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Leadership is one of those skills that can be difficult to quantify and even more difficult to teach. However, there are some best practices that all great leaders seem to follow.


So many contractors and small business owners get stuck in the daily grind doing the “thing” that their business does. As the company grows, they end up overwhelmed, like a hamster on a hamster wheel that won’t stop, effectively landing in Contractor Prison, meaning they are slaves chained to their businesses 24/7.


Can you relate? Are you stuck in contractor prison? If so, read on! If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to get ahead, it’s probably because you haven’t mastered the four best practices for great leaders. Leaders are essential for any business – they set the example, inspire people with vision, empower their team, and delegate ownership instead of tasks. In this blog post, we’ll discuss each of these leadership best practices in detail and show you how to become a better leader today!


Small business owners commonly ask questions like:

  • What makes great leaders?
  • How do great leaders inspire action?

Are you ready to begin or continue your journey to become a better leader and become a great leader? Read on.


1. Great Leaders Set the Example

Lead by getting out front, taking risks.


There is a lot of talk about taking risks these days, but what does that really mean? For example, does taking a risk mean gambling? Or does it mean making a decision that could potentially hurt your business or career?


When it comes to being a great leader, one of the most important things you can do is set the example. This means doing things that are risky but are ultimately worth it. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes. This is what will make you stand out from the rest and make your team better.


So you have to stretch yourself. Get comfortable taking calculated risks.


Leaders are often asked how they become successful. The answer is usually not by doing what has always worked, but by stretching themselves and taking calculated risks. Leaders must be comfortable with change, growth, and uncertainty. They need to be able to trust their gut and be willing to experiment. Leaders must be able to stay calm under pressure and stay focused on the task at hand.


This is leading… being the lead… out in front… leading the way… going first.


If you’re not willing to take the risk, you won’t get the greatest rewards.


Leaders must show their people that it can be done and how to face and overcome failure. Failure is inevitable, but it does not have to be a negative experience. 


The road to success is paved with stepping stones of failure. – Jason W. Phillips


2. Great Leaders Inspire People with Vision

There are many qualities that make a great leader. Some of the most important qualities are charisma, intelligence, competence, and integrity. But one of the most important qualities is having a vision. A great leader has a clear vision for the future and is able to motivate others to follow them in pursuit of that vision. They inspire people with their vision and show them how their individual efforts can help contribute to the larger goal. This makes them great leaders and motivators.


Leaders can inspire others with their vision by creating a culture that values creativity and innovation. People are inspired by leaders who are passionate about what they do and share their vision with others. Leaders who are inspiring have a clear idea of where they want to go and are committed to getting there. They also make it easy for others to join them in their mission.


A great vision captures the heart and imagination of those who embrace it. It inspires people to work together to achieve common goals. It is a unifying force that can bring people together and make them believe in themselves. A great vision is not a pie-in-the-sky idea; it is a plan that is grounded in reality and achievable. It is not a wish list; it is a roadmap that leads to a destination. A great vision is not something that is created overnight; it takes time, effort, and dedication to achieve. However, it is worth the effort because it can change the course of history.


3. Great Leaders Empower People 

Great leaders empower people by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. They also provide a sense of community and support, which helps people feel valued and supported. Finally, great leaders set high standards and expectations, which motivate people to achieve their goals.


Empower People to Take Action

Leaders who empower their people to have confidence in them and know that they can take action. Courage is taking action, but it is also having the confidence to know that you can succeed. For example, a leader might empower their team by giving them the authority to make decisions and setting clear expectations. This allows them to feel confident in their ability to take action and achieve their goals.


Help Them Gain Small Wins

Leaders should empower their team by providing them with small wins so that they can build their confidence. This will help the team feel like they are making a positive impact and will encourage them to continue working hard. Leaders should also make sure to praise their team members when they achieve a small win and keep them informed of future opportunities.


Providing Them with Safety to Fail and Learn

Great leaders empower their people and provide them with the safety to fail and learn. Leaders must create an environment where employees feel safe to experiment, take risks, and make mistakes. 


This is the essence of servant leadership;  it is about empowering others, not doing it for them. 

That is a topic for future discussion.


4. Great Leaders Delegate by Giving Ownership, Not Just Assigning Tasks

You can delegate tasks or you can delegate responsibilities.


There is a lot of debate over whether or not it is better to delegate tasks or delegate responsibilities. I personally see better results by delegating ownership.  Great leaders delegate by helping people see a clear picture of what a great outcome looks like, giving them a stake in the results, and then they get out of their way.


When you only delegate tasks, you are not empowering people to use their heads or make decisions. This is because people are not given the opportunity to use their creativity or problem-solving skills. As a result, they may become frustrated and ineffective. Instead of delegating tasks, give people the opportunity to lead and be responsible for their own work. This will allow them to use their skills and be productive members of the team.


When people are given, and take, ownership of their outcomes, they are more likely to be successful.



Make a decision today to grow as a leader. I am convinced that you will never escape Contractor Prison without becoming a great leader. Plus, you’ll empower others and make everyone’s life better. It will take time to grow, and honestly, you have to be a student for life, but it’s worth it. If you will work on these four best practices for great leadership, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great leader yourself escaping Contractor Prison!