Leaders need to wear many hats in any business. Even if you don’t have a team, you’re a leader in your sector and of your customers. The buck stops with you.
Three things that good leaders do…
- They inspire… Being an effective leader, whether in charge of two or 1,002 people, requires that they inspire others to act. An entrepreneurial business should have the DNA of the leader slushing through its arteries. All the staff should know who the leader is and feel her presence, understand her vision and, of course, want to help her and the company achieve that. The leader has to therefore inspire others to do this. A strong work ethic, showing humanity and building a decent progressive culture help foster loyalty from colleagues. They become inspired to excel and move the company forward. Even on a bad day, the leader has to consider others before herself – this is tough but distinguishes a leader as someone who can rise above personal feeling for the betterment of others and the company.
- Leaders make themselves redundant… The best leaders know that they have a relevant shelf life – those who don’t suffer from big egos. By understanding the longevity of their tenure, leaders must ensure they develop others in the company to lead. The skills necessary for starting a company may not necessarily translate into growing, or even scaling. It is important for a leader to recognise this and ensure that they nourish existing talent and bring in fresh talent to cope with change and ensure a leadership pool is available. In order to grow, a leader needs others to take responsibility and be accountable – those who are up for the challenge should then be developed for the future. The leader must get everything out of her head and into that of the lifeblood of the business…its future leaders.
- They take hard decisions… Part of the challenge of being a leader is having to think through and take hard decisions. These decisions may not always be right in some cases, but the act of making the decision is art and part of strong leadership. Decisions on personnel, finance, culture and strategy need to be made daily and the leader has to navigate all the channels and decide. Some decisions will be hard to take for colleagues or investors, but they have to be made. Judgment, analysis, experience and gut feel may all come into play for the leader as she takes tough decisions.
It’s all part of the game….
Like this blog? Why not watch my TEDxUWE video ‘The Leadership Lens” here.
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