Trades & Services

How to Lead Your Team of Tradespeople 

Written by Jon Dale

You run a people business. A trade business or a building business is, over everything else, a people business. You make money (and do work that you’re proud of) by people going out into the world and doing that work for you- that skilled work. And you make more money by having more people out there doing work. 

I’m a business coach for tradies and builders and I help my customers put structure and systems in place, so that they can grow properly. 

So, if you’re a people business, you need structure and systems for your people. It’s no use hiring people and then leaving them to it and hoping that they do a great job. 

Chances are that you’ll be disappointed. 

You need to lead them effectively so that they want to do a good job and help you build your business, so they know what the plan is and what their part in it is. 

You need to manage them on a daily basis so they know what’s required and get feedback. And you need to set up and foster a great culture in your business — one that encourages the behaviour that you want. 

Being A Good Leader 

This topic is about leading- it’s a responsibility and it’s yours. 

If you don’t lead well, they won’t follow well. 

Many people neglect this responsibility — you probably are. If you’re not actively leading your team, you’re neglecting it. 

You need to plan your leadership and continue with it. It doesn’t end with an inspiring speech. 

It’s not enough just to have the right attitude — although that helps. It’s not enough to lead by example, although that helps too. 

“A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” 

That’s a quote from John C. Maxwell who is a leadership expert and has sold millions of books on leadership. 

And it makes sense — that’s a job that needs doing, isn’t it? Someone needs to know where we’re going and how we’re getting there; they need to show everyone else or lead the way. 

Steps On How To Lead Your Team Properly 

I was taught this process for leadership by a leadership trainer called Peter Farley and this is what you need to do in your business to lead your team (or what I’ll help you put in place if I’m coaching you).

1. Bring Clarity

Have a plan! Know where you’re heading or how you’re all getting there. (It’s the first thing we do in our program). 

2. Engage them 

Show it to your team. Sell it to them. Get them to see why the end goal is great and how the plan is going to work. Why it’s good for everyone. 

3. Test Buy in 

Check that they like the goal and the plan. And they’ll commit to making it happen with you and the rest of the team. 

4. Delegate accountability 

Make sure everyone is clear about their roleand how important it is  to the plan. 

5. Maintain momentum 

You have to build the energy and keep everyone motivated – in their jobs and in their big schemes. Show them you’re making progress and show them it is working. 

6. Wave the flag 

Celebrate success and people’s contributions – recognise their hard work along this (long) path. 

That’s leading – there’s a bit to it. Do it right and put the effort in and you’ll get good results. You’ll have committed employees, people that are trying hard and doing the right stuff – pushing in the same devotion. 

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Jon Dale

Jon Dale, of Small Fish Business Coaching is a business coach for tradies - trades business owners wanting to grow their businesses. His articles will help you understand how to manage your marketing, sales, operational systems and the people of your business. His program is called the Tradies Toolbox because he hopes you can use it, like a tool, to make more money and build a business you're proud of.

There are a few ways you can explore whether working with Jon is right for you, right now:
1. You can watch these videos - subscribe here to get them emailed every week.
2. You can join the Tradies Business Toolshed Facebook Group and participate.
3. You can attend the next Tools Down Workshop - 2 days of Jon explaining the framework.
4. Or you can book a 10-minute filter call where you and Jon will both look at whether he can help.