In the year since the pandemic hit, the most successful business leaders have placed the needs of employees ahead of themselves. As we move farther into 2021, the best leaders will continue to inspire, motivate and empower their team — while also showing team members that they believe in them.
This is a management style often referred to as “servant leadership” (read more about this in my previous article, “3 Surprising Business Opportunities That Arose in a No-Good Year“). Those that practice servant leadership have a competitive advantage over those that do not.
What qualities do you need to practice servant leadership? I talked to entrepreneurs from all walks of life to see how they were managing during the pandemic. While this isn’t a definitive list, I’ve put together a few traits that they’ve used to better inspire their teams and stay on track with growing their business in the ever-changing world ahead.
Purpose, for many businesses, is found in its core values. Every business has its own set of values, which may range from respect to perseverance to courage — or all of the above and more.
Following core values helps guide businesses and leaders alike. Leaders have a better understanding of how to respond and make decisions in and out of a crisis because of these core values.
Further, when a leader leans on company values it helps reassure other team members. Leaders that focus on values and practice them create a domino effect with employees, inspiring them to follow suit. Focus, not fear, guides us out of difficult times and into seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
The importance of good communication became paramount for leaders to share with others in 2020.
What happens in a workplace where there is poor communication? In the absence of good communication, team members may speculate about what is really happening within an organization. Gossip about a worst-case scenario could spread like wildfire — and that scenario isn’t based on the truth.
Leaders need to continue practicing transparency in 2021 and beyond, especially with distributed teams. This ensures that everyone has the right information no matter where they work and feels engaged with the company.
Transparency does more than help communicate the necessary facts to team members. Arming employees with the facts allow them to feel more confidence, trust and support within the business.