023 - Revolutionize Leadership: Ignite Team Brilliance for Ecommerce Success
Welcome, Ecommerce empresses to this episode of Women Powering Ecommerce. Join me every Tuesday and Thursday as I take you behind the scenes of my journey as a female Ecommerce entrepreneur. Together we'll explore the highs, the lows, inspiring you to take action and achieve your own business goals. So let's get started.
So today's topic is actually something I am super psyched about. I'm excited to talk about this. I definitely am still learning how to do this, but I just had to share. So I want to talk about leadership styles more particularly about co-creative leadership. Yes, co-creative leadership. What is that? I would say first of all, it's a mindset. We often hear about the top bottom leadership, and then bottom up. So I would say it's another type of leadership, very similar to the servant leadership.
I find there are a lot of similarities, but what I like about this, it's all about collecting your team's ideas and knowledge and use that to move the company forward. What that does is that it keeps your team motivated and engaged along the way. Right now that's what I'm learning to do and that's what I think I'm transitioning into more and more as a leader and I love it. Why am I really leaning towards that? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my past. So past jobs, let's start with that.
One of my last jobs where I worked at, I remember starting that job, I was super excited. So I learned the ropes of doing the job. I learned about the staff, my new boss, the clients we were dealing with, and just the general onboarding. Then after a few weeks, that's when you start seeing some gaps, right? You start seeing things that could be improved, that maybe if we did this another way, it would just make everything more efficient, more whatever. I think when you come from the outside in, that's when you're more able to see those things than when you've been working in a place for so long.
Sometimes you don't even question things anymore and you just go with the flow. So I was super excited. I saw improvements that could be made. I actually took the initiative, did some of the work, and then presented them, whatever I did, those papers, those ideas to my boss, and it was a dead end. So my ideas were not welcomed. They were not encouraged. I would say expected to be zero creative. I was expected to not offer any ideas and just do what I was told to do. What do you think the results were? I was super unmotivated and it just became a job.
So that's definitely something I hated and I feel like I could have provided so much more value. The workplace I was at could have been so much better if the leader of that team would just have allowed us to at least hear us out. No one has the best ideas, and yes, a lot of the ideas we might have are not good, but in the end, if we just hope that maybe one of them might be picked up, it just makes us feel so much better as employees. We feel listened to, we feel understood, we feel like we can contribute, we feel like we can grow with the company.
So when I started my business, I definitely did not want to replicate that feeling because I was so... I had all those negative feelings about not being able to have a voice, right? So I started my business and I really didn't think about that. I knew I wanted to take good care of my team and I did. But in the end I realized that I wasn't always like I'm trying to be today. I've told my team what to do and I've certainly micromanaged a lot and I am guilty. I was a control freak. Let's put it like this. But what lies under that I think is just a lot of insecurity and fear of not knowing what directions everything's going to go if you just leave too much freedom to your team and too much freedom of deciding what to do.
You want to do that, but you just have no clue how to do it. Then if you lose control, well, that was my fear. So that's why I micromanaged and I just told them what to do. Not only is it not as pleasant for the team, but it's also super, super demanding and overwhelming for me as a leader. It was, at least. I kind of moved away from that, but it was not fun on my end either. So it also created a very disengaged team, which I didn't like, but I didn't know what else to do. I feel like a lot from what you see around is that, a boss that just tells their employees what to do.
So I didn't know better. I didn't know what else to do. But with time, I think I saw the disadvantages of doing that in... I wanted something different for my teams and that's what I want for them today. To be honest, I am amazed at how much more motivated and onboard the team members will be with a project or goal when everyone has a chance to contribute in creating it. It doesn't mean that everyone's ideas will be held and executed, but just to have the chance to feel heard, have a voice, and just at least contribute to the business's growth is great.
I want to create a beautiful culture and protect it. I feel when we are doing that is through co-creating. So that's definitely something I'm just learning to do. It's something we know exists and we want to do, but then it's another thing doing it and remembering every time you want to do something new, you have to remember, oh yes, my team probably has a lot of great insights and a lot of things they could contribute to and say, so that it'll just make the idea or the goal even better than if I was the only one thinking about it or dictating what we should do.
So I'm still learning to do it and maybe I can share how I'm learning to do it right now. So first thing first, I make sure to see what I need done. So remember when I started in the beginning, the reason why I didn't let the team too much freedom, give them too much freedom of deciding what will be done is I didn't know how to do it, but I'm learning to do it. So the trick I find really helps is just I make sure to say what I need done, like what's the end result and I give a deadline.
So in the end, I'll get the result I want within the timeframe I want, but it leaves so much space for them to create. So I let the team decide how they want to execute it. Of course I'll follow up and if I see they're going in the wrong direction, I'll let them know. But in general, I feel that trusting your team is... I mean, they can do so much without you and usually they'll have much better ideas than you have, so. Then I then only approve or provide feedback, like you said, if needed for some corrections.
So even if that's at the end, if a project is handed in and maybe it's not a hundred percent, or even if it's not a hundred percent, does it do the job? Does it really change the end result in the end? But usually if it's a big project, there will be milestones. Yes, we'll check on them. When I say we, my husband too. Well, we kind of work the same way now. So we just really work towards giving them the end result we want. The rest you can decide how you want to do it. If you have questions or anything, we'll be more than happy to support you and help you. But for the rest, we just decide to trust them.
When we do, almost, I mean, 99% of the times we're super satisfied and happy. If they don't do the job the way we expected them to, I would say almost every single time it's just because we did not clearly verbally say what we wanted. We were not clear in our demands, so we were missing out on some details or things like that. So I mean, it's a two-way thing. We learn both ways. What's great about working like this, at least for me, is it brings delegation to a whole other level. I can get so much more done by delegating this way. It just gets all the brain work, the thinking, a lot of it at least out of the way.
I feel that more brings just in the end it results in much better ideas. I just find it super much more efficient. My time is now used efficiently this way to take care of things and decisions that only I can make. If anyone else can do something that I wanted to do, then I try to leave it to other people and I leave them decide how we're going to do it, but I just tell them what I want in the end. On my side, I try to keep whatever only I can do and that makes a huge, huge difference. It just makes my days much more enjoyable and much less overwhelming. So I have less things in my schedule, but everything that's there is really important. So yes, makes a big difference.
For the team, the biggest advantage I've seen for them is it reduces resistance to change. When you try to bring a change within a company, of course the first reaction a lot of the times will be, "I want to stay in my comfort zone. I don't want to change. Why are we doing this?" Even if it's for the better sometimes because it forces you to learn something new or to get out of your automatic mode. It reduces resistance to change. They're much more happy to go along with what were initially some of their ideas because they contributed to that new change. So it's so much easier to go along with a change if you decided to change and you brought an idea of something new we should do. So that's it.
It creates a space for creativity. Just who doesn't want to be creative? I think we all have that need on different levels. Some will be more creative than others, but we all need to do that, because in the end, we feel valued for our creativity and for our ideas and we're just much more motivated to work. So the goal of this episode was to introduce you to this type of leadership, co-creating, and give you a bit of how I am currently experiencing it. I'm loving it. I'm really, really loving it. So I hope you appreciate it.
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