What Makes a Good Small Business Leader?Entrepreneurs who run an efficient small business tend to practice habits that anyone can learn. An effective small business leader takes the following approaches to growth:
- Planning for future challenges: Owning a business comes with unique challenges that you can tackle by planning. Consider you and your team’s strengths and weaknesses and how they could affect the future.
- Developing a vision: When you became an entrepreneur, you had a goal in mind. Where do you imagine your business in five years if it succeeds? Make sure that everything you do relates to this mission.
- Keeping progress in mind: High achievers remember the big picture. What little things can you do every day to improve your business?
The Differences Between a Leader and a BossLet’s think about the traits of a good leader from another perspective. What makes them different from a typical boss or manager? They practice a few habits that bosses don’t:
- Offering guidance vs. giving orders: Leaders provide honest feedback and advice, while bosses give commands without explanation.
- Listening vs. ignoring: A good leader pays attention to their staff’s desires and concerns, but a mediocre manager doesn’t care about such opinions.
- Communicating vs. avoiding: Business success relies on communicating problems to employees instead of just hoping they go away.
- Delegating vs. taking everything on alone: Leaders understand that they don’t have to do everything alone and let their employees help with their workload.
How to Lead Your Employees to SuccessUsing the approaches we discussed will help you run a productive business. Leadership is a habit that everyone can improve with, and you can practice by:
- Learning about leadership styles: A study from the Harvard Business Review found the six most successful leadership styles in businesses. It also discovered that switching between styles brought the most progress. Productive leaders adapt to a situation by adopting the style that fits best.
- Creating and sharing a vision: Your employees can help you achieve your vision if they also follow it. Their ideas and contributions will make it stronger.
- Developing communication skills: Good communication is a critical tool in growing your business. Make yourself available to your employees, and learn how to speak, listen and write in easy-to-understand ways.