Leadership is a complex topic, and there are many styles of leadership. When you run a small business, you’re a leader already. If you want to grow your small business steadily and achieve some pretty incredible things, then you will need a team of great people; for that, you need to be a strong leader.
In this post, I will share with you six key areas to develop so that you can become a strong leader.
Develop a clear vision for yourself and the team
Decide where you’re headed. This sounds so simple, but many leaders struggle with it, and so did I.
Here are some questions to help you:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What impact do you want your company to have on the world, even if it’s just your local community?
- What does your life look like in 5 years? (What do you want to be true?)
- What does your company look like in 5 years? (What do you want to be true?)
- What does your team look like in 5 years? (What do you want to be true?)
- How do you want the public to think about your company?
- How do you want your people to think about you?
It’s ok to dream big! Be bold! Great people want to follow a leader with a great vision. Your vision needs to be big enough that there’s no way you will accomplish it on your own.
Identify your own strengths
As a business owner and leader, it’s easy to feel you must be great at everything. That’s simply not true. Take time to identify what you are good at.
- What are you drawn to?
- What repels you?
- What things do you tend to procrastinate doing?
- Ask your spouse and employee what they wish you would do more of.
- Ask them what they wish you would do less of.
- Discover your personality style
- After you’ve got a handle on your personality style, discover your Motivators. Reach out to me if you would like to take an assessment.
Once you realize your own strengths (and weaknesses), you can begin to hire people to fill in your weaknesses with their strengths and start helping others develop their own potential.
Lead by example
Great leaders know the way, go the way, and show the way.
- Walk the talk.
- Demonstrate what it takes to be successful.
- Consider the difference between saying, “Go do it this way.” versus “This is how it’s done.”
- Always champion things like honesty, integrity, and ethics.
Show your people what success looks like. When they’ve got it, let them have it and move on.
Listen actively to your team
Too often, fast-paced leaders don’t take the time to listen to their team. Not only is this detrimental to progress, but it will demoralize your people. People need to know their voices are heard. You must take time to listen.
Truly listening means that you truly care to understand what they are saying rather than thinking about what you will say the next moment they pause to breathe. Seek to understand! Your people can feel that.
People need to know that their hard work is seen! Your people will work hard because they believe in your and your mission. They will work hard to support their teammates. They will work hard to please clients.
Since you are a busy business owner, much of this hard work will go unnoticed. Make a point of discovering and bringing to light their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments. Then take the time to express appreciation with words, gifts, time off, etc.
Set high standards
You won’t achieve your grand vision without high standards. People will rise to your expectations because they want to do a great job. Set high expectations regarding quality, productivity, teamwork, attitude, growth, etc.
But… also be flexible enough to allow them to make mistakes without judgment or criticism. Mistakes are part of growing, so give them a safe place to learn and grow.
Leadership is a journey and not a destination. Become a lifelong student of leadership. Determine to become a strong leader. Take the time to develop and nurture the skills above, you will become a strong leader. You’ll build trust among your team and be able to take your business further than you ever dreamed possible.
Don’t forget that it’s ok to ask for help along the way. Feel free to reach out to me online. My social links can be found at https://jasonwphillips.bio.