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Effective leadership within SMEs



Here are my thoughts on effective leadership:

Leadership can only occur when a purpose has been developed

The starting point for developing effective teams is in developing a “business vision”, a reason why the organisation exists built from the core values and beliefs of the owner.

Individuals follow because they identify with the business vision and believe in the same things

The staff of the organisation, whether it is 5 or 500, needs to be engaged and feel part of the development of the strategic direction of the business. They need to feel that their contribution counts

A lot has been written about leadership and team working but without vision and direction a team will have nothing to strive for, the following steps need to occur to create successful teams:

  • Articulate the core values, core purpose and vision for the business
  • Involve the staff in the development of the strategic direction for the business
  • Be clear about roles and responsibilities that are required to achieve the strategy
  • Have honest and open discussions with individual staff members about their individual strengths and challenges and agree a plan to develop their strengths and mitigate their challenges, thereby creating an environment where individuals can be at their best
  • Ensure that you have the right people with the right skills in the right roles, round pegs in round holes.
  • Be clear about accountabilities and responsibility, set targets and review performance regularly
  • Create teams to solve real business issues
  • Be supportive but DO NOT take over responsibility
  • Provide  positive and negative feed-back frequently
  • Praise often
  • Seek out easy wins early on

So first create a team environment for the business by getting staff supporting the strategy of the business then create smaller teams to address real business issues that help the business grow and develop.

There is a lot that can be said around the structure of teams in terms of team leadership and team sponsorship but ultimately without an agreed purpose the team will not succeed.

Useful links:

Business strategy

Staff engagement