Building and growing a successful business requires many different elements to come together. You need a great idea, financing, raving customers, passionate employees, and smart money management, just to name a few.
There's one thing all of these pieces require in order to come together and reach their fullest potential: exceptional leadership. Whether it's the entrepreneur him or herself, or an executive brought in to fuel growth, every company needs a thoughtful leader to steer it in the right direction.
No one knows this better than Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
At a recent Chase for Business Conference in New York City, Dimon discussed what it takes to be a great leader. Here, we highlight three of Dimon's best tips for anyone to become a better business leader today:
1. Always be transparent – about everything.
Transparency from leadership is critical to building a culture of trust. "Share everything," Dimon said. "You never want someone to walk into a meeting thinking you're hiding information. You can't play that game."
Sharing information such as strategy, new initiatives and financial performance can help your employees feel as though they're truly a part of your team and that they're trusted. The less “in the dark" employees feel, generally the happier and more engaged they will be.
"You're not going to become better without sharing information," Dimon said.
2. Address conflicts immediately.
"Don't avoid problems or confrontations," Dimon suggested. "Conflicts don't age well. Deal with issues sooner rather than later as they don't resolve themselves. They get worse."
Dimon also advised that leaders should encourage open communication among employees at all times. No one should feel uncomfortable or unable to speak his or her mind at a meeting, he said. If someone tracks Dimon down after a meeting to tell him what he or she didn't care for or agree with, he doesn't tolerate it.
If your employees don't speak up and contribute, then what's the sense in having a meeting in the first place?
3. Experience your business firsthand.
As a business grows, leaders can become disconnected from the nuts and bolts that drive the organization. Dimon suggests connecting with employees at all levels of your organization often to see exactly what they do and welcome their feedback.
"You don't sit in your office by yourself and somehow you make big decisions because you read something carefully," Dimon said. "Talk to your people. … Ask them what you can do better."
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