“Like any leader, my style has grown with my experience” – By Catherine Quirke, CEO, Taxback International
Note: This piece was originally published in Business & Finance magazine, vol. 59, no. 2, available to read, with compliments, here.
Like any leader, my style has grown with my experience and I have often learned far more from my mistakes than my successes. In the past, for example, my approach was more hands on, preferring to be involved as much as possible in my team’s activities. However, what I quickly learned is that this can be demotivating. Team members want to feel empowered not micro-managed. They want to make decisions and take responsibility. Over time I learned to delegate more effectively and this has been beneficial both for myself and for my team. I believe empowering others to take greater control over responsibilities and decisions provides greater job satisfaction as well as grows their confidence. Teams will always thrive when they know there is room to try new things, make mistakes, and learn from them. The additional benefit of effective delegation is that my time has been freed up to focus on a wider variety of tasks within the business.
What works best to keep your team engaged and excited about the future of the business?
It’s a balancing act at times trying to keep a team both motivated and focused. I think that without providing the context, day-to-day activities can sap the energy from any team. That’s why communication is essential for a good leader to keep their teams engaged and excited about the future. Regular communication to the entire team about the company’s activities can help with this. Just as one example, I send out a weekly update to the entire company giving them an overview of the week. This is an opportunity to celebrate both individual and team victories as well provide updates of company activities. With so many people working from home or in offices that are stretched across the globe it’s a simple and effective way of keeping team members engaged about the direction of the company.
How can business leaders prepare for all eventualities – good and bad – that may lie ahead?
Staying alert to change is something all business leaders are trying to do. In the internet age we have so many sources of information that it’s impossible to know about them all let alone to keep track of every single one. But again, this goes back to empowering individuals within your teams and keeping communication channels open. Getting regular feedback from team members provides a diversified stream of information that helps businesses stay ahead of the coming changes that can often happen overnight. At the end of the day, a good leader doesn’t go it alone, they understand the need for the support and backing of their team to achieve the bigger goals.