Overcoming Executive Challenges: Best Practices for Effective Leadership
Leadership challenges vary depending on the size of the business. The nature of start-ups and SMEs, however, make them go more often through transformations, and much faster.
Let’s delve into the dynamic world of executive leadership within these companies to explore critical strategies for success, including fostering innovation, managing financial constraints, and cultivating talent, while also examining the hurdles CEOs must overcome to achieve sustainable growth and maintain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving market.
What is a CEO’s mind like?
CEOs tend to do many things at the same time, as their role itself requires a multitasking mind. However, unless these skills are honed, they end up losing focus. To develop your organisation without losing this focus, particularly when diving into a routine or doing all things as a jack-of-all-trades, (for example, also overseeing HR, accounting, operations, business development and project management), you need to stop doing everything and stay resolute on what you do best, i.e. be the leader of the organisation.
Building your corporate culture around your leadership style
A leader needs to understand and acknowledge the difference between his A-players and B- or C-players. They all need to be managed differently. If you focus on the development of top performers only, which is usually only 10% of a workforce, you will have an ineffective team. If you keep developing B- and C- players, A-players will leave an organisation as there is no drive and development for them there. This, coupled with the fact that every person has a different personality e.g. proactive, reactive, submissive, assertive, aggressive, sublime, makes it more evident that senior leadership is more about people management than business management.
Aligning your team
It is critical to ensure your processes are geared towards a cohesive understanding of the business itself among your team members. While tasks come and go, the underlying deliverable should always be the growth and success of the business itself. Once this becomes second nature to the team, all processes become attuned to this deliverable. From regular catch-up sessions with leadership teams to revisiting the company’s vision and mission from time to time, it’s important to make sure this cohesiveness is communicated.
Balancing risk-taking and innovation with stability and consistency as a leader
Everyone has a different leadership style, thus, it is highly recommended to have a founders in a business or a founder plus executive team with varying expertise and performance styles. If your personality is that of a go-getter, it’s recommended to have an analytical person with you to balance that risk taking, outgoing approach and get 2nd opinion to vet ideas and strategies.
Developing future leaders
A business can only grow based on the growth trajectory of its people. Businesses that provide opportunities for their team to grow into leadership roles usually thrive as a sense of ownership is instilled in said team members. However, two things are critical for this to succeed: a healthy feedback and coaching environment where areas for improvement and development are identified.
It is important to remember that a business, especially, small businesses, must be accountable to itself first, then to its shareholders and customers. The effectiveness of leadership strategies should be measured by setting clear goals, tracking progress towards those goals, gathering feedback from team members and stakeholders, and assessing the impact of the strategies on the organization’s performance and culture. Without this, a business is just working on feelings and emotions of founders rather than actual results and impact.
Originally published by Arabian Business magazine.