10 Lessons in Leadership - FB Comms

10 Lessons in Leadership

My first leadership role was at university, as Social Secretary of the Equestrian Sports team, I was responsible for the well-being of 40 drunks every Wednesday night. Whilst very different to my role as Founder and Director of FB Comms, there are some commonalities in managing people effectively.

I still don’t know everything, I’m imperfect and I’m learning. However, these are my top lessons and tips for getting the best out of those around you.

  1. Ask people how they are.

Nobody can mind-read. Someone might look fine but are struggling with the work inside. Someone might be frequently late but not out of laziness. The two most common things I ask my team are “what are you thinking?” and “how are you feeling?”.

  1. Don’t expect people to fit a box.

Someone might be a great fit for the team, but not for the role. Your job as a leader isn’t to force someone to fit a role. It’s to match the right person to the right role and help them be the best version of what they are good at. Match the clients and tasks to their skillsets rather than forcing it.

  1. Run with the troops.

There isn’t anything I’d ask my team to do that I wouldn’t do or haven’t done or know about myself. If they’re struggling or have questions or need ideas, I’ll sit with my laptop out and we will do the work together rather than have anyone freaking out about a task at home.

  1. Always make time for the team.

No matter how busy I am, I have time for the team. We have huddles, 1-2-1’s and I’m always available on WhatsApp or in the office to sit and look over their work or for a chat over coffee.

  1. Show your appreciation.

Whilst I know I can improve on this one, my monotone voice just doesn’t convey ‘ecstatic’ very well, I do my best to tell the team every time I see something and think ‘that’s sick, nice one’. Share their wins. Reward them, take them out, and promote them if they’re working at a higher level. Let them know when they’re doing a great job. Sometimes no feedback can translate into an internal thought spiral they’ve done a crap job without any input from you.

  1. Share your plans.

I’ve been in teams that were completely guarded about their revenue, their goals, what things cost. Being open with my team about what our prices are, what it costs us to deliver and how much time each client gets and what’s in their contract means they can manage their time and talk to them without needing me to handle every conversation. By understanding the company goals, they can see how they help towards the big picture.

  1. Give autonomy.

My best bosses were the ones that gave me the autonomy to do more on my own. My team handle their client’s comms and I regularly give them more responsibility and try push them out their comfort zones from posting on LinkedIn to public speaking. I want them to grow as people and marketers.

  1. Show your vulnerability.

I’m human, therefore, I struggle. If I’m stressed or anxious and tell the team, they’ll always jump in where they can support and take any extra tasks from me. I don’t pretend I’m an impenetrable force they can’t share their own feelings with. We share our wins and our disappointments, we’re a team after all.

  1. Training and Development isn’t just for the first week.

I invest heavily in training my team. We have weekly sessions with external pros and they each get a training budget to upskill. Marketing changes fast so if we’re not all constantly learning, we’re going to fall behind. An affinity for learning and growing is what I look for and cultivate in my team and myself. Nobody ever knows everything.

  1. Always hire people better than you.

I hired each one of my team because they have skills and traits I don’t. I never want to cap how great the team is by my own capabilities, It might be tempting to hire juniors and train them in exactly the way you want things done but you will be the glass ceiling of your company’s skillset. Fill from the top and you’ll only ever get better.

Although these might be obvious and I’ll probably have ten more to add within the next year, I hope there’s something you can take from this into your own working relationships.

Fiona x

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