Being a leader and being an effective manager is one of the most difficult things to do and to get your staff to want to follow your lead can be incredibly frustrating.
This topic comes up a lot in my daily interactions, when I talk with people and when I interact with my own team. It's always along the lines of how do I get people to do what I want them to do so I can delegate tasks and duties and be sure that they actually get done.
The biggest thing for me and what I think it really comes down to is, it's a process of creating culture around the fact that you're the leader and they're following what you're doing because they truly believe in what you're telling them and showcasing to them for the future.
If you build this culture in your business and in your leadership style your staff will always believe in what you're doing and will follow you to the ends of the earth to ensure the job gets done.
To build this culture you need a leadership style that focuses on showcasing that you truly care about your staff and that your decisions are always based on their well being. It also comes down to helping them understand the big picture and where your decisions are going to be leading them in the long term.
If your staff see the big picture and if you explain it well enough they will be pumped to go along on the journey with you.
One big issue with those who are in a leadership position I often see is the complain factor and by this I mean the idea that you sit down and complain about how hard things are or that you're not sure what the future looks like.
When it comes down to it and when you're a leader you don't get to complain to your staff about how hard your life is, you don't get to complain to your staff about how difficult things are when things don't go according to the plan you put together, you don't get to sit there and be somber with all your staff members when they're bummed out.
It's your responsibility to pump them up, get them going again, get them excited and tell them that it's going to happen, it's all going to work out and that things are going to make sense.
Your staff doesn't need to see you emotional, they don't even see you break down, they need to see you being the strong one and the one that's going to lead them in the direction they need to go. They need to see you as the rock who holds the team together and the one who will not falter when things get tough. In essence, they need to know they can depend on you even when everything looks like it's moving against you.
Now, how do you establish yourself as a good leader that your staff will want to follow, one who they can see the passion for what you're doing oozing out and the one who is the rock that holds the team together?
Well, you need to absolutely and unequivocally take care of your staff and see them as priority #1 and as an even more important asset than your customers, because they are the catalyst to the experience your customers will see.
You need to have meetings with them all the time, be constantly communicating with them about what's going on, but not in a way that when they see you they dread it, they need to know what their goals are and have a plan of action to accomplish those goals with support from you as the leader.
At the same time, you need to be the one to hold them accountable, to praise the high performers and to mentor the lower performers to see what the disconnect is and to be the one to get rid of those who refuse to be part of the team.
If you do get problem staff you need to take the time to mentor them and to understand why they are underperforming before you reprimand them or get angry with them. Part of being a good leader or manager is having compassion for those under you and being able to see situations through their eyes.
At the same time, you need to be prepared to not let a problem employee drag on. If they refuse to work with you and the rest of the team and if you are given a million excuses and no progress or action. Then it's time to get rid of them and not let it drag on because a cancer in a team can become a huge problem in your ability to lead and in your team's ability to function as a cohesive unit.
Always remember that at the beginning of the hiring process you need to lay out all expectations of the position up front and be sure that the potential employee understands those expectations before moving forward.
Finally you need to realize that your staff should be more important than your customers in all your environments and always your number 1 priority in everything you do because there are going to be the direct representation of your brand, your culture, your business and your identity to the customer.
If your employees showcase how much they love your business and your brand to the customer, because you've made them so happy and they believe so much in what you do then you have a huge advantage over every other brand that doesn't focus on or even care about this.
So when you think about the most important people in the hierarchy of your organization your staff needs to be number one. More important than your customers every single day of the week.
Treat them like family, give them what they need to do their jobs, hold them accountable to do it, praise the top performers and mentor the struggling ones. If you do this your leadership skills will be at a level to where your staff will follow you through anything and anywhere!