What makes a good Business Leader?
We hear a lot about leadership in governments and public organisations, and also in large public corporates, but the attributes that make good leaders are no different for small business owners, and arguably are even more important in that sector.
Here’s a list of the key points that have been shown to contribute to successful leadership.
1. Don’t expect immediate Results. Success doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect it to. Be flexible and patient as sometimes things get worse before they get better. Keep your eyes on the ultimate prize, but celebrate milestones along the way.
2. Don’t dwell on the Past. Human nature is to resort to a comfort zone, particularly when times are difficult and the past can be an escape from the present or the future. Don’t romanticise or dramatise the past, and make a plan in small steps to ensure you always move forward.
3. Don’t fear Failure. Failure can be painful and demoralising, but it’s not the problems that count but how you deal with them. Tenacity, obduracy and shear grit is all part of the mix. Failure doesn’t decrease your worth, dealt with properly it can add to it. So just learn from any failures and move on.
4. Learn from your Mistakes. In business mistakes are inevitable, and part of the whole process. Understanding what caused those mistakes, and a willingness and ability to embrace doing things differently will ensure new behaviour and no repetition.
5. Don’t shy away from Change. Circumstances can change quickly, and don’t under-estimate how difficult change can be. But change can be good so embrace it when required, break it down into small chunks to make it manageable.
6. Don’t obsess about things you can’t Control. You can’t control everything so don’t try. Instead try to influence things positively, and practice acceptance of things you can’t influence. Free up time and energy to accomplish things within your control.
7. You can’t please everybody all the Time. We all want to be liked and respected, but sometimes that means not pleasing somebody, and simply doing the right thing. Don’t shy away from the right thing through fearing displeasure, and don’t anticipate it.
8. Be willing to take calculated Risks. The key is to keep things in perspective. Try to assess risks logically and without emotion. Weigh up the costs against the benefits of any risk, and assess how important the decision may be in the longer term. Don’t allow emotion or irrationality to affect your ability to take proper risks.
9. Don’t resent other peoples Successes. In today’s business world everybody is caught in a spiral of hyperactivity, always trying to keep up with or overtake others. Don’t. Avoid comparisons with others, measure your own growth instead. Be happy about and not resentful of other’s successes, they don’t affect your own. Focus on co-operation rather than competition.
10. The world doesn’t owe you Anything. The fact is good guys don’t necessarily come first, or even second or third. There’s always somebody better or worse than you, and always will be. The business world can be a harsh place so understand that, and be comfortable with yourself and whatever you can achieve.
Finally, volumes have been written about leadership, but one overriding fact is that you can’t be a leader without followers! So take your people with you, communicate, inspire, suggest and cajole, so that your visions are shared.
18 January 2017