Keith Fowler

It’s not your sole responsibility to come up with a solution

We all want to be at the helm of a successful business. When our businesses are doing well, and everything is going to plan, and exceeding expectations, managers and owners seem prescient and brilliant. But we all know that the most successful minds in business aren’t really doing it all themselves.

One of my favourite quotes has got to be from Martin Hall, the Head of Marketing at Honda Motor Europe – “the single biggest area where managers can go wrong is thinking that it is their sole responsibility to come up with a solution.”

I could not agree more. We oversee the overall operations and success of our enterprise, but when we take on too much of the burden of short term problem solving, we lose sight – and control – of the bigger picture.

Leadership, leadership, leadership.

You’ve heard it before – ‘leadership skills are important.’ But have you truly taken this to heart? Leadership does not have to entail being right all of the time and always knowing what to do in every situation. No, true leadership is about creating an environment of respect and a place where ideas are encouraged and fostered to grow.

You need to facilitate the work that is happening beneath you without being a helicopter boss and feeling like you need to make every single decision. Start by setting clear goals and expectations and let your team go from there. If you have the right people on your team, they will make the right choices and help create solutions you would have never dreamt of.

Hire the right people and delegating decision-making becomes easy

When it comes to keeping our businesses strong and successful, smart hiring practices are key. One of the best things that any manager can do is bone up on hiring practices, interviewing skills and training procedures. Hiring, training and keeping the best talent in your industry can be the difference between sink or swim. After all, who do you want to rely on to help you make decisions and keep your business afloat – a top performer or a middling average Joe?

Inspiring trust – and learning to give it

The ability to inspire and build trust is one of the foundations of transformational leadership. While you could send out endless requests and give orders like a drill sergeant, winning the confidence of your team is going to yield much better results.

Being a good leader is about nurturing and developing your team and bringing out their best qualities. While you may set out to do this, in practice it can be difficult. People are complex, with many different priorities in their lives and rewards that drive them. Taking the time to learn about your employees and finding out what makes them tick will engender far greater results over time. Not only will this encourage them to trust you, it will allow you to trust their judgement in return.

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