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Success can seem so damn elusive sometimes… and that whole good leader/great boss combo can feel like an impossible task. Because seriously – is there ever a way to deliver results for your biz while also gaining the respect of your team, never mind everyone working happily and harmoniously? Go Hustle’s Editor-In-Chief and CEO of Influence Studio, Danielle Weakley knows there is. Because she’s done it. Here, she shares her eight top tips on how to navigate this tricky management space and lead your team to success.
1/ Lead by example – you set the tone…
“If you don’t like your team to wear headphones, don’t use yours; if you like hard work and no chat, do the same; if you like banter, then banter; if you want clock watching, then be meticulously on time yourself etc,” says Dan.
2/ Get sh*t done
Don’t be too senior – too “The Boss” – to get stuck in. No job is ever below anyone. “Do the schlep stuff just like everyone else… Pack the goody bags, lead the team, buy the coffee, design the advertorial banners!” she says.
3/ Be poker-faced
“Don’t let your stresses affect your team; be outwardly cool and in charge – even if it kills you! There’s always time away from your desk and your people to feel worried or stressed, but they need to fully believe that you have got this,” says Dan.
4/ Back your team
“Have their back, take the fall for them, defend them, so that you can call them out when you need to and they will value and respect the authority,” she says. “It can’t ever feel like they’re holding you up – they need to feel like you’ve got them and you see them.”
5/ Don’t micro-manage
“I have to believe that the best people for the job are in the positions, and trust them enough to feel validated and in charge of their work, so I allow them the chance to run but can rein them in and redirect them when necessary… Creativity is not emboldened or helped by micro-managing and often it speaks more to the insecurity of the leader than the team needing it,” she says.
6/ Be interested and engaged
Dan advises getting to know your team’s likes and dislikes. Check in on them casually. So much can be done casually to show you’re interested in them without it feeling forced or weird, she explains. “Remember the small things and never be rude,” she adds. “I cannot abide rudeness, which often comes out when people are feeling pressure/deadline stress.”
7/ And manage your stress
“It’s so important to look like you have your sh*t together – even if you don’t. Your team needs to feel confident and they do that by watching you,” says Dan.
If you don’t like something, call it out casually straight away, she says. “I never waited for things to brew or to make a formal meeting about something… Just say it casually so it takes the sting out of it, but address it openly, immediately and then move on. Less drama, less admin, less stewing, less uncertainty, and hopefully lessons learnt for an entire team.”