As entrepreneurs, we need to wear many hats. Our responsibilities often cover a wide range of responsibilities, from marketing and business development to accounting and HR. As a business grows and begins to expand, we need to get help with the tasks that we either can’t do well or that don’t utilize our core strengths. It is then that we get to be a true leader, but being a leader let alone a good one is not a task that everyone is cut out for.
One of the main functions of a good leader is to provide a sense of direction and purpose within the company as a whole. Great leaders inspire their whole team and often have certain qualities that enable them to do so. Here is a list of our top 5 ways a leader can become a great leader and be more inspiring than ever before:
Every effective leader has to learn how to make good decisions, quickly. Unfortunately, what often happens is that some leaders postpone taking action out of fear of making the wrong decision. This is known as ‘paralysis of analysis’ and almost always make the initial problem worse!
Effective leaders often learn this lesson the hard way. And once they do, they know the value in moving swiftly and confidently, even if they’re not entirely certain of their direction–because they know any direction is better than no direction.
A successful business leader must be able to answer the three questions everyone within his or her organization wants answers to:
“Where are we going?”
“How are we going to get there?”
“What is my role?”
2. Work with your team, not just over them.
The best leaders often are not afraid to get their hands dirty and work alongside their team. This means occasionally taking over the social media now and then, helping to produce content for your business’s blog, answering some customer service requests yourself, or speaking with customers for feedback about your product or service. To fully understand the people that you lead and how you should lead them, you need to do the work they do. This ground level experience is vital if you want to better understand what makes your people tick and what the reality of working for you is truly like. It will also help you understand your company better.
3. Lead by example
People should follow you because they believe in your mission, not simply because you are the one in charge. To be a well-rounded leader, you need to share that mission clearly, concisely and in a way that inspires people to work toward similar goals.
If you want people to follow you, then you’ll also have to lead them with enthusiasm.
No employee will want to work for someone who doesn’t embody the same characteristics they’re being told to have themselves.
As a leader, it’s your job–not to tell, but to show–those around you what enthusiasm and a true commitment to greatness looks like on a daily basis.
4. Keep learning
For the sake of your team and your entire business, don’t become the outdated type of leader whose knowledge no longer has a practical application. Instead, strive to learn more about your industry, your team, and your customers every single day
Your overall perspective should expand to make room for new people and innovation. Try and get a view of what is happening on both the Horizon and periphery of your industry as both could influence major decisions you may have to make in the future. Those you lead will be more confident in someone who acknowledges that they don’t know everything but continues to learn.
5. Consider your reputation.
Your leadership style and reputation should suit your business and your goals. If you are working in the professional services industry then you will want to be perceived as reliable, obviously professional and well connected. You should lead your team in a manner that befits these attributes.
Your reputation in your community and at your own place of work can affect the way your team operates, so check in every now and then to make sure your perception matches your goals. Be yourself, but be aware of how your team’s and the public’s perceptions of you affect your business.