Leadership Challenges, and How to Overcome them.
Four typical leadership challenges, and how to overcome them. This should help you create an office environment that is not only pleasant to work in, but also efficient, productive and cost-effective.
When you are in a position of business leadership, you need to stop looking at problems as something bad. Problems are nothing but opportunities in disguise, and it’s up to you to figure out how to turn them around to your advantage.
Problems are great! Challenges can bring you down or they can serve as fuel for your inner business rocket; it all depends on how you look at things. There’s nothing like a good problem to make you grow… if only you know the appropriate means for overcoming that problem.
Here are some typical challenges which tend to come naturally with a leadership position. For each problem, we’ll suggest the most elegant solution we can think of to help you become more confident. We hope you find these solutions help you in becoming more confident and overcoming these challenges!
Problem 1: You’re Having Trouble Slipping Into Your Management Shoes
When you first reach a management position, you may find it takes a while before you pick up a good rhythm. At first, you may find it hard to set your tone and get people to respect you and just do their job as they’re told. You may find yourself being too soft or much too strict, and the more you try to fix your attitude, the worse things seem to get. So how do you turn things around?
You must realize that to stay on top, you have to always aim for the middle ground: If you want to be someone people will follow, you need to act like someone you would follow.
You need to strike a balance between being the boss and being human. First and foremost, your role is to direct and organize your underlings, so you need to speak from a position of power. But you should never forget what it was like when you were standing further down along the corporate steps! You need to be tough and assertive, but always make sure to balance your iron-clad stance with a genuine sense of being a fair and reasonable person.
Problem 2: You’re Dealing With Generally Unmotivated, Uninspired Workers.
Sometimes you’re running around out there trying to be a great leader, and your workers just don’t seem to care. Anywhere you turn to, it seems you’re surrounded with utterly unmotivated people who lack any real inspiration or drive to success. It’s almost as if… as if those lowly workers are lacking the decisive guidance of a proper manager. Do you see where this reasoning is going?
If your workers are not highly motivated, it’s simply your fault. Part of your job as a leader is to understand how to bring out the best in people; you must learn what makes your subordinates get inspired and what causes them to lose motivation. When you genuinely try to understand where those uninspired workers are coming from, you’ll know what you must say and do to make them change and improve their attitudes.
Problem 3: Some of Your Workers Keep Arguing With Others and Causing Problems
Do you ever get stressed simply because everyone around you is vibrating stress? Do you find it hard to concentrate when people nearby are arguing or yelling at one another? Of course you do! Everyone does! That’s why you must not look lightly at on-going drama between your workers: because angry people will make for an angry work environment, and that’s not conducive to doing great work.
So what can you do when a few people don’t get along and they keep getting in the way of everyone’s office mood? You need to reach out to those workers and clearly point out that you’re worried about their behaviour, making sure to explain how their anger and arguments are affecting everyone else in the office. In that sense, their problem is your problem and you need to point it out while working towards opening the lines of communication.
Problem 4: Workers Are Too Dependent on You or Too Independent in Their Workflow
Everyone is different, and few people have a perfect temper. Working as a leader you’ll soon find that some workers will be much too dependent on your feedback, while others will act like they’re some kind of covert agent whose sworn duty is hiding project data from you. Both positions can be quite troublesome, and to make sure your workers stay clear of those extremes, you need to put a lot of thought into creating a system. Here’s a good place to start:
Have all your workers get back to you with their activity report at least once a week. Do not ask for extended reports that take much too long to read and write, but instead demand for simple checklists and summaries. Get them in the habit of starting every task by splitting it into as many sub-tasks as possible. Here’s a crucial detail:
Make them break every sub-task down until it absolutely can’t be further broken down into a smaller task. Have them send you a copy of their task list and follow up with regular progress reports. This will both help unreliable workers in coming out of their mental rut and becoming more confident, and it will force the office rogues to keep their excessive confidence under control and always keep you in the loop. That’s two birds with one stone, as expected of a solid leader full of confidence!
Jack Purdie @ImJackPurdie lives in Southampton and is on a slow but steady mission to try and find a way to share some of the random, and sometimes interesting, thoughts that go through his head.
Working heavily in the event industry, but also behind a health and nutrition startup, Jack is known to always be up to something, with many projects bubbling away.