Connecting As a Leader

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Are you able to gather your entire staff together or just the star employees who are able to keep up with your leadership style? Do you feel like your employees are not onboard with your vision and mission and often find yourself frustrated and disappointed by the quality of employees you have? You may find it frustrated when attempting to unify your employees. Unfortunately, it may not be your employees but rather you as the leader. Understanding your leadership style is the key to having effective employees that will go the distance for you and make your department goals a reality.

As a small business owner I had to realize that I had to have many personalities to sustain my business. The personalities to make my business thrive through various economic conditions were being a climber and a connector. As a climber I instinctively think about positioning my business for success. I wanted to move upwards and increase business which made me aware of my competition's position, regardless if they were behind or in front of me. I also have the personality of a connector because I focus on relationships which have caused me brief moments of stagnation. I have focused on clients who were not motivated to attain the next level of their business.

As I move forward as a small business owner I have had to learn to balance my personalities to ensure success for my business and those involved. If your climber personality is dominating and you want to sustain relationships with your employees without losing your focus on upward mobility for your team, you should:

· Show appreciation for your employees. I had to learn to show appreciation for those involved in my organization. By showing appreciation you acknowledge the differences among your employees and let them know you care about what they add to your team.

· Be sensitive to your employees. As a climber I had a no nonsense policy when dealing with my team and clients. I had to learn being sensitive to my employees adjusted their mood and helped me understand how they felt. If your employees have a problem expressing themselves or if they over express themselves, your sensitivity will help bridge communication issues.

· Stay consistent. I strive for consistency in every aspect of business by being effective, honest and open, not fake or forced when I address concerns or give compliments. Employees do not like inconsistencies because inconsistencies show a leader is not effective.

· Know who you are. I thought that as a small business owner I had to be the top dog all the time but I soon realized it was not a loss if my employees or clients won. If you have a shining star on your team it is important you celebrate their win. Insecurities of your employees winning can hurt your team's morale.

· It's okay to laugh. I laugh all the time as a business owner but I am serious when it comes to ensuring my clients and employees are taken care of. As a leader you do not have to excessively joke with them but being able to laugh with your employees and use humor, even if you are not funny, makes a connection.

If your leadership personality is to connect rather than climb and you are ready to unify your employees through advancement, you should:

· Increase your energy. I have been drained as a small business owner and lost energy. Increasing my energy increased my productivity. Show your employees you are capable of being an energized leader.

· Manage your connections. As a connector I focused on the relationships which were negative to the development of my business. I learned to end relationships and manage others which did not align with my vision. Manage relationships and focus on valuable connections rather than being known as the "friendly boss".

· Intensify your sense of purpose and urgency. There were times when I lacked urgency due to periods of slow business. I had to learn to intensify my sense of purpose on projects and my urgency to show my employees I wanted more for them and my business. As a leader, your intensity sets the tone for your team.

Leaders can develop their skills by finding the right relationship. Let your employees know you want to win, that you believe they can win, that you want to win with them and that when they win you win too. Leadership is complicated and being successful as a climber who connects or a connector who climbs will add more to your team.

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Ivy N. Carter has 1 articles online

Ivy N. Carter, MBA
Small Business Consultant
Divine Consulting Group, LLC

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Connecting As a Leader

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This article was published on 2010/03/27