Lead yourself first

business leader, vision, leading

Did you know to lead a team well you must first be in the right place yourself? Staff can pick an insincere, unbalanced leader a mile away. Are you showing your team your authentic self? Do you tell them one thing and then do something different?

Unless they believe you, you are wasting your time, effort, and money.

Here are my four tips to help you lead better:

Practise what you preach

Do not tell your staff to do something you would not be prepared to do yourself. I do not mean you should do it, more so you would do it. If you need a corner of your store scrubbed and it means lying on the floor to get to the bottom corner, if you would not do that, do not expect your staff to. Buy them a tool to make it easy for them to achieve. If you are asking them to say something to your customers to upsell a product, make sure you would feel comfortable saying it yourself.

Understand the job you are asking them to do, make sure you can do it, offer advice on how to complete it, not because you think you know how, because you do know how. If staff feel you have not done the job before they will not respect your input.

Do not treat your staff any less than you would your own family. Most great leaders consider staff their second family.

Motivate your team by being motivated yourself

You cannot ask your team to get excited about a new product, merchandising, anything at all, if you are not motivated about it yourself. Do not display false excitement, they will recognize it a mile off. Be excited about your business, keep your enthusiasm levels high, if they are low, work out ways to raise them. Take a break for a while, go for a long walk, listen to an upbeat podcast on business, read a book that inspires you, keep looking for ways to become motivated again.

I am sorry to say if you are not genuinely motivated by your business, your staff never will be.

Be a pleasing personality

Nobody wants to follow a leader who is not happy and positive. Show them you are interested in their life outside the workplace, I do not mean you have to share it, just be interested. Be kind when it matters, show them you have empathy, sympathy and understanding. Talk about the good stuff, share the fun news. Limit any negativity.

Have your priorities in place

Show them you have priorities in your life, let them see your family comes first. They must know you are invested in the business, but not more than your family. They need to see you have a good balance in your life. Work out a good mix, so they can see your family is important but so are they, and your business. It is a fine line, but when you get it right, your life will feel great.

If you can introduce or improve these four practices into your work life you will be on your way to becoming a better leader.

Marie Temby, author of “Simple Soulful Successful”