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It's refreshing to see directors and CEOs that are humble enough to really question themselves and their practices - rather than hiding behind the title on their business cards or the so-called ‘powers that be'.

In business, as in life, I believe in people first and foremost. If you don't take the time to get-to-know and appreciate your employees as human-beings, then they will never truly trust you. Why should they? Leaders that hide behind policies and procedures aren't looking for people - they're too busy creating unhappy drones. Personally, I enjoy having creative, happy people on my team. If a team-member questions me, then great! S/he is a comfortable and confident employee, and I enjoy dialoguing with my team.

Here's my top reasons for championing all the human leaders out there:


No, I don't mean your monthly team meetings meant to give the illusion of a leader that is listening. Lots of times these scheduled ‘catch-ups' have the opposite effect to what is meant: you are telling your employees that your time with them is privileged and must be pre-arranged. I don't believe in the archaic ‘boss' sitting behind a desk delegating work and following (here's an awful word) process. Processes aren't intuitive, they have no warmth, and one size doesn't fit all when it comes to team members. Cultural leaders know their employees and their situations because they have taken the time to understand what motivates them and what is important to them as individuals. If you can align the success of the business with your team members' personal success, then you can nurture a happy and motivated work force.


I believe it is far better to lead with trust rather than fear. If you are busy fluffing your feathers and protecting your so-called ‘authority' than getting stuck in with your team, then you may have already lost their trust (if not their respect). Trust is built by strong leaders who aren't afraid to question higher-ups for the sake of their team – even if it means putting themselves on the line. A trustworthy leader isn't afraid to admit to needing the help of his or her team members, and won't blame them if things go wrong. It's a mistake, and very old-fashioned, to expect people to work hard for you just because you have ‘given' them a job. I believe in building credibility over time; it doesn't come automatically just because you are in charge. By lowering your defences and dropping silly ideas about what employer/employee relationships ‘should' look like, everyone can begin to accept each other for who they really are.


I give my team a lot of scope when it comes their ideas and innovations. Does this mean mistakes are made? Of course it does, but when that happens it's often a good opportunity for everyone to get together and learn something new. I've gotten to know a lot about my team members and their personalities in the past simply by giving them the freedom to try out new things without the fear of failure. After all, it is much harder to work in an environment of criticism than one that feels encouraging and supportive. You can't empower your team members by simply giving them a target to hit. That goal is your goal – it isn't theirs. However, if they feel like an important member of the team, one whose ideas and efforts are taken seriously and celebrated, then it's easy for everyone to see the value in working hard.

A place to be proud of

I think all business owners have one common goal, and that is the success of their business. However, it's not just ‘leaders' who wish to feel proud of what they have built – your team does too. If you've read my previous articles, you'll know what my own company, LibertyPay, stands for, and why I believe in doing business the way I do. But I haven't built this ship alone, and neither does it stand alone amongst the business community at large. Everybody involved in the LibertyPay machine enjoys talking about the business and what we do and why. The whole team knows what the business stands for and is on-board with the message, and that's a magical thing. If you can foster an environment where team members feel valued and respected, then wouldn't it be lovely to step back and watch as that message is passed on to the business community and to our customers and suppliers alike?

I hope you enjoyed this article, please do have a look at my previous articles and feel free to share with your contacts if you think they would be interested. You can keep up to date with all things LibertyPay via our LinkedIn page.