Leadership Traits Small Business Owners Must Possess

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Few people are blessed with leadership naturally. Survival is in our DNA, but not leadership until survival of the group becomes paramount to us and we learn to lead in that group. Everyone can learn to lead in some way or other within a group.

While leadership doesn’t come naturally to everyone, to start a business requires vision, foresight, effective and efficient resources, and perseverance. As well, personal character traits such as authenticity, honesty and integrity play important parts in success for the business and owner.

It is often seen that many business owners struggle to develop an understandable picture of what their leadership role actually looks like for their company. Leadership is not only about seniority or entitlement. The true leadership doesn’t even care about those things.

In the case of small business, the leaders are needed to develop real engagement with employees. The small business owner who believes and says: “I can’t order my family around in the business the way I can order around employees!” is completely missing the mark.

Effective leaders are much needed for small teams. They are very much needed to foster in employees the talents they have, so the employee can to lead in their area of expertise. A true leader knows the destination, always has effective communication with the team, is always ready to help everyone and help them also to understand the way they are going and why; and, provides everyone with the tools to get there.

Below are 5 skills that can be considered essential in the toolkit for persuasive leadership.

  1. Empathy:

A familiar complaint among employees is often observed in that they don’t feel anyone is listening to them. A leader who only listens is still doing only half of what is necessary to be done.

In going a long way and becoming a leader, you have to understand not only what the employee says, but also where they’re coming from and why.

Empathy is one such ability that understands the feelings and perspective of another person. Acknowledging what has been “listened it” must not be misunderstood with sharing at a human level.

A leader must be able to conceive the scenario from the employee’s point of view and understand what they are actually feeling and proposing. Leaders are the ones who embrace empathy and understand that they must develop the needs and wants of others.

A key thing to remember is that an employee is giving you a significant block of their time. In return for which an ideal leader must genuinely care about their interest as well as their benefit. It is never adequate to believe that “being paid” for their time, is the full extent of encouraging the best in people.

  1. Decisiveness:

While running a business, mistakes are undoubtedly going to happen. If you want to collect support from your team, you must have the capability to interact with your team effectively about why certain decisions were made.

Decisiveness boosts the level of confidence. Decisiveness with proven acceptance of responsibility for the decisions taken, will boost confidence even further.

A decision regardless of it being good or a bad, defines the ultimate leader who takes responsibility for it. It is a leader who either makes the decisions themselves or chooses another to make decisions for them. Blaming others for decisions is never leadership!

Whatsoever happens remember that every problem has a solution and you can fix it.

  1. Collaboration:

A good company has a significant amount of concentrated brainpower. No matter what kind of business you are running, the communications must be as open and transparent as possible.

Leaders who boost a sense of cooperation within the team create an ideal company culture where the team achievements are valued and encouraged. This will unavoidably lead the whole team to better results, which need to be shared around with the team to keep them happy and productive.

Collaboration generates confidence within the team when its effective. It displays your trust for them. It allows them to feel valued. As a leader you must remember that good ideas never come from a single place, it requires a team effort to enhance them and polish them to be sparkling jewels of idea.

  1. Planning:

Planning is all about gathering the big ideas and implementing them efficiently by breaking them into step-by-step activities within a timeframe. Good managers can do this. But, not all good managers are good leaders. And not all good leader are good managers.

Strategy and vision are the two things that matter the most when it comes to leadership. It never really matters how amazing your ideas are if you are unable to implement your plan efficiently.

Vision and strategy can be unclear sometimes to individuals who are trying to do their jobs. That is why it becomes an essential part for a leader to extract from vision an understandable set of objectives. These can be broken into tasks that can be finished successfully by your employees.

The vision is where the planning and its implementation will take you. The strategy is the different pathways that have been chosen to reach vision through the plan which is broken down into smaller steps. If you have the vision and you strategize your planning well enough, that will surely provide your team with a sense of satisfaction as they altogether work towards achieving the goals.

Managers also need to be leaders by undertaking continuous improvement of their activities and the planning of them.

  1. Support:

A supportive leader is one who is always available for the employees. Supportive leaders are often seen as empathetic; they can communicate and explain their decisions and those of others well, they can collaborate and provide a sensible structure of the plan to the team. Ideally, the whole team has participated in the development of the plan.

Support can be provided as a daily dose of encouragement, or by being empathetically concerned about the wellbeing of your employees as individuals. If you have such a relationship with your employees, the communication, cooperation, planning, and implementation gets better day-by-day.

Support is also about embellishing the morale of the team. A supportive leader will do anything needed to reduce the obstacles and help other teammates overcome the things that are keeping them away from delivering their best job.

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