Small things change direction much more easily than their larger counterparts. If you’re going around a sharp corner at top speed, you’d rather be in a nifty sports car than a cumbersome people carrier. The same is true in business. Although larger companies are usually better positioned to absorb inflated costs or withstand longer-term financial pressures, smaller organisations are often much more agile and responsive to external changes. With less corporate red tape, more direct contact with customers and often more efficient communication, small businesses are the masters of swift, flexible action.
What does the word ‘leader’ make you think of? A powerful army general? An eloquent politician? A confident, charismatic CEO? We tend to associate strong leadership with certain alpha-type characteristics: extroversion, confidence and unwavering self-belief – or arrogance. This image of the leader as a dominant tour de force has been heavily reinforced throughout history; leaders are fierce like Boudica, commanding like Napoleon or great orators like Churchill. But what if you’re none of those?
Click on any corporate website, and the chances are you’ll find a page devoted to their company ethos. Why? Having a defined corporate ethos sets a culture, tone and character, creating a framework for individuals to come together and work as a collective. It’s also a reflection of the business’ core values and objectives.
In the 2017 confidence index, Vistage members cited Talent Management as the greatest challenge for UK SMEs. Finding and retaining the best is no longer as simple as ‘pay well’. Talent wants meaningful work, they want support and perks, flexibility and autonomy. As the survey showed, business leaders are struggling to keep up with this new-look employee and their requirements. While this is true of all staff, it’s perhaps more apparent at the senior level; how do you attract the C-level and Directors that will power significant change within a business?