The business leaders who find success in their role and take their company to new heights always look to improve their abilities as a leader. Many aspects make up a successful company, but it is very hard to find any level of success without a great leader at the helm. This is why it is important to learn how you can become a better business leader, especially in 2021, when the pandemic has changed the business landscape.
So, if you are looking to become a better business leader in 2021, then read on for a few of the best ways and how this could help your company.
Manage Remote Employees
One of the biggest challenges for business leaders during the pandemic has been having to manage remote employees. Most are continuing with remote work, at least with a hybrid model moving out of the pandemic, so it is important that you know how to manage remote employees. There are helpful guides for this online, but you also need to ensure that you provide all of the tools, tech, and equipment that your team needs to work productivity from home.
Maintain Close Communication
Leading on from this point, it is also essential that you are maintaining close communication with staff while they work remotely. This is a unique and challenging period to lead a business through, and regular communication will help to keep everyone on the same page, prevent feelings of isolation and ensure that everyone feels supported.
Involve Staff in Decision Making
It is an intelligent idea to involve your staff in decision-making processes, bringing a number of benefits. First, you might find that they can bring new viewpoints and ideas to the table that can take your company forward, plus it is also helpful in helping staff feel valued and important. Second, you need to avoid feelings of separation between the workforce and management, and this is a smart way to do this (although you still need to command respect and be seen as the person in charge).
Following this point, you need to be able to command respect to get the most out of your team and take the business forward. Many modern-day business owners struggle to find the right balance between being friendly with employees and being a boss, which can certainly be a challenge. You need to be a boss first, which means having boundaries, always acting professionally and with integrity, and being someone who takes charge and someone that people can come to with ideas, questions, and concerns.
One of the biggest mistakes that business leaders make – especially with staff working remotely – is micromanaging. It is understandable that you want to oversee the entire operation and for things to be done in a certain way, but this could actually be limiting your success as well as frustrating staff and putting too much pressure on them. Instead, you should put trust in your team and allow them to find their best way of working – not only will this take the pressure off and allow them to work with autonomy, but it will also allow you to take a step back, work on the big picture side of things and/or use the extra time for self-development.
Take an Online MBA
Speaking of self-development, an online MBA is an excellent idea for any entrepreneur that does not have an online MBA already. An online MBA qualification will equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence required to lead a modern-day business and be the best business owner that you can be. Additionally, an online MBA is 100% online to study the online MBA while still running the business and even start applying what you are learning on the online MBA in real-time.
Develop Your Soft Skills
An online MBA is certainly worthwhile if you do not have a qualification already, but other areas you could be focusing on to improve your individual performance. A business leader needs to have strong soft skills to be a good manager of people and excel in their role, which is why you need to develop your soft skills if there are currently areas that you do not feel confident in. In terms of leadership, a few of the key soft skills that you need to possess include:
- Communication skills
- Presentational skills
- Critical thinking
- Time management
- Ability to prioritize workload
- Problem solving
Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
It is always important to consider employee wellbeing as this can impact individual, team, and business performance as well as staff turnover. When you can keep staff happy, engaging, and motivated, it will help cultivate a positive workplace culture that everyone can benefit from and make work much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, many experts believe that employee wellbeing will be a major issue moving on from the pandemic due to the toll that it will have taken on people’s mental health. This is why you need to support your staff as best you can, including offering flexible working, checking in regularly and offering any resources that you can for those that are struggling.
Do you find it hard to keep your team or even yourself motivated? This is one of the most common challenges for business leaders, especially when staff are working remotely. Goal setting has always been a great tool for motivation and can work well even with staff working from home. You should be setting individual, team, and business goals in the short, medium, and long-term that will be challenging yet achieved. Additionally, you need to make sure that you acknowledge and publicly celebrate when these goals are achieved, which can motivate staff, bring people together, and create a culture of working hard, celebrating each other’s achievements and constant progression.
