There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.
- The leader: Andy Nielsen, CEO of Everything But the House (EBTH)
- Time in current position: 4 years
- Andy's philosophy: "Lead confidently and selflessly with an authentic attitude that motivates others to perform at levels they never knew possible." (Click to tweet)
Over the past four years, EBTH has grown from a single-city startup with less than 20 team members to a rapidly-growing e-commerce marketplace that employs a workforce of over 500. During this period of time, my coworkers, colleagues, advisors, friends and family have all taught me a tremendous amount about leadership.
I believe the best things in life are simple, and my leadership philosophy is no different: Clearly articulate a vision and relentlessly set expectations; remain focused; empower and inspire your team; and reward and recognize others every step of the way. Do this confidently and selflessly — with an authentic, all-in attitude that motivates others to perform at levels they never knew possible.
Communicate vision and set expectations. I've learned (or, am learning) this from my wife. When I wrongfully assume she knows exactly how I'm feeling, she'll tell me, "I'm not a mind-reader!" She has taught me the importance of communication and setting expectations. While simple in concept, the best leaders do this relentlessly.
Remain focused, and don't get distracted. I've seen too many promising companies fail because they lose focus; it's very tempting to chase new opportunities. I've learned that you need to aggressively filter through potential distractions and keep everyone focused on the primary mission. It's OK to say "no."
Inspire and empower others: I'm amazed and humbled by the talented people on our team. We take the time to hire the right people (a unique blend of raw talent, attitude, and work ethic), give them the tools and training they need, and then we inspire them and empower them to perform.
Say "thank you." Then say it again. The most effective leaders reward, recognize, and celebrate others all day, every day. By showing genuine appreciation, you can create a fantastic culture that will help you tackle the inevitable challenges associated with rapid growth.
Lead with confidence. Have fun. And always be willing to help.
Edited for length and clarity by Nicole Taylor.