How to be a strong leader

Practical concerns such as attracting new business and managing costs will always be high on the list of priorities for entrepreneurs and company directors.

However, it’s also important to think about less tangible factors that could have an impact on the performance of your venture. One such consideration is the quality of leadership in your firm.

If the people at the top of the business fail to form strong relationships and set a positive example to those below them, it could have a damaging impact on employee engagement, morale and productivity, consequently affecting the company’s bottom line.

This is a common problem, with a recent survey by CV-Library revealing that 82 per cent of workers in the UK have had a bad leader at some point in their careers.

More than nine out of ten (94 per cent) of the 1,200 people polled agreed that strong leadership is important in the workplace, while 76 per cent said they enjoyed following a good leader.

Four out of ten employees (41 per cent) said bad leadership left them feeling demotivated.

Discussing the possible ramifications of inadequate management, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, pointed out that it can often be a direct contributor to people suffering from stress at work or leaving their job.

He added: “Workers want to feel supported in their day-to-day job and often depend on a strong leader to look up to, approach if things get tough and rely on for help on a daily basis. Organisations that don’t promote best practice when it comes to leadership will inevitably bear the brunt when it comes to talent retention.”

So what are the traits you should be seeking to encourage at the top of your business to ensure a certain standard of leadership?

Clear communication
Nearly four out of ten respondents to the CV-Library research (37 per cent) cited weak communication skills as one of the defining traits of a bad boss, second only to poor people skills (60 per cent).

It’s crucial for leaders to be able to engage with people and communicate in a clear and constructive way in order to get results.

No-one wants to feel that they are being treated unfairly, particularly when they have been putting in a lot of time and hard work to do their bit for the business.

One example of unfair treatment that company directors and team leaders should avoid is favouring certain individuals, which 34 per cent of people identified as a characteristic of a bad boss.

Leading by example
One thing that’s practically guaranteed to create bad feeling in the workplace is if employees see their bosses failing to live up to the standards they have set for the workforce as a whole.

If you have told your employees you attach a lot of importance to punctuality or politeness, for example, you must be sure to embody these principles yourself.

It can be extremely beneficial for bosses to have a close and friendly relationship with their employees, but it’s also important to maintain an aura of professionalism and dedication to work, particularly when the business is involved in a major project or facing a significant challenge.

One in three workers (33 per cent) taking part in the CV-Library survey said a lack of professionalism was one of the hallmarks of a bad boss.


Posted by Yuvraj Rana

Image courtesy of iStock/LuckyBusiness


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