Monday, 7 March 2011

The Secret of Successful Leadership

Consider this quote from St. Augustine*:

"Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low-spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, litigants pacified, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved."

He was describing the role of a pastor, or spiritual leader, in the 5th century.

It's also an extremely good description of a successful leader in Kleeneze in the 21st century.

A Kleeneze leader has to be able to teach the new team members, encourage those whose are depressed that their businesses aren't doing well, energise those who aren't doing enough to move their businesses forward, recognise those who are doing well and provide support to those who, through no fault of their own, have "poorly" businesses.

A leader also has to provide boundaries and guidelines for their team, so that disruptive members are controlled and brought back on track, whilst complaints are dealt with promptly and successfully.

Being a leader isn't about managing or micro-managing every last activity of the team. It's about being a mother - supporting, guiding, nurturing, defending and finally, standing back and allowing your team to fly the nest and set up their own teams. Even then, you still support, guide, nurture and defend when necessary. It's about caring more about your team than you do about yourself. It's about knowing that caring for others can mean "tough love" as well as praise. It's about doing what needs to be done, no matter how tired, miserable or stressed you might be, because you need to set a good example. It's about knowing that, when you do the job right, your main reward is the fact your team think they've done it all by themselves - and still doing that job.

I spent a fantastic afternoon in the company of established, new and proto-Leaders at the Kleeneze Live event at Warwick on Saturday. Everybody who was there, whether speaking, supporting, or attending, was a wonderful example of our entrepreneurial drive and humanity. I feel proud to be part of such an amazing family.

*Paraphrased, AFAIK by John T. McNeill