What does a leadership role look like in your agency?
The art of successfully leading a team may not come naturally to everyone, even to the experts in their own field. Whether you are a CEO, president, founder, or business owner, leadership skills take time to develop. You have to put in the right effort and you may have to go through some failures in order to perfect the character traits needed of a leader.
But as an agency owner, what exactly are these ideal traits?
Having numerous agencies come to us for white label PPC services, we have witnessed how hundreds of agency owners have managed their company to ensure success. During our webinars and business coaching, certain leadership skills stand out among the agency owners we teach.
With that in mind, along with some research, we have come up with a list of qualities that successful agency owners have in common which enable them to lead their team effectively. But before we go to our list, let us first look at some definitions of the term “leadership”.
According to a published study at us.corwin.com, a leader must have stable and coherent integrations of personal characteristics that foster a consistent pattern of leadership performance across a variety of group and organizational situations.
In another study by Tallinn University in 2009, it states that individuals can analyze their own traits and understand their strengths and weaknesses and how others see them in an organization. Thus, it can be used by business owners to assess where they stand within their market and what is needed to strengthen their position.
So let’s take a look at our summary of leadership qualities that successful agency owners have in common.
1. Knowing how to prioritize
Prioritization is very important. Most of the time, with the lack of this, agencies try to work on so many different things at the same time, creating a series of tasks and subtasks without hitting one goal. The agency owner must know the most important thing to work on at any given time. One of the best practices in prioritization is using the Eisenhower Matrix. This tool helps you set your priorities in four quadrants, ranging from urgent and important to non-urgent and unimportant.
2. Being a good listener
This trait is especially needed when dealing with remote teams. If you and your employees only meet in a virtual office, the feeling of being heard is always a good thing. It makes a great difference if you can address your team’s issues and concerns because this promotes motivation and efficiency.
Being a good listener is also extremely important when talking with a client. You should be actively listening to the clients feedback so that you can be proactive in coming up with a solution to their problems.
3. Having credibility
Do clients believe every word you say? Do they think you are telling the truth all the time? If so, then you are credible. If you make one false statement, you will lose the credibility that you have been working so hard to achieve all these years. It’s always easy to say something that is positive in nature, such as a positive result in your marketing efforts for a client. But when something negative happens, you are still encouraged to tell the truth. Keep the client informed and tell them how you are going to handle the situation. Remember, you cannot lead if you lose your credibility.
4. Being competent
A competent agency owner knows the business inside out and can motivate a team towards a long term goal. You should have a deep understanding of the agency business model in order to be seen as competent and proficient when running the business. Knowing how to plan, build and successfully promote new services and products profitably shows a level of competency that will inspire the team around you to perform at the highest standards.
5. Being decisive
Being an agency owner means crucial decision-making almost every day. The trick here is to communicate with your team why and how you came to make a certain decision and what it means for them and the business. Not all decisions will have positive outcomes, but sharing the successes and failures of these decisions openly builds confidence and trust among your employees
6. Encourages collaboration
Collective brainpower can be powerful, especially when fleshing out new ideas. A good leader is open to suggestions and reactions from team members. Encouraging collaboration among your team also creates a business culture that gives importance to team achievement. When your employees are enabled to collaborate, it allows them to work beyond their individual role helping them feel more valued.
7. Moves quickly on opportunities
According to George S. Patton, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Acquiring opportunities, such as prospecting new clients and closing deals, is something that an agency owner should act upon – fast. Taking a direct and immediate action is the only way to go because a timid approach leads to more lost opportunities.
8. Delegates tasks effectively
This is particularly important if you are the kind of owner who likes to be hands-on all the time. Realistically, you cannot micro-manage every aspect of your agency. You need to delegate tasks to be able to function efficiently. Leverage your team’s skills and capabilities and if someone has a great idea, assign that task to them and make sure they have the tools and resources needed to successfully complete it.
9. Giving credit where it’s due
It’s tempting to take all the credit for the success of your agency. Yes, you can do that, but it is wiser to recognize the wider efforts of the team as everyone has a part to play in the positive outcomes. This practice not only ensures recognition of employees, but it also inspires others to work efficiently and effectively. A generous reward may also help boost morale and encourage consistently high standards.
In conclusion, a team and business will only be as good as the leader at the helm. Your agency’s performance is a reflection of how efficiently you manage your employees and clients. If you are equipped with the right leadership qualities, it’s easy for your agency to grow in the right direction. That being said, nurturing these qualities is not an easy task and many leaders may excel in some areas and not in others.
So, what leadership qualities do you need to work on for the growth of your agency?