So how have you showed up in your business today, have you showed up with your best foot forward or just as your usual self? These are some of the questions your employees and customers ask everyday in your business, they wonder if they will ever see their leader lead the day, let alone the business throughout the day.
Growing up in big corporates, I have learned the impact of leadership visibility in business. having left the corporate environment and embarked on entrepreneurship, i have come to appreciate the fact that entrepreneurs are juggling many balls at once, everything else on their plate is a pressing matter, it requires their attention. Despite all these daily demands, they still need to make the time and effort to show up in places that are most important,’Their business’.I have appreciated how some leaders have innovated their leadership visibility in the 21st century. How customers and employees have grown from seeing their leaders being visible, just to enhance their work and customer buying experiences.
First hand experience- There is no better learning about your business than to get it from both your customers and employees. This experience allows you to see things from both the employee and customer perspective. it allows you to understand your business fully and improve your problem solving and decision making on certain business aspects. It provides you with valuable insights that can help your decision making process to improve customer and employee touch points in your business..
Develop crucial relationships- with both customers and employees at the same time. Most customers feel appreciated when engaging with the organization from that level. This becomes a stored experience for them and they sure share it with their families and friends. Employees get an opportunity to connect with their leaders at a much deeper level. This connection creates a special level of motivation and employees are able to address issues, share ideas and share customer experiences both positive and negative. this engagement provides leaders with first hand experience and the opportunity to improve their business.
Opportunity to engage- with both your staff members and customers about anything that could enhance their experience of association with your business. It also allows you an opportunity to understand things from a social level. you will be amazed of what you can learn when interacting with people from a social level, in their own environment, while embracing their natural behaviour. Engaging leadership uncoveres a lot of value from both customers and employees. It creates a favourable platform for all to give feedback, whether positive of negative. This feedback provides leadrship in the business with a clear understanding of what is going rights and what is not.
Commitment renewal- everytime leaders are visible in their businesses, there is high level of commitment renewal. This renewal is predominantly from employees who see and regard this visibility as an inspiration for them. Leaders should not under estimate the power of one minute talk with employees or customers, it does more to people in terms of motivation than any extrinsic reward you will ever offer. Committed employees give more in terms of productivity and customer engagement and service. As for customers, they committ to supporting the business by continuing buying products and services offered by the company.
Self Learning- for leaders who are making and taking the time to be visible. There is an opportunity to understand the business from people who are engaging with it on daily basis, either from customer or process perspective. There is nothing valuable than this level of learning for leaders in business. this is valuable and inexpensive learning that will allow you as an entrepreneur to improve the manner in which you solve customer’s problems in the market.
In recent years we have seen leaders extending their visibility to social media platforms. This has allowed leaders a much bigger opportunity and impact in responding to pressing challenges in their businesses. This type of visibility also enhances the level of engagement with both employees and customers, thus improving relationships and confidence in the leadership of the business..
The impact leaders can have;
Share Business plans- I am a strong believer that if your employees cannot communicate your plans or strategies to clients, then your strategies will fail. Share as much as possible with your employees about what is happening in the business from a strategy level and what is to come.
Knowledge Transfer – Ensure that the correct knowledge is consistently transfered to your people to empower them to make certain decisions. this knowledge must also be transferred to customers who are interested in this knowledge. This could be product/service knowledge or process knowledge customers are looking for. Leaders can have a significant impact in doing this in their businesses.
Coaching – Perform the “on the spot” coaching, it is more effective that you can imagine. it allows you to improve gaps immediately. This is also a big motivating aspect for employees as it increases their confidence in doing their work.
Develop Employees – Small businesses are constrained in terms of resources. As an entrepreneur, ensure that you have correctly structured development plans for their employees, especially in the decision making roles in order to correctly empower them. This development will help to alleviate some of the unnecessary pressures so that you can focus on working ‘On’ your business than working ‘In’ the business.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs can learn a lot from this engagement. They can capitalize on this knowledge and make a much bigger impact in their immediate space by influencing decision making and driving performance and business culture. This visibility should not just be physical and non productive. it should be to lead and engage the entire business from all angles, from customers to business processes.