It takes great leadership to build great teams. Successfully managing a group of employees requires a keen understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Jillian Bolger asks six business leaders how they get everyone to bring their A-game to work.
Edel Flynn, Commercial Property Entrepreneur
Edel Flynn has been a driving innovation in Irish workspaces for 20 years while leading teams in the public and private sectors. Former CEO of The Digital Hub, she’s a co-founder of two start-ups, Element78 and spaceXchange, and chair of BizWorld.
What’s the secret to delegating successfully?
Identifying an individual’s key strengths and assigning the right job to the right person and empowering them to do it. When someone is confident in what they are doing, they are likely to be more productive. A manager should never take the delegated role back or they end up overrun themselves and won’t have the time to be strategic and innovative.
What are your key values as a leader?
Vision and the ability to finesse it. Authentic communication is an essential skill for a good leader. I come from a working class family and my parents impressed on me the importance of treating everyone, from the cleaner to the CEO, with the same respect. It’s amazing how much you learn and the insight you get when you listen to every employee or contractor on how to improve your business.
How do you handle differences between your teammates?
Customise your approach to deal with individuals on their terms. Some handle stress, some don’t; some work well under pressure, some don’t. Assigning the right jobs, to begin with, is critical. Differences are not always a bad thing; they can unleash innovation and ensure diverse creativity. Sometimes you need to create awareness amongst staff on different personality traits and how they can learn to work better together.
What’s your work wardrobe?
Smart casual. In previous roles, I wore dresses, which wasn’t naturally me. I’m more a smart top and jacket person.