Many companies have conducted research in an attempt to establish their best leadership strategies. James River Capital Corp. believes that leadership in the business world is an art and a science that also involves considerable skill. Although it understands that leadership skills may take some time to develop, it also believes that in some cases only simple changes may be needed to make a difference. Here are three simple changes that can improve corporate leadership.
Supporting Rather Than Leading
Leaders at Facebook have adopted this philosophy. The mere changing of one word for another can alter the concept of leadership and, in the process, change how leaders interact with members of their teams. This simple change can have a surprisingly big impact in the relationship between managers and their workers.
Welcoming and Encouraging Feedback
According to recent studies, approximately 85 percent of the employees who were questioned admitted that they often withheld information from their managers. Workers may fear retaliation if they raise certain issues, with this failure to communicate resulting in insufficient engagement and collaboration, and possibly even the suppression of innovative ideas. Under the principle of “psychological safety,” which was discovered by Google, employees can confidently approach their managers with problems and ideas for improvement. This principle can be enhanced when managers welcome and even encourage comments from their employees, and show appreciation for such feedback.
Managers can help their employees by removing any obstacles that may interfere with the communication process. This is especially true at team meetings, when everyone should be given an opportunity to speak. It is of initial importance to take note of everyone who is attending the meeting and to identify those who speak. Although some employees can be expected to provide more information than others, management personnel should identify those who are less willing to speak or who may say nothing. It is these reticent employees who should be asked questions and encouraged to provide input. Employees should always feel comfortable when they speak and equally reassured about the information they provide. This will make them feel that their opinions are indeed important and valued by the company.
The History of James River Capital Corp.
Located in Richmond, Va., James River Capital Corp. is registered to provide advice in both the investment and commodity trading fields. It was founded in 1986 as KP Futures Management Corp., initially serving as the alternative investment division of Kidder, Peabody & Co. In 1995, it became an independent investment company through the efforts of two of its senior officers, Paul Saunders and Kevin Brandt. It is currently responsible for managing products valued at more than $570 million.
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