When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not just in charge of coming up with ideas and making them a reality; when you have staff, you also need to play the role of ‘leader.’ For some people, this feels as comfortable as a well-fitted glove. For others, it’s a journey into the unknown. Yet whether it feels like natural or not, there are always ways to improve your leadership capabilities. This will bolster your relationship with your staff and help to take your company to the next level. Below, we take a look at five steps that’ll make you a better leader tomorrow than you are today.
Before you can lead other people, you need to be able to lead yourself. And that means knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. You’re not good at everything! A lot of would-be entrepreneurs believe that to stand above the others means having an unshakable belief in yourself. It’s not. It’s finding the right balance between confidence and arrogance. An arrogant person will try to do things even when there’s a better person for the job. A confident person will be secure enough to delegate responsibility if it’s in the best interest of the company.
It’s a rare person who is a natural leader. Most people find themselves in positions of leadership and then have to quickly learn what’s involved. And this isn’t just a one-time thing, either – it’s a lifelong process. But because so much depends on your ability to manage others, you need to get up to speed relatively quickly. If you work with a firm that offers management consulting services, you’ll learn how to bring out the best in other people, which is a staple of good leadership. It’s much easier to be taught how to do something rather than fumble around trying to figure it out on your own.
Be a Role Model
Some leaders mistakenly believe that their mean job is to direct other people to do the work. There are positions that require this, but it’s not leadership! If you’re going to have people look up to you, then you need to give them something to look up to. In business terms, this means setting the example. No-one respects a boss who asks his or her staff to do things that they themselves do not do.
Leadership isn’t a one-way street, a vehicle for you to transfer your immense knowledge down to your staff. It’s a conversation. That means you need to develop the art of open communication with your team. They should feel as comfortable in coming to talk to you as you are talking to them. There’s no room for egos when it comes to business. Ultimately, it’ll be the company that benefits if you’re willing to hear examples of where you’re going wrong and other hard truths.
Bring the Passion
Finally, bring the passion. No-one’s going to follow a leader if they’re not inspired by how they conduct themselves. Enthusiasm goes a long way!