Running a successful business requires more than just having a great idea. It requires having the right leadership skills. And let’s face it not all of us are natural born leaders.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way ~ John C. Maxwell
So, what does it take to be an effective small business leader? Great leaders understand that their skills can always be improved. Check out the following tips for becoming a better leader.
1. Be a leader by example
Being a leader does not give you the license to do whatever you’d like. If you expect your employees to work hard, you should also be working hard. If employees feel that they are only being delegated difficult responsibilities while you keep fun or easy tasks for yourself, they may resent your leadership. Be sure that you are constantly pushing yourself to do the best job you can do.
2. Communication is key
One of the best ways to avoid disgruntled employees and a dysfunctional team is to communicate clearly with everyone. Always let your workers know what’s going on and what you expect out of them. Also, give them insight into the bigger picture so they know your company’s overall goals and vision. A true leader must communicate that vision and those goals to employees, investors, and customers.
3. Be a good listener
There’s a thin line between being a leader and being a dictator. The difference is that great leaders listen to those “below” them. Listen to your employees and customers, and I guarantee you’ll find some great ideas that help you improve your business. Oh, and when you get those ideas from someone else, show them a little love by thanking them and giving them credit.
4. Build relationships
People are your greatest resource: clients and customers as well as employees. Find ways to strengthen the level of trust you have with everyone involved in your enterprise.
“Be considerate. Be transparent and consistent. Be fair. Be constructive. Be realistic. Be decisive.”
It is not only important that your workers trust each other: It is vital that they trust you as their leader.
5. Be willing to delegate
Delegation is one of the key ways to get the best out of your team. Surrounding yourself with smart and talented people is pointless if you don’t let them do their jobs.
Effective delegation starts with a desire to offload some of your work so you can focus on growing your business. You have to let your team do the things they do best. You hired them for a reason, after all.