What I’ve learnt about leading a happy team

I’ve read a lot, from all sorts of sources, about resilience, maintaining a growth mindset and staying positive when times get tough as a business owner – but what does this mean when it comes to leadership?

Your resilience as a leader will be tested when you reach a crossroads, when you come across someone who cannot see things in the same way you do. Being a resilient leader is all about having the strength of character not only to lead and to manage but also to put yourself in the shoes of others and try your hardest to understand their point of view, particularly during times of stress or disagreement. A true test of leadership is when viewpoints differ and you’re forced to think on the spot and to work out how to come at the issue from a different direction.

I’ve found this week to be a challenging one within my first business for a variety of reasons, all relating to changes within my team. I’ve negotiated one employee’s change of hours, another member of the team’s move from freelance contractor to full time employee, another’s exit for personal reasons and the development (and appointment) of a new role to begin later this month. Phew! On reading this you could be forgiven for thinking I’m an HR professional. I’m not. But this is the reality of running a small business, being forced to wear every hat on any given day.

So why am I sharing this? Firstly it’s cathartic, I simply needed to write down all of these changes that have occurred, to get them out of my head and make them available for opinion and discussion. Secondly, while these have certainly been challenging times, I’ve coped and we’ve all emerged on the other side. Finally, this week has helped to reinforce what’s important to me when it comes to management, and what I want to encourage thought around, and that’s ethics.

Authenticity is an overused word these days, but behaving in an ethical way and staying true to your own values, how you want to treat people in general and specifically the people you employ is THE most important thing. Personally, I need to be able to end every day knowing that I did my best, for the business and for my team. That’s both a physical and an emotional need. I can’t brush it aside when I know I’m in the wrong, I can’t get over that uncomfortable feeling when I know I’ve mishandled something and let myself and/ or others down. Of course I’m not perfect, nobody is, but that’s not going to stop me doing my best. So how do I get over things? Resilience. And never being too proud to try again.

Speaking of pride, I am proud. I’m proud of the team I’ve built and continue to build, proud of the fact that the majority of my employees have been with me for many years, proud that they continue to choose to stay with me and I’m also delighted that they share (or at times even exceed – brilliant!) my passion to do what’s best for our customers and for the business.

So while it’s been a challenging week in business, it’s also been a good one. A week where I’ve witnessed and been able to reward loyalty, have ironed out difficulties, built stronger relationships, improved processes and set things up for greater success.

So if you’ve had a challenging week, ask yourself this: Did I stay true to my values? Did I do my absolute best to understand and take into consideration the viewpoints of others? Did I avoid drama and create harmony within my team?

If the answer’s yes, then I guarantee that you, and your business, are set for success.

Interested in having my support and that of other brilliant female founders to develop your resilience and create your own business success? Join us in my membership community We Are Brilliant Business Builders. The doors are open now and we’re ready to welcome you in.