As a small business owner or entrepreneur, no doubt you are extremely involved in the tiny details of your business. In fact, you probably spend so much time “at the coalface” it’s difficult to step back and think about the bigger picture. The truth is, you need the right mix of “hands on” and leadership skills if you’re going to build a thriving business.
Let’s explore what some of those leadership skills are and why they’re important.
Have a purpose and vision for your business
Businesses aren’t built on selling a certain number of items or having great marketing. They’re built on a purpose and a desire – a vision to be the very best at a particular thing. To bring people together for a common goal, to innovate, excite and expand. A leader has a vision for their business – a reason it exists in the first place – and a way to turn that vision into a strong purpose that everyone in your organization can get behind.
Look at things strategically
When you’re just focused on operations, you’re not able to think further ahead. From time to time, take a step back and think about where your business is going longer term. What challenges are you likely to face? Where do you see yourself positioned in the market? How are you going to get there?
In other words, how do you get from where you are now to what your ultimate vision is? You need to have an endpoint in mind and a strategy to get there. Once you have that, you can start to plan the journey and get the right people in place to help you take the necessary steps.
Surround yourself with the right talent
You don’t need to do everything yourself. Instead, hire other people who are brilliant at what they do. Don’t just hire for skills and experience; look at attitude, approach and innovation as well. A true leader knows what their own weaknesses are and hires others to help them bridge those gaps. They learn to communicate with these people in a way that matters.
Become an expert communicator
Communication is about much more than just telling people what you want. It involves motivating and inspiring others, firing them up, and letting them go to work to build and grow your business. Learn what matters to your employees, the qualities they admire in themselves and others. Work hard to cultivate those values and emotions in yourself and the culture of your business. That will help to make it an awesome place to work.
Make effective decisions
Leaders are doers. It’s important to have the right information, gather the opinions of others, consider your resources, understand how it contributes toward the goals of your business, and whether it will improve your future position. Once you’ve done that, you can make the right choice. Never be afraid to consider all the angles when making a decision; it’s important you get it right.
You don’t need to learn all of these skills at once, and you don’t need to become an expert right now. But, it is important to get into the “leadership mindset,” and developing these skills can help you do just that.