Who me, a leader? As a small business owner you have to be a leader in order to succeed. You must first lead yourself, then your employees and then your customers/clients. You are responsible for the effectiveness of the organization as well as being the constant in a changing environment. Leaders provide the passion, the vision, trust, daring and above all integrity and belief in the future potential of the business.
Being the constant in a changing environment does not mean that you don’t embrace change; it means that you are knowledgeable about your industry and are aware of what is shaping the future of your business. This means being aware of both internal and external factors that will impact your business.
There are several businesses I can point to in which leadership was not reading the external changes. The first is the music industry, the second is the film industry where the sale of new DVDs has fallen 20% in the past year. Also, where have all the DVD rental stores gone? Blockbuster is a good example of a firm without a vision for external change, a case where leadership was not doing its job.
I believe that leaders are made rather than born. Leaders learn from their own experience as well as that of others. Leaders learn from their mistakes and recognize the value of failure. Leaders must win the hearts and minds of all the people that they are leading.
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this —- you haven’t.