7 ways to be a better leader

14 March 2016 -


Leadership lessons from the CEO of a Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies to Work For organisation

Guest blogger Clive Lucking




1) Channel your energy

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 25 years is that there’s absolutely no point in worrying about things that haven’t yet happened, or about things you can’t control.

Worrying takes an awful lot of time; you’re better off channeling your energy into the aspects of your life that you can sway and influence. That being said, once you’ve made a decision, don’t procrastinate – just do it.

At Fourfront, we do what we say… and we say it as it is.

2) Balance order and chaos

Good planning is imperative in business. You need to have a game plan. And, for the most part, you have to be able to stick to it.

Saying that, you need to be able to respond to change. Adaptability is, therefore, a vital skill.

To be successful in business, and life in general, you must be able to plan effectively but embrace change when necessary.

3) Be mindful

Fourfront Group has recently made the ‘Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies to Work For’ shortlist and we wouldn’t be able to do that without genuinely caring about our colleagues and clients.

People tend to mirror your approach to work and, to an extent, your mood.

Avoid negativity – either by being negative yourself, or by surrounding yourself with negative people.

4) Live in the real world

Our aim is to bring workspaces to life and when you spend each day making decisions in order to improve work environments, you need to be part of and live in the real world.

Theorising only gets you so far. By all means, read up on your area of expertise - soak it up - but don’t rely on the advice of ‘industry experts’.

You need to have the confidence to look at the world through your own eyes, not somebody else’s.

5) Lead from the front

Business is not the place for shrinking violets.

‘Natural leaders’ are not backseat drivers - they’re the ones at the wheel, driving everyone else around the curves and bends and, where possible, avoiding the bumps in the road - or else tackling them as smoothly as possible, James Bond style.

We create inspiring places to work so it’s important our team is inspired; and you can’t inspire if you can’t be seen.

6) Be available

Never fail to answer an email or a phone message, whether from clients, suppliers or colleagues. I’m not saying respond immediately (we all know that isn’t possible) but make it your priority to get back to everyone within forty-eight hours; even if it’s a mere acknowledgement.

In business, you have to be front of mind so make yourself visible in every way.

7) It’s all about the people

Recruit carefully. Start by looking for people who match the business personality and fit well with the company culture. We recruit people who are talented, regardless of their race, beliefs or which football team they support.

To us, attitude is an important as aptitude - the two are inextricably linked.

You can have the most talented employee in the world but if their attitude stinks, you’re playing a losing game.

Clive Lucking is CEO and a founding member of Fourfront Group, a family of companies that create inspiring workplaces that foster productivity and wellbeing

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