John C. Maxwell, a renown leadership coach, led day 2 of Build IT Virtual, talking passionately about the difference between leaders people love and becoming a leader that your team wants to follow. He offered several suggestions about how leaders can make people feel valued, inspired, and empowered.

  1. Make sure you understand what your team needs from you as a leader. Why? Because often, those two viewpoints and opinions are not aligned. Be cautious about the presumptive gap. Many leaders think they know where their people are, or what their team needs from them—and it isn’t true. Make sure you accurately understand reality—and facing that can be difficult ground.
  2. While a company may hire a person, when that employee leaves, they are leaving a leader. That’s why you as a leader must work to inspire those feelings of value and empowerment. To achieve that, start by leading with heart. Your people will never forget how you make them feel. Think about how impactful these four words can be: “I noticed” and “You matter.”
  3. Remember there is a difference between motivating and inspiring. When you inspire a member of your team, you are pulling out their strengths and passion. When a leader motivates, he or she is likely pushing your employees to a new level or a new success. When you inspire someone, you are helping guide them to maximize their talents.
  4. Finally: It’s wonderful when people believe in their leader; it’s even more wonderful when their leader believes in them.

Keynotes Focus on People, Partnership and Communication

Going hand-in-hand with John’s advice were tips from Adam Slutskin, Liongard, who presented the closing keynote. His suggestions ranged from working with your internal team differently to considering an open-minded approach to partnerships.

  • Don’t be afraid to create shared goals among your teams, stretching the call to action across marketing, sales, accounting, customer service, and more. These shared goals can help pull your team together—and drive new types of innovation. This approach also helps businesses avoid a siloed approach to goals. Instead, it reinforces that your company is one team, and regardless of role, everyone has responsibilities that ultimately impact the customer experience in a positive way.
  • Communication is the ultimate tool in any company—so if you aren’t having team meetings, town halls, and other touchpoints where you can talk with transparency about the business and its challenges, goals, and more—you are missing an opportunity to connect with your team. Much to John’s point—those meetings are a great opportunity to listen and understand how to better align your leadership with what your team truly needs.
  • Partnership—don’t think of competitors as the “dark side.” Our ecosystem is full of vendors and MSPs who realized that working together can deliver more value to their customers. It simply takes opening up your mind to think about partnerships differently. (Remember Sunny talking about your circle of influence? Sometimes those are other MSPs and competitors.)

Overall, more than 1100 registrants took advantage of the two-day event, listening to workshops on topics ranging from marketing to sales, HR to strategy. Each attendee gained access to more than 25 templates, checklists and other tools on our new Build IT U, as well as full recordings of each session—all with the goal to take the MSP community to the next level of passionate innovation and success.

If you are interested in growing your MSP business through MSP-specific content, remember to visit our new online university, Build IT U, and register now to take advantage of the early bird rate for next year’s Build IT LIVE 2021