The success of strategic plans for growth in business stands or falls with execution. Once you have a strategy in place, it's time to get it done. Successful leaders establish an environment in which people are comfortable to challenge, ask questions, and ask for help when they need it. Trusting your team is key. If you don’t, you’ll have to ask yourself if you have the right people and the right culture in place.
Dealing with confrontation can be difficult, but silence comes at a great cost. When I think back, the best work we have done over the years started with creating a solid strategy, and continued with a clear focus on and a strong dedication to getting it done as a team. When we didn't get a result, it was because we failed to execute.
Early on in my career, I learnt that once you have a plan in place you need to chip away at it, even if it's just a little bit at a time. I started my business career at McDonalds and run through their training programme for management. I learnt a lot in those early days, but most importantly it made me understand how essential it is to get the right people on the bus. It is rewarding to develop a team and setting others up for success. Seeing something in someone, and helping them reach their goals helps you achieve your own.
Don’t be surprised if unforeseen challenges will come your way during the execution process. It may mean you have to have a long and hard look at yourself as a leader. If your team is silent, you have not enabled them enough to share the challenges and grow with you. Silence will hinder the process, or set it up for failure.
While leading a business through change, you have to count on it that some things will go wrong, whether it’s your fault or someone else’s. Instead of punishing failure, find out how to get past the roadblocks and move forward.
Team input is vital for successful change. Engaging your staff means sharing responsibility. Make the execution of your plan a team effort. As a leader, it can be difficult to let things go, but I have found that when I let my team front-up for tasks, I discovered who were most engaged and motivated to help achieve our goals. Try it, and you will find the hidden gems.
I’m most proud of my team. They are the greatest people I know in business. Nothing is too much of a problem, and they hold me accountable. Building a strong team is hard work, but it's extremely rewarding. Getting the right people together has what got us to this point, and it’s what will continue to propel our growth.
10 Things to do when leading a process of change
1. Leave your ego at the door. Not easy, but important!
2. Create a safe environment for staff to challenge and communicate.
3. Communicate frequently and enthusiastically.
4. Don’t micromanage. Trust your team.
5. Praise action and celebrate progress, even if it's only small.
6. Take ownership of your tasks and actions. Be accountable.
7. Let your team volunteer to do what they feel comfortable with.
8. Encourage your team to help each other out. Achieve goals together.
9. Provide the time your team needs to get things done.
10. Allow room for failure – there will be stumbling blocks along the way.