No one likes to work for somebody that lacks empathy, insight, or respect. It doesn’t matter how much you produce, if you have unhappy staff and a high turnover rate, your business will ultimately fail. Even if you don’t have a high turnover rate, if your staff is unhappy, they won’t have the drive or incentive to work hard, work honest, or put in 110% on anything.
(I might use the word “manager’ but if you are a business owner, same goes for you)
Great managers understand that the job needs to be rewarding both financially (pay them well) and emotionally. There needs to be a healthy level of stress. They need to be challenged or pushed to get the job done efficiently and effectively. They need a leader they respect, so here are some qualities I’ve tried my best to acquire over the years and I still work with the same people I did in the beginning. (Notice I said “work with” and not “have working for me”)
1) Be knowledgeable in every area of your field
I am not saying you need to be an expert at everything. As you have read in past blogs, I am the first person to delegate. I can’t do it all but at least I can tell someone else what I want and how they should do it. Know enough about every aspect of your industry to be able to at least have the conversation. If you don’t know something, make sure you have the resources to learn the information you are lacking. You are the one ultimately responsible to be thorough and clear when you are directing your team. You must be well connected in your industry and be able to convey your insights so your team can properly execute them. These skills are what builds your team a safe foundation to work off. If you are an inspiring coach and knowledgeable, they will see you as an ally, and thus, come to you for guidance.
When direction and expectations are communicated in a clear manner to your team members, production value, work ethic, quality, and efficiency all go up. Success happens. This skill is essential in creating a happy, thriving, and productive working environment. You always need to understand that each team member is unique. Great managers will implement and utilize different communication skills based on the personality and needs of the individual.
3) Positive assertion
A great manager will always be assertive yet positive and optimistic. This trait will set the right tone for every team member you are working with. If you are upbeat and helpful they will have a “deliver” attitude. Success will always be a hard thing to come by if you are presenting them with a negative, harsh, or oppressive conditions.
4) Love what you do
If you love what you do, you will constantly be learning. This enthusiasm encourages your team to keep learning more as well! Lead by doing. Invest your time and resources into self-growth and development. Put the time and money also into training and educating your staff. Show your hunger for self-improvement, it will be contagious. Passion is the only way to stay ahead of the competition. Passion is the fuel that will inspire them to be more, learn more, and in the end, do more.
Encourage each team member to connect and discuss your business and report back to you on innovative ideas they come up with, things to improve, and what needs to be fixed. Engage in team conference calls to just talk shop a couple of times a month. Unleash their full potential by assuring them they have a fully supportive team and you are 100% behind them. Teach them how to work with one another and reward teamwork and comradery. Again, lead by doing. Push them to read books that will benefit your business. Maybe assign a book every other month for them to read and you can discuss it as a team bi-monthly. This will be a challenge for them that improves their knowledge in your field.
6) Stress Management
Top managers are able to manage their stress and be self-aware. Because of this ability, they are better equipped in managing the stress of their team when they need it the most. Stress is the main place where the team has potential to burn out, short-circuit, or have a mental breakdown. This leads to poor production, treating others poorly, and lack of quality work. Great managers will ensure their team has adequate time for a healthy personal life as well as give them realistic tasks to complete in realistic time. It’s all about balance.
What separates successful managers from the opposite, is passion. Passion is what allows them to self-motivate. They are able to motivate others by improving team moral and breeding the relationship between achievement and happiness. They are inspirational and are always redefining the team goal. It’s not just about closing that one deal…it’s about their overall success as a group. When the success ball begins to roll, passions will for sure become peaked.
8) Quality, quality, quality
The best of the best focus on quality as the main ingredient to running a thriving business. There are so many other factors that play important roles such as volume and productivity but if your product or service is shit, so is your business. Your team needs to know that nothing less than high quality product is accepted. The quality of the product or service is what determines the value. If your team is selling something they are proud of, they will naturally sell more of it in less time.
9) Focused on excellence
Your team must know that you expect only the best from yourself and also from them. You do not accept mediocrity. If someone is half-assing their role too often, make an example of them and cut them loose. Poor results are absolutely unacceptable. Again, encourage the sharing of ideas in your conference calls. If someone has a great idea, work on it and tweak it into perfection as a team until its perfect. If this idea is super profitable, offer commission or bonuses. This will keep those brilliant ideas flowing and have your crew thinking outside the box.
10) Success is shared
Celebrate each team member’s accomplishments. This shows them that you not only appreciate their demanding work but that you believe in all of them doing well. Be solution focused, generous with your attention, and always have time for them when they come to you with good news or bad. When you show appreciation, they will treat their work and accomplishments with more importance. Have a meaningful and significant impact on your staff. They will respect you and feel worthy and appreciated. Notice the small every day wins as well and the big ones. This will lead to grander achievements. One last point here is that it never hurts to go out and celebrate once in a while.
As a business owner, I have the luxury of working with some of the most talented, intelligent, driven individuals. This took time and a lot of pains to get here though. Not everyone you hire will make the cut and it sucks having to let people go but it’s never personal, it’s just business. (Well, sometimes it can be personal.) Once you fine-tune your tribe of talented individuals, please try your very best to implement the 10 qualities listed above. It will mean the difference between a dragging, sluggish, failing business that can’t get off the ground, to a thriving, flourishing, forward-moving success story. As I said, when that success ball begins to roll, you and your team will feel and be unstoppable.