By Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX, Business Advisor for $5M – $100M SMEs and high-scale digital applications (100-500M monthly views).
One of the greatest challenges faced by today’s leaders is the principle: “An army is only as powerful as its weakest soldier.” But while the overwhelming amount of content around team dynamics is predominantly aimed at executives and senior managers, employees can contribute to the conversation just as much.
Shaping the leaders of tomorrow is only viable as a combined effort across the entire organization today. Responsible employees eager to make a difference can follow these steps to build a stronger organizational core, enabling the business to persevere while progressing toward leadership roles themselves.
It’s easy to fall prey to day-to-day troubles, losing track of the reason you joined the organization in the first place. No company is perfect, and while facing obstacles may occupy most of your attention, it’s important to take a breath, zoom out and focus on the bigger picture.
Businesses have to deliver upon their purposes and deal with a vast number of constraints on top of that. Drops in revenue, lack of key management roles and unsuccessful hires may slow down estimated progress, requiring team effort to regroup and get back on track.
As long as you’re still aligned with the vision of the company, take the time to appreciate the opportunity, what you’ve learned and the possibilities ahead of you. Positive reinforcement will broaden your vision and reveal the path to success.
Leaders are tasked with the responsibility of achieving high-quality business results while keeping their staff satisfied. While the perfect balance does not exist, the need to survive and keep revenue intact can put you in a position of disadvantage — having to deliver more or stay late to save the day.
While churn rate is a key metric of SaaS businesses, every organization cares about its retention rates. Gallup research estimates a $660,000 to $2.6 million annual cost for an average 100-person organization solely based on replacing team members.
Management is responsible for gauging the time and effort they put into every single employee. Consistently showing commitment and loyalty will reciprocate that effort, as the organization can afford to invest more in return for the productive collaboration ahead.
Give solutions, not problems.
Diligent employees do not hesitate to escalate a problem or report misconduct in the organization, but there are plenty of workplace issues that arise on a daily basis — from excessive noise coming from the construction site outside to the AC temperature in your office.
When reporting a problem, try to provide your manager with possible solutions. This helps to accomplish the following:
• Your supervisor has a direction to start with.
• You demonstrate proactiveness.
• You can sway your manager toward the preferable outcome.
• You will ensure that there are viable short-term solutions.
Help your team.
The path to leadership is in helping your team. As an organization, you work together to support the company’s vision. Any senior role involves working with subordinates and providing mentorship, support and opportunities for employees to grow.
Demonstrate awareness through action. Help your team and other departments in the organization whenever possible. Successful promotions are possible when trust is built and approval is received from the team. Be the person who can be trusted to jump in, and the rest will follow.
Openly discuss your goals.
It’s only natural to consider your long-term plans once you are committed to contributing back to the organization. Added responsibilities will lead to new career opportunities — and ensuring there is alignment between your plans and what management projects comes down to communication.
Work closely with your manager — and even senior management if possible — on your career goals. Let management know what it takes to keep you around for years to come. Put the cards on the table and give them a road map that would keep you satisfied and motivated over time.
Great leaders will back you up. Just make sure you’re crystal clear on what you need. Changing courses multiple times a year is an expensive investment that could affect your leaders’ ability to count on you.
Step into leadership’s shoes.
Don’t forget that senior leadership has a heavy burden to carry. Between securing recurring revenue and payroll, sifting through applicants capable of helping and fitting into the company culture, and dealing with daily chaos, even veteran entrepreneurs and managers make mistakes or reach the point of burnout.
As long as you trust your leadership, a little empathy goes a long way. Small problems that appear easy to solve may cause a ripple effect, or rank lower than the critical emergencies on top of the funnel, so step up whenever possible.
While job opportunities won’t cease to exist, investing in a company with the right leadership will press more organizations to invest in their people and gradually improve their management practices. Be the change you want to see in the company.