If you want your business to be successful, you’ll need to be a good business leader. It’s great to have a lot of experience and the right qualifications, and being able to offer high-quality products and good customer service is vital. Still, if you’re unable to be a good leader, it will be very difficult, perhaps even impossible, for you to grow your business.
You might not think that being a good leader is important if you don’t have any staff. However, even if you are working alone, you’ll still need to speak to customers, suppliers, and possibly investors and partners, and to do this with authority, you’ll need to understand leadership. If you do have a team working for you, leadership is what will ensure you all work in the same way towards the same goal. With that in mind, here are some of the things you need to think about if you want to be a good business leader. If you feel you’re lacking in any of these areas, you can work on each specific item until you feel ready, or you can hire a manager to help you and make sure they have the following traits.
Lead By Example
One of the most important qualities of a good business leader is that they will need to lead by example. It wouldn’t be fair to expect your employees to do anything you wouldn’t also be prepared to do, and if you did keep asking them to do things like that, you would quickly lose their respect, and they would lose their morale. You might find that people start to leave, which would make it even harder to run your business, not to mention costly to recruit more people.
Even if you can’t do the exact tasks you are asking your team to do because they have the skills and you don’t (which could be why you hired them in the first place), you can still lead by example by working hard and dedicating yourself to your work. Don’t leave early or come in late if you wouldn’t want your team to do that. Always deliver high-quality work. Try to stay positive as much of the time as possible. All of these things can set a good example for your team to follow.
If you want to be a good business leader, communication is a skill you definitely need to be good at. Without good communication, your team won’t know what you want from them, and customers might get confused about orders and products. To start with, you need to be clear and concise when you’re giving your workers instructions. Although it might take longer initially, the more information you can give them in as clear a way as possible, the better their work will be and the fewer questions they’ll need to ask.
It’s a good idea to talk to your team about the business and where you want it to go as well. In this way, they’ll understand why you are asking them to carry out certain tasks, and they’ll feel like much more part of the team, helping them to try harder and achieve more.
You might do this through a weekly email detailing the figures (or some of them, such as sales, for example) and the business’s performance. You could call a monthly meeting to talk about the previous month and give people new goals to work towards. Or you could call one-to-one meetings on a regular basis to check in with people and work through any problems. Doing all of these things can be ideal, and it keeps the communication channels open. Not only will this help your team work harder, but if they have a problem, it will ensure they know they can talk to you because you’re being transparent, so they know they can be as well.
Empower Your Employees
A good business leader is able to empower their employees. We’ve just talked about giving clear and concise – and detailed – instructions and this is certainly important, but you should also give your team some power to make their own choices about how they work. It might be you don’t mind if they follow your ideas to the letter as long as deadlines are met, and the work is done to a high standard. Or perhaps you want to hear new ideas, so you encourage people to think of different ways to do things.
To allow your team to be as productive as possible when they have this kind of power and freedom, you’ll need to provide them with as many tools and resources as possible. Find out what it is they need to do their jobs well and provide it if you can. You should also ensure they have a comfortable working environment. Provide ergonomic seating, plenty of natural light, a break room, and, vitally, music from XM for business. Music is important in an office environment because it relaxes people and even makes them more productive.
If your team is a remote one, you can still help to make their working environments comfortable. You might offer to put some money towards the right equipment or even provide it for free (this will depend on your budget).
A good business leader has to be able to be empathetic to their team. This means you need to be able to put yourself in your employee’s shoes and understand what their issues might be and how things need to change to make their working lives easier – and the results better.
You’ll also need to be empathetic in order to provide support and guidance where it is needed. Be as kind as possible and show respect to your employees so that you can create a positive culture within the business. People will be happier to work for you if you have shown that you understand them and will listen to them. You’ll have to balance this with leadership and making sure people do what they need to do for their work, however.