Many business owners start their companies because they are passionate about something or expert in its manufacture. Not every CEO or business owner feels they are a natural leader – and that’s okay! Leadership is a skill that can be learned just like anything else.
The term “leadership” may mean different things to different people. For example, Lao Tzu says “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when is work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” While Harold J. Seymour says “When leadership is right and the time is right, the people can always be counted upon to follow – to the end at all costs.”
So, we see that the action of leadership is perceived in different ways by different people. However, leading is a specific action and requires particular skills.
The Oxford English Dictionary says that Lead means Be in charge or command of. Organize and direct. So, if one were to lead a company or be part of its leadership, he or she would be in charge of the enterprise – organizing and directing it.
Five Skills a Good Leader Should Have
The skills you need to cultivate as a business executive are similar to the skills that anyone in a leadership position should work to maintain. These include:
There have been many people who have had an incredible vision, but didn’t have the communication skills to direct others and garner their help in achieving the aim. An excellent communicator can go far in gaining the loyalty of both customers and employees.
You can hone your communication skills in many ways. If your written communication doesn’t come across the way it should, you may want to review and edit emails before sending them out. If your verbal communication could use some help, try coming up with talking points before a big meeting and even walking through the meeting with someone you trust. Both of these simple tools can contribute to making a poor communicator into a good one.
Anyone who has started a business or is at the helm must have his or her own vision. Write down your vision for the company by considering what it would be like in an ideal state. Understanding where your enterprise could be and comparing that to where it currently is can give you and your employees a positive direction in which to progress.
Business owners struggle with delegating tasks every single day. It’s tough to go from doing something yourself and making sure each step is precisely to your standards – to handing the job over to another person and allowing them to run with it.
There is an effective way to delegate without micromanaging or allowing company quality to slip. That is: write down your actions precisely and have your successor read your write-up and then practice it. Once you are satisfied that he or she knows what they are doing, you can move away from the task with no lingering worry.
4. A Positive Attitude
It’s important for you to demonstrate your confidence and problem-solving abilities to your staff. Often, when the leader shows specific attributes, the employees will follow. So, work to portray positivity and expect your employees to do the same. It’s very likely you’ll start receiving solutions when previously people presented problems.
Being a business owner is extremely rewarding and even fun most of the time. However, there may be a few rough patches that you and your team will need to push through. You may also hit plateaus that require your team to go the extra mile to continue your business expansion. Expressing your commitment to the overall vision and refreshing your company’s goals in the minds of your employees can help them increase their commitment level to your company.
How To Hone Your Leadership Skills
To create a set of tools for your particular needs, you first need to know and understand in which skills you are lacking. This can be particularly difficult to see in yourself. Your employees may not be quite as motivated as they could or perhaps you need to launch your business to a new level and aren’t sure how to go about it. That’s why, before we provide a few “how to” tips for you, it’s important to point out that you may need a coach or partner in your endeavor. Business Success Consulting Group offers executive coaching tailored to you. So, if you try the below strategies and things are still not working out the way you’d like, consider hiring a coach.
Here is a quick “how to” that you can follow to improve your leadership skills rapidly:
Refresh your overall goals. Take a look at your business goals and consider how much your company has grown since you wrote them. You may have already accomplished a portion of them, or you might want to rework the steps to follow so your company can achieve its goals.
Taking a step back, updating your goals, and planning how to get there can help you reaffirm your commitment and vision.
Share your vision with your staff. Refreshing your commitment to your business goals is always exciting. Spread the enthusiasm. Share the steps you’d like to take and the overall goals with your employees. You will not only inspire them – you may get some great suggestions on how to accomplish your objectives a whole lot sooner.
Talk with your peers. You likely know other business owners who have struggled with leadership difficulties. Talk to them about your situation and ask them how they might handle it.
Work to delegate anything that is getting in your way. Many business owners end up doing busywork that gets in the way when trying to accomplish their leadership tasks. Follow our step-by-step guide for getting rid of inefficient busywork and increase your focus on leading the company to success.
Consider what you can improve upon. You may already know what is stopping you from being a better leader. Take this into consideration and work to improve it.
Do you need a coach to help you resolve specific leadership challenges? Contact us today! We work with executives across the globe and assist them in honing their leadership skills and growing their businesses.