Learn from Famous Leaders
While it is true that 2021 is a unique time to be a business leader, you will find that there are always many lessons to learn from leaders throughout history, including political leaders, entrepreneurs, cultural leaders, sports coaches, and any other famous leaders. So think about any leaders that inspire you and learn as much as you can from them whether this is from an autobiography, online research, videos or even simply inspirational quotes from famous leaders.
One of the most important attributes of leadership is being decisive, which can be tough in times of uncertainty. It is important that you are able to be decisive and to take risks during times like these, but you will also want to make sure that you are making intelligent and informed decisions. This is why you should speak with staff and anyone else that can weigh in on the decision that you are making and to use data to drive your decision making. Hopefully, this will help you to make the right strategic decisions and be a leader that your team can get behind.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Following on from the last point, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes as a business leader as you are the one that has to call the shots and take the risks that no one else will. Every great leader throughout history will have made at least one mistake in their time, but what separates them from the rest is that these mistakes do not knock their confidence and impact their performance. Instead, they will learn as much as they can from the mistake, dust themselves off and get back on the horse. You should always reflect on mistakes and learn from them without dwelling on them and stopping you from making future decisions and taking risks.
Embrace New Tech
It is impossible to be a good business leader without embracing new technology in today’s day and age. New technology can help your business to thrive in so many different ways, so you are limiting yourself and giving your competitors a chance to catch up if you are not willing to embrace and implement new technology. Currently, a few of the key areas to focus on include:
- Remote tools
- Cloud computing
- AR & VR
- Internet of Things
Use Team Building
You could be the best business leader, but if your team do not work well together or get along then it will be very hard to succeed, and you might suffer from high staff turnover. This is why you need to focus on uniting your team and encouraging staff to create strong bonds – while this is not something that you can force, you can encourage it with the use of team building and regular social events. You also should use collaboration and create a relaxed yet productive work environment where people can freely communicate with one another to create strong bonds. Keep in mind that you can certainly be friendly and involve yourself in the social events, but you will always be viewed as the boss first and this is important for your success.
Develop Your Team
A good business leader is also one that develops the abilities of their team and this is intelligent because it can improve performance but also helps to keep staff happy and motivated. You should learn the career goals of your team members and help them to achieve this within your company whether this is with role variation, training, additional responsibilities, promoting from within or signing them up for an online MBA. This will lift everyone, take the business to new heights, and create a culture of self-improvement and development which is so important to business success.
Maintain A Positive Outlook
Positivity is always an important trait in leadership, especially when times are tough. The pandemic has created a great deal of fear, stress, anxiety and insecurity in the business world and many people are fearful for their jobs. In times like these, people tend to look to leaders, so you need to maintain a positive outlook and lead by example. It is understandable that people still feel stressed and anxious, but there are also reasons to be optimistic and you should do your best to reassure staff, motivate them and help them to come out the other side.
Address Issues Swiftly
Leaders are often judged on how they react to issues that arise, and you need to be prepared to handle different issues that could arise – this is why it is a good idea to think about different situations and outcomes and what the best solution is. Moving on from the pandemic, there are likely to be bumps in the road and it is important that you know how to react quickly and resolve issues as best you can. Additionally, when it comes to issues with staff and conflict resolution you must always be fair and consistent – this is something that can be taught on an online MBA.
Being a leader is hard work and a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, burnout is common with business leaders as they put so much pressure on themselves and work to the point of exhaustion. You need to avoid this at all costs because it will negatively impact your personal performance, the performance of the business and interfere with your health and personal life. This is why you need to know how to switch off, take time off from work occasionally and to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
Hopefully, the information in this guide will help you to become a better business leader in 2021 and take your company forward. Every great business needs a great leader at the helm, but leadership is tough especially during challenging, stressful, and uncertain times like these. You need to commit to self-improvement and know the best ways to guide your team in these times and this should help to improve individual, team and business performance as well as help you to get much greater job satisfaction.