Matching your leadership style with your core principles may be one of the most underrated factors in helping you grow your business. An organizational structure where the vision, management system and actual operations speak one language, has a voice that reaches further than any marketing campaign. It has the capacity to ignite a renewed confidence within personnel and raise the bottom line to new heights.
What would be your answers to these questions about your company?
- Does your brand reflect your core values?
- Is the information on your website About Page the truth?
- Do your inner and external business affairs use the same system?
- Do you show your employees the same respect you do your clients?
These are just a couple of question to get you thinking about what ethical leadership entails.
There’s a saying that decision making is nothing more than clarifying your core values. When it comes to black and white issues it’s usually relatively easy to choose what would be the right choice for your business. However, when something complicated comes along, you could easily find yourself in murky waters. Exercising your will within these grey areas is definitely not something to take lightly, it requires a deeper level of principles to help bring the wisest decision to the surface.
In the process of making decisions, we are also choosing between the importance of one thing compared to another. Many decisions in our personal lives are made in a similar way where we check and re-check our priority lists. Again, what we value most will also have the highest level of importance.
Few if any decisions in business are ever completely free from scrutiny. Decisions that went against the core principles and values of your business might be hidden inside your company’s archives for years, but never lose their potency to trigger disaster.
Decisions give external expression
to the internal evaluation
of what we deem
Setting a Standard
Building a foundation for your business goes hand in hand with setting a standard to which you hold yourself and your employees accountable to. It helps everyone to know the core principles and the most important values. It may take some time, in the beginning, to become familiar with your hierarchy. If you use the different elements in your system often enough it will rather sooner than later become an integral part of every man and woman under your brand name.
What’s interesting is that such a system sets the stage to help define the culture within your organization. It is a natural flow of elements that naturally match and support one another. It is an organic way of creating the behavior that helps drive a culture true to the characteristic of what you stand for.
Leadership, Character, and Integrity
For anyone, at the top leadership position of an organization, finding the balance between resources, productivity and profitability can lead to restlessness or even sleepless nights. Ask any person with some business experience and they will agree, it takes years to build a financially sound business yet only a few moments to destroy it.
One of the lesser known benefits of aligning your public image with your business’ inner workings and core principles is the potential it holds towards guarding your reputation. Isn’t it true that reputation is one of the most challenging elements of your business to pull back on track once it’s been derailed?
It may very well be that maintaining a good reputation isn’t any different than being the person and organization you tell the world you are.
Managing public opinion
becomes a much easier job when what you
say you are, is actually so.
Although we do not live in a perfect world, we are creatures that aspire to achieve excellence. Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes come to lesser efficient decisions, among other faults. But in this world filled with the unknown, perfection seems nothing more than an illusion. So, it is rather good that upholding a reputation doesn’t mean striving towards perfection as much as it is in maintaining consistency.
Management System alignment
Seeing that as human beings we are fallible, a Management System comes to play a big role in helping your business steer on the right path. Just like an alarm or calendar notification, a Management System should make it easy for people to know what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
A good Management System
- it’s available in a documented format (either as hard copy or in electronic format
- it’s accessible by every employee
- it’s well organized with a good readability score
- it’s an integrated system that incorporates each aspect and section of your business
- it’s in use every business day
- it’s flexible and employees launch revision request.
Theory vs Practice
Leadership principles have been a point of discussion for many decades now. From finding the niche point for staff members all the way to bettering client relations. By simply looking at books available on this topic it seems there is almost no space left for a fresh title among the vast numbers of books published throughout the history. Yet, books on leadership are frequently being published worldwide.
Books on how to be a good leader have reached from the biggest of companies to the smallest of businesses. Leadership, in its many different shapes and forms, is a regular topic of conversation between volunteer communities, the general public, as well as those in education. Here is the list of the Financial Times’s Best Business books (https://ig.ft.com/sites/business-book-award/) in the category Leadership and Management.
Knowledge and implementation
As with any level of knowledge we acquire in life, it is the practical implementation that determines whether our knowledge will be useful or not. Every person who has ever read a good book should know, reading something doesn’t mean you’re applying it to your life. It may be that putting some of the amazing pieces of information into practice would be more difficult than we at first imagined.
It is exactly this point – the practical implementation – that set organizations apart. On paper, knowledge can make perfect sense. It is when we try to implement it that we find our current system can either be a hindrance in our path or make the change as easy as walking.
Your leadership style too will impact the degree of difficulty or ease the organization can transition to integrate a foundation that protects your business, employees, and clients against unethical behavior are worth the effort.
Here are a couple of elements you can consider integrating as part of one system. Align them with the vision, mission, and strategy of the organization. This will help your organization to speak as one voice. This is where ‘word of mouth’ gets a foothold.
- Management System
- Social Media Platforms
- Company Culture
Different Leadership Styles
Look at the different scenarios around the styles of leadership below and see if it can help you run your business with better productivity. Some leaders can have a combination of these factors present in their leadership style. Each one of these styles has an impact on the productivity and profitability of the organization.
1. Visionary Leader
A visionary leader has the ability to share his hopes and dreams for the business and puts a system in place that supports the people working in it to efficiently reach the objectives in growing the business. Communication is clear, there are no or little blurry lines between different responsibilities.
2. The Dynamic Team Leader
Imagine, a style of leadership in touch with the actual work that needs to be done. A leader such as this has reasonable expectations for their team. This leader involves the team when considering changes to the system. The team is encouraged and draws from their practical insight and accumulative experience over the years. Such a leader taps into the energy of the team dynamic.
3. The Chop & Change Leader
This is a leader who likes to have full control and then do as he pleases. If you are a leader who wants full control and literally chop and change as you like, it’s going to be very difficult to pinpoint what your business requires. It might even be impossible for you to build a system geared toward supporting profitability and productivity. This leadership style is also very stressful from an employee’s perspective leading to further losses. A job where things can literally be flipped upside-down the following day leads to unmotivated employees and unreliable delivery.
4. The Ego Leader
This is a style of leadership that expects something additional from employees without being willing to compensate for it. And then complain about it. Read this article by Rudi Dalman from PeopleHR on leadership ego and that will give a better idea.
5. The Periodic Leader
There is the type of leader who periodically remembers that he is the boss of a number of people. He drops in one morning before golf, dish out orders left, right and center and runs out before any staff member has the opportunity to tell him that three of his orders can’t be acted upon because they are conflicting instructions.
About the Author: Her name is Matilda Prinsloo and you can contact her at