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8 Qualities Small Business Owners Need to be a Good Leader

By Tom Bordon Subscribe to RSS | December 27th 2011 | Views:
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It is said, “Great leaders are made, not born, so anybody can develop effective leadership skills if they decide to develop themselves in this way.”

This is true. And leadership is just as important for small companies as it is for corporate America.

In fact, leadership is often thrust upon small business owners. When you create your venture from scratch, select the right team members, develop your strategies and business plans and lead your team towards your business goals step by step ... and you have to be a leader, not a follower.

Here are 8 qualities you need to be a good leader for your small but efficient team of professionals in order to propel your business towards success.

1. Have a vision for your company and communicate it effectively to your team

It is not enough to just have a big vision. Involve your team in the development of this vision so that they feel connected to it. This will encourage them to work hard toward the fulfilment of that dream/vision.

Show your team the big picture, the future prospects and where you want to see the company five years from now and allow them to help give it shape. Let your team members understand their role in making the vision come true. Communicate to them they are the pillars of the company and are not just cogs in the wheel.

2. Lead by example

Leaders are looked up to for inspiration. Be a hands-on leader, who offers help, pitching in where needed, guiding, mentoring and problem solving.

Step in where you are needed but avoid stepping on toes. Don’t be over-bearing, over critical or take over other’s work.

Your objective is to inspire your team, not to de-motivate your team.

3. Know your employees

Create a personal bond with your employees. This is especially important for small business owners as they have to motivate a small team to perform multiple tasks efficiently.

Getting to know employees on a personal level helps increase productivity, lowers attrition at the workplace and encourages them to put in extra effort.

4. Take ownership

Good leaders delegate intelligently. Distribute work according to the capability of each employee so that you can enable the best results. Knowing each employee on a personal level also helps you to better understand his/her work capabilities.

Don’t accept under performance. It’s your responsibility that all team members are performing at good levels. And when it comes to taking ownership and responsibility for the bigger picture, that’s your responsibility, too.

5. Be a good listener

Leadership does not mean doing all the talking. You have to be an equally good listener. You have to listen to others with patience and understanding to keep them motivated, know their problems, ask questions and keep updated on what your team is thinking.

6. Be courageous and confident

Being indecisive can spell doom for any business. Be a leader who has the courage of conviction, can make bold decisions (based on carefully considered alternatives) and has the confidence to lead from the front.

Even if your decisions occasionally do not bring about the desired results, take the responsibility and acknowledge your mistakes. Learn from your mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future.

7. Have a positive attitude

A positive attitude, a smiling, confident approach and a warm, assuring persona is essential to be a leader who inspires his/her team.

Don’t let everyday challenges and problems make you lose your own positive attitude. If the captain of the ship despairs, his team surely will.

Face every challenge as a speed breaker on the road, back your team 100% through thick and thin and be the voice of reason, not anger or stress.

8. Pick up leadership skills from other leaders

Leadership skills can always be honed and sharpened. The best way to do that is to confer with other business owners or undergo an executive coaching session. Executive coaching sessions on a one-to-one basis are great ways of identifying your own strengths and weaknesses.

You can join a CEO association or CEO club where you get to meet fellow business owners who have faced and overcome similar kinds of leadership challenges. There is nothing better than a reliable CEO club or association for getting hands-on tips from people who have “been there and done that”!

It is said, “Great leaders are made, not born, so anybody can develop effective leadership skills if they decide to develop themselves in this way.”

This is true. And leadership is just as important for small companies as it is for corporate America.

Tom Bordon - About Author:
Tom Bordon is a freelance writer who writes extensively on CEO club and CEO association in Atlanta and executive coaching sessions. His articles focus on guiding CEOs, COOs and top level executives in making new business plans and improving business leadership and managerial skill sets.

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