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What Do Staff Look for in a Leader?

When you first start up as a new entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges can be the expectation that you will provide all of the leadership when it comes to the people involved in your venture. Even if you have a lot of experience in managing people, being the head of your own company requires a whole new level of leadership, that will instil faith in the people who work for you that you are someone who can drive the business to success, as well as keep them working effectively.

Learning to Be a Leader

It can be well worth your time to research leadership, and an even better idea can be to do something more formal, such as an online master’s degree that focuses on business management. An MBA can be a good choice, or even something more focused on your goals like a Norwich University Masters in Executive Leadership – a program designed for people who want to work in board level corporate positions or run their own companies, offered as an online course by the highly regarded Norwich University.

You can also find some great books on the subject, but before you begin your transformation into a true business leader, it is important to understand what your staff will be looking to you for to begin with.

Competence and Confidence

Chances are you are highly capable in some areas of the field you are starting up in – you may have a lot of experience in the field from your previous jobs, or it may be something you are passionate about. It may even be that your business is based around a completely new idea or invention you yourself came up with.

While you may not necessarily be wholly confident in some other areas of business as a new entrepreneur, your staff will expect to see you display confidence in your products or services, your research, and your ability to get your business up and running. This can be demonstrated both in your attitude, and in concrete ways with projections, results from market research and documented strategies.

Decision Making and Answers

A good leader should be able to make staff feel like they can approach them at any time, and will get a clear answer or a firm decision. Yes, you may have to go away and come back to them, or consult with others to make a decision, but as a leader your staff will expect you to do this. If staff are fobbed off with vague responses or feel like their questions or ideas are being dismissed, over time their sense that they are receiving good leadership will diminish.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the behaviors people want from their leaders. Staff also like to see bosses who don’t hog all the glory when things are going well, and who help them progress in their own careers to fulfil their own potential.

Leadership styles do vary from person to person and business to business, and over time you will discover what works for you and adopt your own style. However, the best starting point is to really think about what it is you can do for your team to meet their high expectations.

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