Leadership is an interesting thing – most people see being a leader as something to aspire to, yet when you are a leader it can be very lonely and isolating.
As a leader of a team of diverse individuals it can be hard to make sure I meet everyone’s needs, including my own – which is often something that’s overlooked in most articles you read about leadership.
Some of the techniques I use to manage the team here at Psoda are:
Communicate openly and often
We have a daily stand up meeting that involves every member of the Psoda team. These meetings give me the opportunity to encourage everyone to raise any issues before they become a major problem.
Leading by example
I always try to show the team how I want them to behave. For example, I always speak to the team how I would like to be spoken to. I am open about my challenges and my successes.
This is something I take really seriously. I motivate the team in different ways from having quarterly team lunches and fun activities, such as crazy golf or pool, to praising particularly good efforts.
As the CEO, it is often difficult to be in the office and be seen. I’ve found in the past that things slip when I’m not in contact for a period of time. I’ve solved that by blocking an hour a day in my calendar for the office. During that time I’m physically there and available for the team to come and talk to me, ask questions or share problems. I honour that time even if I’m travelling – I then make sure I beam in virtually through video conferencing (I personally can’t wait until the day I can appear in the office as a hologram!). I’ve found that goes a long way towards building trust and communication within the team.
Take some time for myself
I’m the first to admit this is very hard to achieve, as there is always something demanding attention. Yet, this is one of the most important things a leader can do. I feel I am a far better leader when I’m relaxed and fresh. To recharge I read a book, go for a walk, or play with technology even if it is only in five minute slots.
As a final point, whether you’re a new manager or have been leading people for a long time, it is crucial to take time to reflect on your leadership style and approach, and if there is anything you can change to be a better leader for your team. After all, we subject our people to performance reviews, it’s just fair that we do the same for ourselves!