Resource On Demand pride themselves on being able to include some of the most innovative technology companies of today amongst their clients. But, it takes a certain kind of recruitment company that understands the skills needed to complement an organisation and keep it on the cutting edge of technology. With this in mind, we often find ourselves being asked to find the next Richard Branson or Mark Benioff, for their organisation. Someone who is a forward thinker; an inspirer and a true leader in every sense of the word.
So what makes a great leader? To identify those people that can push your organisation to the next level you need to first understand the difference between a manager and a leader. Whilst they are not mutually exclusive, there is a fundamental difference.
Managers on the other hand administer, copy, maintain and control. They focus on short term objectives whilst maintaining systems and structure.
We asked Resource On Demand’s, Lee Durrant, what he feels it takes to be a good leader. Here are his thoughts:
Get Passionate. Never be afraid to show when you are passionate about what you do. Passion and belief for your work is the key way of inspiring your team and building enthusiasm.
Be Accessible. Being hands-on, leading by example and lending a helping hand when the going gets tough are great ways to create buy-in by your colleagues. However, always make sure your colleagues understand why you do what you do.
Give Responsibility and Take Ownership. Accepting that you are not a one-man-band and delegating responsibilities to your colleagues, will give them an invested interest in your objectives and the mission of the company. However, be careful not to abandon the team. Make sure that you retain ownership of the big picture, so that your mission stays on course.
Stop and Listen. Great communication skills are essential for any leader, but sometimes we forget the essential information that your colleagues need to hear; that their work matters; that it makes a difference. It is easy to tell team members when they are doing something wrong, but just as importantly you need to tell them when they are doing things right. Also make sure that you listen to the team. Make sure you understand their issues, so that you can get to the heart of the matter, and find a solution. Whatever your message, keep it precise, concise and specific – as projects often fail due to lack of communication.
Deal with Conflict. Often difficult situations come up and as a leader it is your job to deal with the issues. Never bury your head in the sand. Make sure you face up to reality and meet the challenge head on. Be honest, be firm, but be approachable in identifying the solution and helping the team move forward.
Build Value. Okay so you don’t have to be best friends with team members, but you should understand what is important to each individual member of the team, whether it is a money, recognition, promotion or family time. Knowing what is important to them, will give you some common ground to build upon.
Finally, don’t forget to follow. Following is great way of demonstrating that your team matter, that you value their opinions just as much as your own. Following shows that your team inspire you; which will make the journey together all the more rewarding.