Tony Elumelu Give Away 5 Leadership Advice to Managers
“Leadership comes in many forms. Figure out how your quietness strengthens your leadership style”, said Elaine Mau. One of the best things a leader can do is listen to the advice of others who have been there before. No matter the position you hold in any organization or the type of business you run, learning from the experiences of successful leaders can help you to not only avoid critical mistakes, but also make informed decisions to help your business and/or organization grow.
Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holding and the Tony Elumelu foundation, shared the most valuable leadership advice to young leaders and managers:
Over affiliation at work can breed negative attitudes
While friendly relationships at work should be encouraged, clannish mindsets and “cliques” should be dissuaded. Such exclusionary behaviours breed tension and rivalry within the organisation. Staff should be professional at all times, avoiding office gossip and unfounded bias.
Great leaders don’t compete with their staff
When an organisation recognizes someone who works under you, you must understand that the first recognition goes to you, even if unsaid. Groom, not compete, with those who work under you. You should see them as mentees, not rivals. I’ve often heard that some new managers refuse to train others or share important skills/knowledge for fear of being replaced. As a new manager, you must resist such insecurity and instead learn to share as when your team members shine, you shine even brighter.
As managers, you are no longer the sole-contributor
The responsibility of a manager is to delegate effectively. You are no longer a lone-ranger, you are now a team builder and your mindset must evolve. However, I always tell people who work for me to delegate and not abdicate – there is a distinct difference. Even though you delegate tasks, you must understand that you remain fully accountable for the team.
Be curious — read, learn and grow
Make use of the information overload of the 21st century, be curious – read, learn and grow. Information has never been more accessible than it is now. In this age of advanced accessibility to quality information, if you remain uninformed, you are doing yourself a huge disservice by being lazy. As young professionals, you must do better for yourself and your future. Take advantage of all the information out there and keep developing yourself.
Don’t be a weak leader
Some leaders are so afraid of confrontation that they give dishonest feedback in order to be perceived as “likeable”. Such weak leaders help neither their subordinates nor the organisations. Institutions that fail are often beleaguered by such managers. I tell those who work with me to be assertive and direct with feedback. Feedback should be given in a clear manner that is solution-driven and not personal. You should work with your team members to deepen their strengths and improve on their challenges. What you should not do is hide your concerns and give inaccurate feedback.