With a hectic 2022 coming to a close, and an uncertain 2023 right around the corner, many entrepreneurs are seeking successful leadership tips, to help them navigate the coming months. Eric Boles is a keynote speaker, author, former NFL player, and the founder and CEO of The Game Changers Inc. Throughout his career, Boles has earned insights few leaders have had the chance to experience, and discovered a love for helping small business owners achieve their dreams. Today he joins Jim Fitzpatrick, host of the Atlanta Small Business Show, to discuss three tips for leaders looking to foster successful teams in the new year.
1. Manage your business with intent
While many see the NFL as a entertainment provider, they fail to understand the organization’s efficient leadership. Boles notes that coaches, owners, executives and more managed their subordinates with intent, ensuring that they knew what to do, how to do it and why it was important to the team’s objectives. However, when transitioning out of the football world, one of the first things he noticed was how many companies failed to approach leadership from a similar perspective. Instead, Boles discovered that many business owners struggled to organize their staff or operations, because they expected their teams to work flawlessly on their own. Setting expectations, explaining needs and prioritizing training are some of the basic tenants of successful leadership, which is why Boles encourages leaders to use the new year to set appropriate goals for their staff.
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2. Consistency is more important than intensity
These words were told to Boles by his coach, and he has reiterated them many times throughout his consulting career. Many business leaders attempt to maximize productivity by demanding high motivation from their workforce. While sometimes this brings in results, Boles notes that this can also lead to a loss of talent, if not outright insubordination. Instead, he believes that managers should focus less on the intensity of employee work, and more on the consistency with which they can deliver results. At the end of the day, working harder or smarter means nothing if objectives can’t be met on a regular basis. Successful leadership is often the result of steady pacing, rather than breakneck speeds.
3. Be flexible
Everyone is familiar with that one manager who seems overly strict or narrow-minded. However, many entrepreneurs fail to realize how easy it is to become this stereotype without even noticing. Boles notes that while adherence to rules can be beneficial, business leaders should remember that “the enemy gets a vote.” Staying competitive means adaptation, and those who are unwilling to change tactics in order to succeed will soon be left behind in today’s fast-paced world. Boles notes that, while commitment is admirable and important, successful leadership depends on the flexibility of one’s team and their ability to react as needed.
Running an organization is not a one-person job, but is instead a team effort. Successful leadership requires knowledge of management principles, and what employees need to work efficiently. Boles hopes these tips will help small business owners navigate the uncertainties of 2023 with grace, and whatever the new year brings, he encourages entrepreneurs to view challenges and achievements as opportunities to hone their management skills.
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