3 Traits of a Good Leader Every Small Business Owner Should Develop
If you’re a small business owner, employing a small team of staff, you likely already realise that your job is pretty energy intensive and requires you to focus on a large range of different topics at once. You need to have a blindingly good ability to prioritise, a good head for numbers, and more.
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One of the most essential things for any small business owner who employs staff to know, however, is just what it takes to be a good leader. As a leader, your team is going to be your lifeline, and your business will simply fail to achieve more than a modicum of its potential if you don’t know how to manage them properly.
Good leadership skills are important enough that doing a masters degree in leadership may be a wise investment for many people. For now, though, here are a few key traits of a good leader to keep in mind.
A good leader leads by example
One of the primary defining features of a good leader is that a good leader leads from the front, rather than standing at the back and barking orders at everyone else. A good leader, in other words, leads by example, and works at least as hard as their team members, in order to be properly responsible and to set office morale at a high level.
If you demand that your team engages with clients on a regular basis, let them see you engaging with clients as well. If you expect your team to work the occasional late shift, let them see you do the same, and also, compensate them for their over-time.
Be the kind of person who your staff are proud to work with. You should be considered one of the team, as well as a “boss”.
A good leader fosters open communication of ideas
Open and free communication of ideas within an office is one of the greatest resources for future company productivity on offer. It’s precisely this kind of creative discourse that leads to innovation, and that can utterly transform the fate of a business over time.
The problem is that the open communication of ideas is often a bit messy, and can include lots of what appear to be dead ends.
The way some team leaders respond to this is by shutting down anyone who they feel isn’t making “good points” and by tyrannising the group into “excellence”.
What this really means, of course, is that everyone will become resentful, and creativity will stagnate.
A good leader knows how to delegate
No matter how much a particular business is close to your heart, and no matter how much it’s your brainchild, at a certain point, you likely will not be able to “do it all.” Presumably, this is why you hired staff in the first place.
A leader who knows how to delegate frees up his own mental resources, not to mention his time, in order to spend on the areas which are most likely to yield fruit.
The willingness to delegate also builds trust and confidence among team members.