Updated: May 19, 2021
Effective leadership skills are essential in the success of every business, and if you are at the beginning of your business’s journey then it is even more important.
Managing a small business often involves wearing many hats; from business strategist, to mentor, to marketing manager, customer service, operations and even delivering a service yourself. In order for this multitasking to be beneficial, you must ensure you can effectively lead your team and inspire them to make your business a success alongside you.
So what makes someone a strong and successful leader in business? Read on as we assess the key qualities that will allow you to lead a team to new heights.
Strong leaders know that communication is as much about their ability to listen as it is to talk. You must be able to clearly and confidently explain your requirements and expectations to your employees, this applies to communicating your overall business goals as well as to explaining specific everyday tasks.
Successful business leaders are also able to create an environment in which their employees feel comfortable coming to them with questions and suggestions regarding the business and feel as if they will be heard. If you go into business with the attitude that you already know all the answers, then you are restricting yourself from the opportunity for growth.
An essential characteristic of an effective leader is self-awareness, the ability to know and use your strengths and weaknesses to your advantage. Too often leaders feel the need to disguise their weaknesses instead of accepting them and being able to come to a solution. Even worse are leaders who are in denial of their weaknesses and so damage their businesses as a result.
Self-awareness is also an important part of managing yourself within your organization. You must be able to manage your personal connection to your business and recognize when you are allowing your emotions to interfere with your work. Of course, the passion that you feel for your company is one of its key drivers, but it can also be destructive if you are alienating your employees by becoming too stressed or demanding.
Acting as an accountable leader and insisting on accountability from your employees can help you to achieve better results, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Accountability refers to taking responsibility for accomplishing an assignment, it also means being held answerable when a mistake is made. Successful leaders will be able to lead by example when it comes to accountability and will feel comfortable acknowledging their mistakes, which in turn will encourage your employees to do the same. It will also mean your team will be more likely to take on more responsibility as they are not afraid of irrational punishment.
Of course, you must make sure that your employees are not so relaxed that they lack effort, but that is why also using accountability as a reward system is essential. The positive results of constructive accountability include more commitment to work from employees and more innovation and creativity.
This may seem like an obvious one, but if you do not love what you do then how do you expect your employees to love it either?
Demonstrating your passion and enthusiasm for your business will automatically inspire your employees to feel the same. You can demonstrate enthusiasm through positive body language and upbeat communication.
When a leader is sincerely passionate about their work, the effects are contagious throughout an organization. An example of this would be when someone who worked with Elon Musk on the early stages of his SpaceX project said that the true driver behind the success of the project was Musk’s enthusiasm for space travel.
Part of being a leader is a willingness to constantly learn as your business progresses. No one launches a company with all the answers and as your brand grows, you will discover new qualities about yourself that aid in your ability to lead.
If you are looking for guidance in managing your business or getting it off the ground, Gayle Newcomb offers a range of business consulting services, specializing in those who are at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.