Small Things That Make A Difference When Leading

As a leader there is always going to be demands on you.

For me the role of the leader is to move things forward and achieve results.

Now I’m sure you’re very good at your job.

Yet in truth no matter how good you are there is only so much that you can do on your own.

The illusion of the super leader who miraculously achieves great things is really so far off the mark in my experience.

Often it’s the small things that really make a difference when leading.

So what are some of those small things?

Providing clarity

There’s a number of dimensions to this.

Firstly clarity about the general direction of travel for a function, team or even an entire organisation.

Secondly clarity about some of the key results you are seeking to deliver.

Thirdly breaking key results into a series of stepping stones or milestones that people can relate to.

Fourthly clarity about the type of people and behaviours needed to deliver results.

Providing support

Achieving anything of significance is going to require a lot of effort.

There are going to be points when everything is going well.

Equally there are going to be times where it’s a struggle.

Providing support through the good and more challenging times matters.

Listening and involving

One of the things I’ve noticed is that as people get more senior they can fall into the trap of wanting to be heard and be right.

As a result they don’t listen or merely listen to respond.

When you listen you get ideas, you get fresh insights, you get different perspectives, you utilise the accumulated experience and knowledge of those around you.

If you take it even further and involve people in taking the ideas and insights and turning them into something of value even better.

Often it’s about letting go of your ego and having to be right.

Maintaining a sense of realism

Ever notice how as you become more senior you lose sight of all the steps it takes to achieve a specific result.

What you tend to remember is the big things that need doing and not necessarily all of the small points of detail.

Faced with this it’s all too easy to have a lack of realism in terms of what can be achieved within specific time frames.

In big organisations this tends to be even more of an issue as achieving anything of significance is going to need the contribution of so many people.

Keeping things in perspective

Of course you want to deliver.

A lot of time you will.

Other times you won’t.

Being able to stand back, recognise the progress and learn from whatever happens will make you stand out as a leader.

So what small things can you do that will make you an even better leader?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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