“Because we have always done it that way!”
That is a phrase that I have heard from many business owners and leaders when asking them about something that is not working in their business. My next question is usually, “And why is it done that way?” Most often, it's not the old-style patriarchal leadership way. When it comes to progress and success in today's competitive environment, the authoritarian business leader is as effective as kings and dictators are for their nations' economies. Many businesses know something is not working within their own business, but yet hold on to past ways that keep the business and their employee from moving forward.
This way of thinking is not only hindering the business, but they are controlling their people and in doing so, they create an environment of stagnation that fails to tap into their population's talents and ambitions. Leadership training can help a business owner learn how to lead people in a way that brings out their best and encourages them to take ownership.
We live in a diverse country, which requires business leaders and owners to know and understand generational and cultural differences and they need to learn the best approaches to communicate and motivate each one. Doing it, because that is “the way you have always done it” will not work now and into the future.
The best leaders and managers invite staff to fully invest in their own success.
The top-down, one-way communication style died many decades ago, but some business leaders and owners still use it because they are used to making all the decisions.
With today's demographics and the high demand for experienced, knowledgeable workers, small businesses have to have a very solid plan for attraction, retention and succession. All that starts with the leader's vision and leadership style.
Demand and control as an effective management style is dead – and still prevalent in many businesses today --because that's not a style that will work with younger employers. You need to engage them if you want to keep them, and if you want to keep them you have to actually understand where you want to go and they have to see you as a person who wants to develop them." Today’s employees want more than a JOB, they want to feel wanted, their ideas contribute to the business, as well as being respected.
Business owners and leaders believe they can change and adapt, but the reality is they revert back to their old ways. They need to embrace outside leadership training. Then they can learn how to use what they have learned from experience, pass it on to their team and engage them into the strategic planning process. Today's best leaders are the ones who can instil leadership skills in all their employees. They are the ones that value their employee’s contributions.
But, the experts say, part of that means that the leader must know how to walk the talk.
Integrity is a big part of this.
You will not motivate, and you will not lead people well if you say one thing and are doing something else entirely. Leadership by example is one of the strongest ways to get alignment and alignment is key to achieving your goals. Be a better leader and you will attract and retain the best people.
What are you doing in your business to empower, lead, inspire your employees?