Despite how different our businesses and teams can be, as leaders we can experience similar challenges that can impact our ability to lead effectively. From establishing direction and meeting targets to managing team members and customers, each day can bring with it a unique set of challenges.
At times, these challenges can be overwhelming, and you can feel less than qualified to meet them. But let’s face it if days ran smoothly, everyone worked well together, and productivity, performance and profits were always high leaders wouldn’t be needed in the first place.
So how can you feel more confident in your leadership to face your daily challenges? Here are the top four leadership challenges I see leaders face regularly – and how to overcome them.
1. Maintaining focus and direction
As a leader, there are many different demands on your time, and if you are not careful, you can easily let others dictate where you spend yours. But when it is your job to lead your team and organisation in the direction you need to go, your focus needs to be razor sharp and your time well managed.
That is not to say that anything outside your goal or focus should get ignored. However, it does mean that every distraction, interruption, task or opportunity that comes across your desk should be prioritised accordingly.
2. Staying motivated
As a leader you not only need to keep yourself motivated, you need to keep your team motivated. While you may control the direction your team or organisation takes, it’s the level of motivation each of your team members has that determines how fast you get there.
When motivation is high, so too is productivity, workplace positivity and profits. To increase motivation, it is important to share your vision and encourage ideas and the ownership of those ideas.
3. Balancing the needs of your people and the needs of the business
As a leader it is your responsibility to meet the needs of your team and organisation, the only challenge is that sometimes these both conflict. But to be a great and fair leader you need to pay attention to both.
If your team doesn’t feel heard and supported they won’t produce the results you need. While there will be times where sacrifices need to be made for the good of the company, if your team feels cared for and appreciated, they will understand and assist you through these times.
4. Re-engaging team members
When staff engagement is low, so too is productivity and the morale of your team. Engagement fosters trust and develops more meaningful working relationships not to mention better results.
If you notice that someone has become disengaged ask how he or she is, try to address any hurt or discontent and ask what you can do to encourage and support them. While it can take time to engage team members again, taking an interest and showing you truly care is the first step.
What leadership challenges do you regularly face?