Are you an engaged leader?

Top business leaders should help elevate their company to success. These kind of engaged leaders are disciplined about engagement, hiring and delegation. Are you doing your job properly?

Connected to the vision

Your job is to make the vision clear, your company values understood and to put the right associates in the right roles so they can contribute to this vision.

It’s not senior leadership’s job to motivate associates. It’s our job to create an environment that draws out motivated associates who feel connected to the company values and strategy. Your most important message is to share why the business exists and why it’s worth investing in.

Get everyone on the same page by ensuring each associate’s work is challenging. They need to feel recognized, to see that their contribution matters, to feel responsible and to feel like they are growing. An environment that feeds associates’ individual needs will drive true satisfaction — it connects directly inside the person.

Hire slow, fire fast

To build the right team, the adage “hire slow and fire fast” is sage advice.

Have a process to hire a person. Once you’ve hired someone, however, you’ll know in the first 90 days whether it’s going to work. If you made a bad call, fire fast, but don’t make it a surprise to the new hire.

One of the biggest things hiring managers overlook is an understanding of where the company is in its own evolution.

Before you hire, think through how you’re going to support this person. Are they remote or local? Do you need a builder or an operator? Is it a mature environment or early stage? Do you need to hire someone who needs a defined path or someone comfortable working in the gray zone that is able to make it black and white? These environments are very different. Have they done the job in a similar environment or will your situation be their first?

Without screening for some of these, it’s a crapshoot whether the candidate works out.

Delegation

In order to grow your business or be able to take on more responsibility, we have to become great delegators.

To enable delegation, you need clarity around roles (who does what), an ability to articulate what’s expected and for associates to be able to ask questions without feeling insecure. These foundational concepts, combined with the right character and competence, lay the groundwork for delegation.

A bring-me-along approach — the associate leads a project with the manager verifying the work along the way — minimizes surprises and is a sure way to build momentum toward common goals.

As a leader, your job is to define the “what and why” of a project. Let the associates recommend “how” it should be done by presenting their suggestions. You can give feedback until there’s a great solution to the “how.”

This approach frees up your time, as you don’t have to attend the “how” meetings. It also shows you trust them, and best of all, rallies a group of associates around accountability and engagement.

 

Pamela Springer is the founding partner of SpringerNav LLC. A 20-year entrepreneurial executive focused on developing profitable strategies that scale, drive revenue and build cohesive teams, Pamela has received numerous honors.