Leadership isn’t rocket science. Creating the conditions for business success is actually pretty basic: be clear about where you are going and why; define what success looks like and track performance; make sure all of your key people on the same page; don’t “wing it” when it comes to important decisions; ensure that every single employee knows how they fit in the big picture and what they are supposed to be doing; create a process for providing on-going performance feedback; hold people accountable for results (including yourself); be careful about who you hire and put in supervisory roles; provide extensive training and support; never stop communicating with your customers; and make sure everyone shares in the success of the business but also feels the pinch of nonperformance.
I often get asked for a checklist of management improvement ideas. While the following list isn’t exhaustive, I believe it is a good start for anyone who would like to audit their existing business situation:
The more people who are knowledgeable about the basic metrics of the business, the more people you have who will be able to make a connection between their work and the actual outcomes of the company. As long as you are a reasonably fair employer, they will take pride in the organization when things are going well and pitch in when you need them to make the extra effort.