-analyse, being a good listener, continually learning, being an excellent delegator, having persistence, surrounding oneself with other great leaders, humility… the list is endless.
Essentially to be a leader and to lead a business is like setting a ship to sail. Firstly, we must know the direction and the purpose of a voyage. We all need to know why we are sailing, what we wish to achieve, and what exciting possibilities the journey may bring. That’s what leadership provides. The vision, direction, aspiration and energy that a crew requires to make any situation a success. Although each leader has different set of traits – it is in the combination of those traits with those of the team that will determine the way in which a business or situation is managed. Capitalising on this knowledge, many great leaders can adjust with a team to achieve group equilibrium so that they can unite to a common cause.
7 ways to be a great leader
Have a vision or a goal
- Create a compelling Vision which energises the organisation
- Ensure it is understandable and realistic and that there is a clear strategy and goals
- Involve your team in establishing the Vision and Goals – this encourages ownership
- Consistently reinforce the Vision and discuss progress with employees
- Hang it up in workplaces so people see it, remember it, and live it
- You must be looking out at least two to three years
- It is amazing how a longer term aspirational goal can become reality if it is constantly reinforced
Get the team right – it’s all about people
- Get a structure in place and ensure everybody knows their role
- Get rid of autocrats, politicians and other negative influences - they will hold you back
- Set a standard and move on people who can’t or won’t change - don’t procrastinate
- Bring in people with the right culture and background into key influencing positions
- Provide opportunities for high performers
- Ensure rewards are performance based
Be the example for your team
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Be visible, not aloof - don’t walk past people without acknowledging them
- Positive body language - people look at you in assessing how things are going
- Speak to everybody in the same manner and tone
- Look for opportunities to say well done or thank you
- If you treat people with respect, they will accept it when you give constructive criticism
- Act with integrity - set an example
- Act professionally
- Be strong
Leadership can be taught and learned
- Don’t micro-manage
- Don’t manage by fear
- Don’t monitor routine activities and attendance
- Do hold people accountable for results
- Be even handed and consistent
- Play the issue not the man
- Be prepared to say thank you and sorry
- Be open and honest
- You are trusted when your people confide in you and are willing to give you bad news
- You are trusted and respected when your people ask your advice
Set High Standards
- Set high standards and expectations
- Stress personal responsibility and accountability
- Be intolerant of continued underperformance - tolerance sends the wrong message
- Ensure your Management Team have high standards
- Don’t accept people turning up to meetings late
- Don’t accept late reports
- Don’t accept people leaving things in the kitchen for others to clean up
- Don’t fly business class if others are made to fly economy
- It is the little things that send out the strongest messages
Leadership is the ability to influence others to do great things
Empower your team
- After ensuring people understand their role, let them do their job
- Focus on outcomes, not inputs
- Assess people on results, not how many hours they work
- Allow flexibility in working hours where appropriate – remember, outcomes not inputs
- Have appropriate measurement and feedback systems
- With empowerment comes accountability
- Don’t hang people for taking well considered risks if things don’t turn out perfectly
- Your role is to create the environment for others to make decisions and thrive
Foster a good Culture
- Friendly - no politics
- Tidy - respect for other people
- Avoid closed offices
- Space for socialisation
- It’s not a correction facility - people need to enjoy their jobs and have fun in order to achieve sustained high performance
- Break down barriers - forget the ties unless it is expected when meeting with customers
- Professional – have presentation facilities, coffee machines, TV Screens.
- Don’t put up with disruptive people
- Celebrate successes
- Allow a bit of noise
- Smile and laugh out loud
Overall it’s good to remember that being the leader doesn’t in itself make you the smartest person in the team. If you get outstanding people in your team it will far outweigh any personal contribution you can ever make. And finally, enjoy your team and seeing their successes and always be moving forward and looking for opportunities to grow.
Stay tuned for our next article on How to excel in the Sphere of Sales & Marketing.
If you could use help in any of the 4 spheres of Leadership, Marketing, Operations or Finance drop us a line below and we can help you work out which areas to focus on to help your business grow.
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