Good Leadership

Last week’s column incited many calls from readers who were either trying to self-analyze whether they were good managers – or on the other end of the spectrum, trying to show why their managers were horrible bosses. One thing is certain: good leaders always encourage growth and development. If I were to do a list of sorts, I would submit that good leaders:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Never run away from problems
  • Encourage dialogue among the team
  • Outline expectations clearly
  • Delegate without micro-managing

I saw a cartoon illustration with the difference between a manager and a leader. The manager was behind a team, who was responsible for pushing a big rock. He was shouting, “Push!” The leader, on the other hand, was in front his team, shouting the same thing. Which one is more motivational? The answer is obvious. Good leaders lead by example.

I will quote from a book by Andrew Grove, called High Output Management: “a big part of a manager’s work is to supply information and know-how, and to impart a sense of the preferred method of handling things to the groups under his control and influence.” This is a very important point to note for those of us who may think we cannot hand over assignments. I had a potential client (note the word “potential” since I decided not to work for her) who could not let go. As the owner of the business, she was selling tickets, she was handling social media, working seven days a week and she was doing the accounts for the business. Now, we all know that this is the usual
route for an entrepreneur. But after ten years and with some staff, there is no way that you should be doing everything in your business, while staff is demotivated and have no idea what their real purpose is. Check yourself…have I thrown a ball to my team member, only to ask them to throw it back? 

The leader is ultimately responsible for the company culture. If you’ve recently come to a company at a high level and realize the culture is unhealthy, you must work towards changing it.  A good leader is keen to reward positive behaviours with recognition and praise. Even the shyest person among us appreciates recognition.

Recruitment is also very important. Simply because you know someone doesn’t mean that they will be a good fit within your company. Sometimes in the Caribbean we think we can hire our friends and that all will be well. I have seen that this is a recipe for disaster. It not only demotivates other employees, but it can explode and ruin good friendships. Leaders do things the right way. Remember that!

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.