One of the most asked questions in business is “What makes an effective Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and business leader?”. So in order to get some insight behind this question we decided to ask Clint Thompson the CEO and Founder of DigiHype Media Inc. a Toronto based digital marketing agency, to give us an idea.
Here is what Clint Thompson had to say about being an effective business leader at his digital marketing agency based in Mississauga.
In my opinion, there are several things that to me as a leader, makes you effective at your job.
1.Making difficult decisions
Sometimes you have to make decisions that aren’t fun, nor are they what you prefer to do, but they are nonetheless important decisions for your business. An example of this would be releasing an employee that is a good person, maybe has good skills, but just isn’t doing what is necessary to make his/her role a success. You may have tried time and time again to discuss these issues with the individual with no improvement. At that point, you need to decide what is best for the business, but it can be difficult. Ironically in all of my years managing people, I have not had one person challenge me on a decision to part company. In fact, it was almost as if someone had lifted a weight off of their shoulders.
2. Understanding others needs Vs your own
As a business owner, we tend to have tunnel vision. We focus so adamantly on what is important to our businesses success that we sometimes look at that only, and not at the entire picture. I find when you try to see from others perspectives, you get a different view of reality and I am always surprised of what a difference that can make to your ultimate decision. A great example of this would be an employee who is having difficulty communicating verbally, may not necessarily be a poor communicator. I’ve had employees that are very shy face to face and almost seem to be averse to certain tasks. Well, I proved myself wrong. I started communicating with those employees through instant message programs within our office and to my astonishment, their productivity went through the roof and they were genuinely happier. So much for my winning smile:)
3. Earning the right to lead
Many business owners and CEOs alike feel that their job is only to “do their job”, but they tend to lose perspective on what leading really is. Many of these leaders don’t know what it’s like for the janitor to clean a garbage bin, or the cleaning staff to mop a floor or to clean the sink in an office kitchen. I certainly do and I think all leaders should. I remember many times at the end of a day when my team were working beyond their day to complete a project and we had client meetings the next day. Our office was a mess and we had no cleaning crew until the weekend. Well, it doesn’t’ take Einstein to realize that sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and get those jobs done yourself. Cleaning the garbages, mopping the floor and doing what is necessary only elevates you in the eyes of the people you work with in my opinion. My dad would always say, “don’t ask your staff to do a job that you wouldn’t do yourself”. Words to live by.
4. Empowering your team
I always wonder why sometimes management won’t train or allow their staff to do more than what they are tasked or that their job description might allow. Now I don’t mean overloading an employee, I mean, give someone an opportunity to do something different, or something interesting that is out of the ordinary. From my experience, this helps build confidence and inspires a feeling of trust. We’ve had occasions where we have had junior staff and sometimes interns take on the task of preparing everything and I mean everything for an important business open house for our existing and potential clients. Every time I have done this, I am amazed at the incredible job that they had accomplished, with a limited budget and lots of creativity. The look on their faces when a successful job is done is priceless.
5.Taking advice from others
We live in a world filled with information. This information is available to everyone but not everyone takes advantage of this opportunity. One example of a group of people that take full advantage of this information and actually shapes and transforms it daily are millennials. Millennials are very attuned with information on a whole. All you need to do is to tap into this boundless resource to see what is going on in the real world and where technology (my world) is heading. Countless times we have made adjustments to the way we support our team internally and our clients externally, all due to these young minds. Many people label millennials as lazy and unfocused, I totally and wholeheartedly disagree. I work with many persons in this age group and their ideas are incredible. In fact, we have implemented with great success, some of the ideas that were brought about by our younger group of team members. From our internal communication platforms, one for communication only and another for scheduling work and timestamping, to new innovative software programs that we use successfully behind the scenes to support our clients. None of this would have come to fruition with yours truly alone and without the help of some bright young minds. So don’t sell this group short, they will amaze!
It can be a challenging job running your own business or leading a company, but I have found that many of these small things that I have done have made my work not only easier but certainly much more rewarding.
What Do You Think?
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