What does support look like? The word seems to evoke weakness, so how do we qualify this thing called support?
We freely use the word support, and acknowledge its importance, but what is support for business leaders, senior managers, and entrepreneurs?
Individuals seem to have their own view of what support looks, sounds, hears, feels, and tastes like.
The observant amongst you may groan at my blatant use of sensory language in the previous sentence, and yes, I know I missed ‘smell’. My point is there are differing preferences and there is, of course, no one size fits all approach.
Because I believe support to be a crucial aspect of leading, whether it be a large organisation, a movement or an SME, the following 7 are my core habits.
A Mastermind Group should provide a confidential environment which is conducive to a creative atmosphere to develop skills, ideas and input for any challenges or problems. It can also be a safe place to share concerns and frustrations.
The purpose of mentoring is to develop and grow by learning from someone who has achieved similar goals and achievements in your field. In my experience mentors have been transformative.
Whereas the mentor has likely already trodden a similar path, peer support is about sharing experiences, giving and receiving knowledge, practical help and whatever support is agreed by the peers in the group. A peer group is often similar to a Mastermind group, but whereas the latter may have a leader or facilitator, a peer group is probably comprised of equals.
It may seem obvious, to suggest a leaders needs to delegate, but effective delegation is an art. It is very easy to fall into the trap of abdication and losing control. The successful leader knows how to delegate to get the best from their people.
Networking Business Groups
Local Business groups providing regular meetings with guest speakers and forums offer an opportunity for a Leader, and those who may feel isolated, to mix with like-minded people and to share ideas and experiences. They are likely to be less formal than Mastermind or peer groups and offer more general support.
Coaching has exploded in the last twenty something years. Once the domain of the sportsperson, Life Coaches, psychology or mind coaches, and Executive Coaches, to name but a few, empower leaders to be the best they can be by improving self-awareness, helping them achieve targets and maximising their performance.
By far the best support will come from the very people you lead. When a leader empowers, motivates and inspires their team, that team will repay them by following them through good and bad.
The biggest barrier to successful is the fear of getting it wrong and getting it visibly wrong when you are the man or woman at the top. Unless, of course, you have a good Coach.
These are my seven top habits, and you may have others. If you do, please share them.