Leadership is not a skill or trait that can be learned out of a textbook or is acquired naturally by everyone. Understandably, starting a business and soaring it to greatness takes a vision, resourcefulness, determination and other powerful elements.
But what about the real leadership?
A business may be booming, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the owner has crafted a reasonable picture of what leadership elements should be incorporated into the company. Apparently, poorly installed leadership can easily keep your team and yourself from reaching your ultimate potential.
First, business owners should understand that leadership is a blend of people skills, management strategy and a strict commitment of where you plan to take your company. In other words, leadership isn’t about the organizational hierarchy or grade but extends way beyond numbers and titles.
As for this discussion, let’s discuss the essential leadership skills that every business owner must acquire to achieve the remarkable ingenuity not only for their company’s success but also for their personal development.
It is not a common thing to see employees complaining that their managers rarely listen to them. However, a manager or leader who listens is only doing half the job. In order to realize what empathy really is, you should not only actively listen to your employees but also see where they are coming from.
Literally speaking, empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and emotion of another person, as we commonly say, stepping in someone else’s shoes. As a business owner, it is your duty to inquire about the feelings of your team and discern how they reached that particular viewpoint or perspective.
Through empathy, you learn how to prioritize the needs and concerns of your employees.
You might have an established business or just raised a startup, no one is free from committing mistakes every now and then. There are always going to be some gaps left in your decision making, projects, etc. where a fraction of additional information could have helped you greatly. However, making quality and powerful decisions is about calling support from your team.
Being a business owner, it is important for you to keep your team informed regarding the decisions to be made and future considerations. Apparently, your team will know why a decision has been made from your end.
As we know, decisiveness translates into confidence. If you haven’t clearly articulated the information, how can your team understand what they need to do? Furthermore, how can they back your decisions if they haven’t understood your decision-making process in the first place?
Either the decisions turn out to be effective or lackluster, it’s all on to the business owner. You are either making the decisions yourself or delegating the people to make decisions. In any case, your decisions should be easy to explain to your team and determine a final result will little fuss.
Leading your team becomes extremely difficult when each employee in your workplace is working with more of an individualized approach and isolated in his/her particular position. In such a work environment, employees work like floating directionless in a vacuum with nothing to look forward.
Great companies have the habit of relying on collectivism in jobs through the organizational hierarchy. You can do really well if you see the potential of a collective brainpower. Regardless of the nature of business or industry, you’re operating in, a healthy communication between the managers and employees is essential and non-negotiable.
The accounting personnel might catch the figures missed by the sales team. You’ll realize that there is a defined pattern after examining the figures, however, it becomes vague when you are dealing with tiny transactions.
Business owners who are not amped to fill their work floor with a collaborative spirit will never create a structure of teamwork, hence, any collective achievements. When there is a mentality of “what’s good for me, is good for all of us”, wonders do happen and teams can get the business out of crunch situations in a seamless manner.
Eventually, the success of a team is shared across the entire company and bonuses, increments, and other perks follow.
On the other hand, when people are forced to work individually, the manager actually enervates them from commitment and motivation.
Collaboration empowers your team and makes them believe that you trust in their competencies and decisions. The contribution and output as a team outweigh far more than the sum of individual efforts in any project.
Planning, obviously a crucial skill that every business owner must master if he/she wants to anticipate future opportunities and threats precisely, facilitate their team for an expected output, create a roadmap for short- and long-term projects, make decisions to take their business to the next level, and other key activities that define the success or failure of your business in the long run.
In short, planning facilitates the creation of big ideas and their implementation. When we talk about leadership, a strategy and vision are the most common and focused things in the discussion. However, without appropriate planning and organization, there is no existence of either of them.
You might some really mind-bending ideas to beat Apple in the smartphone industry, but if you lack a strong plan in place, it’s nothing more than a mere paperwork.
Teams know their job and perform as intended when there is a defined process, a series of steps, SOPs, and a timeline of the project.
Vision and complex strategies are often quite overwhelming for most employees (seemingly, not everyone in your company is a business owner like you). Therefore, the idea is to break down your grand objectives into bite-sized, manageable chunks for your team in order to help them absorb the expectations and get going with a clear roadmap.
You can even ask your team to help you break down the company’s vision and strategic goals to aid them in understanding better. Not only the business owner but your employees also need to know that a vision is an endpoint where your planning will take your business.