Maintaining Leadership in Business

Maintaining Leadership in Business


As owners or managers in business we can often feel like the meat in the middle of the sandwich getting squeezed by internal or external stakeholders. At this stage you are adding a lot of value but not the sustainable nutritional value.


So how do you make sure that you’re not? Here are some field-tested ways to make sure you can deliver nutritional value over the long run and not be under so much heat and pressure that you get squeezed out of the sandwich.

Focus on the things that only you can do: When you’re in a designated leadership role, there are certain opportunities that come to you because you’re the incumbent in the role. These opportunities are things like goal setting, resource allocation, team selection and development, information flow and relationship growth. All the things that you can leverage in your role are related to leadership activities. Your leverage will rarely if ever come from your primary discipline from your role as a subject matter expertise. Focus on the things that only you can do as the designated leader.


Plan the work: It’s a fact of life that everything can’t be done at once. One of the key things that only you can do as a leader is sequence the work for your team and yourself. Doing that successfully will require that you create enough bandwidth in your calendar to take a deep breath a few times a week and then check that you and your team are still working on the things that matter most and redirect everyone’s time and attention if there not.


Communicate the plan: When you plan the work, you end up with an actionable plan to do the work. This needs to be communicated, repeated and communicated. Communicate it to your team so they understand what everyone is trying to do, by when and how they all contribute to the plan. Communicate it to your peers so they can coordinate their work with yours and so you can catch any bumps that are going to make things difficult if not addressed. Communicate the plan so there’s clarity and no ambiguity about what you’re working on and why. Ambiguity creates micromanagement. The more of that you have, the more you’re going to create a culture where staff feel like the meat in the sandwich getting squeezed.


Don’t Procrastinate: If you’re feeling squeezed, quit thinking so much. Quit thinking constantly about all the things you have to do and problems you have to solve. Your best ideas come when you’re not actively thinking about the problem. Your brain needs time to pull the threads of ideas together and that usually doesn’t happen when you’re sitting at your desk working on your computer, in a meeting or on a conference call.


Take Breaks: The amount and extent of breaks will differ from to another. Morning exercise, a quick walk during the day and getting home to see my family before continuing to walk is what works for me. You need to find what suits you. This could be getting up every hour and walk around or stretch for a few minutes. Your brain and your body both need breaks. This helps clear away the stress hormones that build up from grinding on a problem. When you do that, you rest and things that previously felt hard seem a little easier.


Don’t be the meat in the sandwich. Try one or more of these strategies that will help reduce the pressure and allow you to lead and live life at your best.


If your business needs guidance on leadership, contact the Cashflow Tech Systemz team at


This article was created from several blogs and originally published at



About the author

Over the last decade Deane has held senior roles within small and large organisations by partnering with the business to maximise value.

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