During my years as the CEO of a medical equipment company in Florida, I have come to recognize certain roles and qualities that an effective team leader needs to possess. These leadership qualities will help get the individual, and the team, through some of the more trying times and challenges that arise in everyday business protocols.
It is important for the team leader to provide an environment and facilitate a climate for staff and personnel to succeed. There are also some very difficult roles that the CEO, company president, or team leader is expected to fill, and while many people think the life of a CEO is all about growing a business and cruising around on the company helicopter, there are quite a few hats we have to wear that may not be what you thought.
Check out the following little-known roles CEOs have to play to ensure progression and keep the business humming.
Sometimes You Have to Play Mediator
It often falls to me to play mediator in times of conflict at work. This is both a challenge and an opportunity to expand on skill-sets that are often used in my position. The keys to being an effective mediator are to listen to what each person has to say, show impartiality among the parties, and to resolve the dispute in a way that can be perceived as favorable to all involved.
While taking time away from anything unrelated to growth is not what you might think a CEO would do, this is one of the many areas of leading a team that may not be on every aspiring CEOs list of expectations when entering this role.
Effective Communication Must Come From the Top Down
If you think that you can pass along strategies, policies or processes down through your managers and along to your staff, think again. Your role as CEO will see that you are constantly the communication trailblazer so any introversion or resistance to interfacing with people needs to be thrown out before you enter your leadership role.
The CEO of a business or company needs to practice effective and synergistic communication; synergistic interactions focus on making everyone feel heard, and that they have gained something positive from the engagement. Using optimism rather than cynicism, recognizing achievement, and validating concerns are excellent skills for a team leader to employ to motivate and foster a sense of loyalty and unity.
You’ll Need to Channel Your Inner Tony Robbins
Admittedly, it can be hard to pat your employees on the back for doing what they are paid to do. However, employees are not robots and you have to constantly motivate them and show them that you appreciate their hard work and value what they contribute to the company.
When individuals feel valued and vested in a team, performance and productivity can significantly improve. A great leader is able to be the bridge that makes each team member feel validated, and also reaffirm that they are an integral component of your successful team.
Jack of All Trades, Master of All
Another role of an effective leader is to be able to jump in and do what needs to be done, regardless of the task. From pounding the pavement to sell a product, to lending a hand to get an order shipped on time – a leader that won’t get his or her hands “dirty” is likely an ineffective and inefficient one.
When you start your own company, early on, you do everything yourself. If you lack in areas of business management, you’ll have to work hard to become somewhat knowledgeable. While you can employ experts in specific areas (ex. accounting, marketing, etc.), you’ll still need to know enough about these areas to make intelligent data-driven decisions. Of course, others will be more efficient or skilled at the tasks they perform on a daily basis, but as CEO, there shouldn’t be a job that you can’t jump in and do at a moment’s notice.
You will be the Bearer of Bad News
One of the toughest things that often falls on a CEO or company boss is firing or laying-off staff and employees. A good leader will use empathy and discretion when having these interactions while being clear, transparent, and genuine. This can be a difficult balance to maintain, especially when the individual being let go becomes emotional; be kind, professional, and honest during the exchange.
Do You Have What it Takes to be an Effective CEO?
There are many times when being the CEO or company president isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. It’s not all profits, huge offices, stock options and private jet-setting. The fact of the matter is, to build a solid foundation and core can take decades.
Making decisions that impact a team of valued staff and employees can be a tough burden to bear. However, those that practice transparency, empathy, and positive communication may find these challenges to be opportunities for enhancing leadership skill-sets and personal growth.
Finally, if you think you’ve got it all figured out and no longer need to strive and yearn for further knowledge and honing of your skills as a leader, then you and your company are in big trouble.
John Pritchard is CEO and Sales Leader of Venture Medical, a leader in the nation’s medical equipment industry. He is passionate about educating those in the medical industry on the importance of high quality medical equipment and supplies. His transparent business techniques and strategies for low-pressure sales and marketing are core values in building relationships.