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      ‘You just need to do what I am telling you to do because I am your Manager’….if you have heard yourself saying this or even mumbling this under your breath, you may need a time out on your management style and ask yourself ‘Am I a Manager or a Leader?’. Some of us think we are leaders but the reality is there is a huge difference in stepping up from a managerial capacity to leader status.

      The first step is an honest evaluation, what would your team say about you? None of us are perfect and we all know deep down the areas we need to improve on. What could make all the difference may be finally accepting your faults and doing something about them. Sounds simple enough but it’s harder in practice, it’s something we must work to improve upon. Leaders do not demand a following, people naturally gravitate towards them and leaders act as inspiration for those who follow. Leaders will always get the best from their team because team members will want to work for them, opposite to managers where people must work for them. The other important thing to remember is that people are happier working for a leader and are much more likely to stick around long term rather than chasing the next pay rise.

      1. Education, Education, Education- Tony Blair may have had this one right. We cannot think we know it all, no matter our age or experience. There is so much value to be found in leaderships books, finding the right one for you based on your area of improvement is key. I am a true believer in learning and improvement, we should be encouraging those we lead to do the same. I would recommend Simon Sinek- Leaders Eat Last, Adam Grant- Originals (great for smaller businesses), Charles Duhigg- The power of Habit, Simon Sinek- The infinite Game and Stephen Covey- The 7 Habits of highly effective people.
      2. Bring your true self to the table– People can spot a fake or a clear imitation of the latest book you have read. The books/podcasts can lead you down your next path, you have to be original and bring your personality to your job. If you are like me and have a bit of an eccentric personality at times, home in on the energy you may showcase elsewhere and show your team a different side of you.
      3. Team Building– Although building a boat out of plastic bottles can be fun, you may not have the time or resources. Once a week (even before a team meeting) you can bring the team together for a 5-10 min exercise. This will encourage communication and laughter outside of the norm, starting the day in a positive and happy way! Have a look at this website for some game ideas https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/09/team-building-exercises-and-games.html
      4. Make the time- I cannot underestimate the power of 1-1’s and making time for them each week. I would advise keeping them at the same time/day each week and try your best not to cancel or move them. 1-1’s are so important in building a relationship and also asking your team member how they are. Something so simple can mean so much to someone who is working so hard, tell them how well they are doing and ask them if you can help at all. Sometimes the obvious and the small things mean so much, people are much more likely to respect you if you take the time to care about them.
      5. Take it on the chin- This one takes courage and you may not like the answers. Ask your team members what you could do better. People should feel safe and supported to be honest with you and in turn help you on areas to improve on. You may receive an answer you were not expecting or a conversation that surprises you. I promise you one thing, nothing will help you on the leadership journey more.
      6. Common goal/aim- You need a goal as a team to aim for so everyone can drive towards this together, encouraging unity. This can be as simple as the ‘best health and safety record’ or ‘customer feedback score’. You need to make it clear what you want your team to aim for and go for it all together.

      The road to leadership is a long and endless journey and one of constant improvement. The first part is being willing to learn and open to change. Zoe Smith is a huge advocate of leadership and change, contact One Property Recruitment for leadership advise or managerial structures.

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