Leadership advice from care leaders to support you in becoming your best self
July's leadership advice is provided by Alfie Jones, Director of Cahoot Care Marketing
- Empower don’t prescribe: Take time to listen and don't try and fix everything straight away if you can. It’s nice to be needed, to be the hero or the fixer, everyone likes that feeling, but that is not good leadership. An even better feeling is having a team that feels empowered and feels safe to suggest solutions and take initiative and be proactive, knowing you won’t punish them for taking initiative, or shoot them down in front of the rest of the team and that you really value their input and insights.
- The bad guy: You have to be willing to be the bad guy. Leadership comes with the responsibility to say “no". To enforce boundaries. To hold the vision and values and pull people up when they fall short. The best leaders will find a way to be direct and assertive with their teams when it's needed, without making them feel like it’s personal. You also need to be patient, because regardless of your leadership style or how clear and fair you feel you are being, often people will still project all of their personal trips onto you and so you need to get thick-skinned. It’s rarely personal, and if you can manage not to take it personally you can usually diffuse any situation (and usually you can also learn from each encounter if you are willing.)
- Communication is everything: If a leader can't communicate they won’t be a leader very long. Everything from boundaries and expectations, being clear about roles and responsibilities, expectations of duties etc. as well as your ability to communicate about logistical, practical and personal challenges. Your role as a leader is to communicate and uphold the vision and values of your organisation. You need to communicate in order to enrol others in your vision so it becomes a shared vision.
- BONUS TIP - Vulnerability. Strong leaders are not flawless dictators. You need to be willing to show your vulnerability, be accountable when you make mistakes (and you will!). It will give everyone else permission to do the same. To be willing to be vulnerable as a leader is a huge strength.