To successfully nurture and grow a small business an owner needs to display effective leadership.
Part of the following is from a book entitled “Beyond Entrepreneurship” written by James C. Collins and William C. Lazier.
The seven elements of leadership style are:
- Authenticity: in my opinion, the most important element found in an effective leader is that of authenticity; that means living the vision you established for your business. In a strategic focus plan we first define values, but more than just defining those values on paper, a leader has to live those values and vision.
- Decisiveness: Many small business owners are afraid to make a decision. A leader makes a decision, when needed, even in the absence of perfect information. Too many times opportunities present themselves and then are missed for fear of making a wrong decision.
- Focus: when developing a strategic focus plan we identify business opportunities. There are many opportunities identified which can increase the bottom line. The next step is the prioritization process in which we list the opportunities by benefit to the company and is in keeping with the vision statement. Action plans are usually developed for the top three and I stress the importance of starting with the first one and completing the project before moving on to the next. You can’t start off in 5 or 6 different directions and hope to achieve anything.
- Personal Touch: As an owner, you have to leave the comfort zone of your office and see what’s going on. Go out and talk to your clients/customers. Be the visible sign of your business with your clients and the community.
- Hard/Soft people skills: “Leaders who build great companies master the paradox of hard and soft. They hold themselves to incredibly high standards of performance (hard) yet they go to great lengths to build people up, to make them feel good about themselves.”
- Communications: the Strategic Focus Plan we developed for the business has a vision and strategies for making that vision a reality. Now comes the hard part, the vision and strategy has to be communicated to everyone, staff, family, clients, prospects, vendors, etc…
- Ever forward: leaders of great companies are always moving forward. That involves taking care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. It also involves keeping the business energized. One of the best ways to maintain a high energy level is to constantly change. Try new things, get involved with new projects, and try a different way of doing things.
I look for these qualities in my first meeting with a prospective client. By asking the right questions I can usually determine the leadership effectiveness or at least a willingness to work in developing these important traits.
You may think that you have these qualities; a sure way to find out is to ask someone, “What qualities do you see in me?” Small business owners have so much on their minds that they sometimes forget the basics. Make sure you remember them.
Strategy is easy, but tactics – the day-to-day and month-to-month decisions required to manage a business – are hard. Arthur Rock
Nick J. Petra CFP Our goal is to help you achieve success… www.strategicduck.com
Subscribe to this blog and pass it along to your friends.