As a small business owner, you wear many hats. None of them are as important as your role as the leader of your organization. Your leadership will dictate the failure or success of your company, and while there are many leadership styles, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to help make you an effective leader.
Determine The Vision
The primary function of any leader is to create, refine, and communicate a vision of the future for the company. Before you stand in front of your first employee or investor, you need to be very clear about what that vision looks like. The identity and direction of the company depend primarily on the clarity of the vision you create.
Some of the best leadership skills that you will ever learn come from performers, writers, and artists. As a leader, you need to remember that everybody communicates and understands things differently. You need to find ways of reinforcing your message through multiple means. Your messaging should be inspiring, inclusive, and unambiguous. You should take time to write down any instructions, directives, new rules or procedures, and policy changes. Double down by walking your team through your ideas and give them time to get clarification and give feedback. Most importantly, avoid removing yourself from the process. Staying connected to your team lets them know that you are invested in them and their work.
It can be tempting to issue edicts from on-high. As the owner of the company, few people would bother to contradict or criticize you. However, the best companies are the ones where every member of the team is encouraged to use their individual talents to innovate and create solutions to problems. While you are the leader and the boss, you should leave room in that relationship for your team to bring their ideas and criticisms to you without fear.
Being an active listener is an important skill for leaders. You should seek to do more than just understand what you are told. A leader will engage the ideas presented. They seek to understand what is being said as well as the thought process behind the idea. Being an open, active listener will give you winning incite into your business and encourage your team to trust you as their leader.