Leadership is a combination of the qualities you cultivate in yourself and the qualities you cultivate in others. In the case of a small business, leadership can be the quality that helps a business soar rather than remaining stuck in a swamp of indecision and substandard results.
In this post, we’ll share some of the leadership qualities great small business leaders should possess or cultivate. We’ll also show how those qualities can benefit your employees.
Leadership Characteristics You Can Cultivate
Vision. Your employees will look to you for guidance. Possess a clear vision about where you see the company going and communicate that with your team.
Thinking strategically. Part of communicating your vision involves making sure you’ve thought through both the short and long-term processes necessary to achieve your vision. Anticipate resistance or challenges to your vision that come from both external and internal sources
Informed. Just because you’re at the top doesn’t mean you need to be distant or removed. Make sure you understand the business as a whole and not just from the top down. Also be open to new, innovative ideas that will help your business get to the top and stay there.
Decisiveness. It’s one thing to consult with others before you make a business decision but it’s another to be paralyzed into inaction by too many options. Make informed decisions and lay out a plan for timely execution.
The ability to motivate. Communicate your appreciation for what your employees each bring to the table.
Cool. Success is great but maintain a level of caution. Focus on things that still need to be accomplished or challenges that remain to be overcome.
Your employees help you pave the path to business success and help you steer your company on its journey there. Here’s how you can help draw out the best in them.
Leadership Qualities Your Employees Will Appreciate
Express confidence Call out your confidence and support for those who will help you carry out your vision
Delegate when appropriate. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to make every decision or sign off on everything. Delegate the company’s tactical aspects while maintaining a focus on strategic decisions. Whenever possible, try to develop leadership qualities in others.
Show your character. Show your employees who you are through the actions and comments you make. Take the opportunity to demonstrate your activity when you can on an individual and team basis.
Be loyal. Your employees will appreciate clarity and transparency. All businesses have to make tough decisions that affect the company and its employees. Be upfront when the company is doing well and when it’s hurting. Answer employee questions and make sure they’re not in the dark.
For additional help with leadership and people management, check out our post on people management for new managers.