A business with good leaders will stand the test of time. Many businesses have crashed, not because they lack the technical skills, but because of lack of effective leadership skills in place. There’s a limit to which technical skills can lead you in business. As your business grows, your ability to lead and manage your resources especially human resource, will determine if you will go forward or not.
Every entrepreneur needs to learn leadership skills and strategically apply it to their businesses, because the success of a business largely depends on management and leadership. Whether you are a born leader or not, leadership skills can be developed, nurtured and improved.
Our job at Entrepreneurs.ng is ensuring that entrepreneurs succeed in their businesses, therefore, I have compiled how the entrepreneur can improve their leadership skills.
Improve Your Leadership Skills
Own your Business Vision
Vision is the goal, aspiration, and mental picture of the desired future for your business. It could be in the mind or perhaps documented for reference purpose, but surely every business conceived should have a vision.
Often times, this vision is first conceived by the business owner, before it is transferred to parties. Only entrepreneurs who own their business vision can effectively dictate the tune of the piper.
In business, employees shouldn’t be left to figure out what the business goals and visions are. You should pass it on to them. Therefore, having your business vision and understanding how to communicate that vision is one of the first steps in leading an organisation.
In the words of Jim Rohn, ‘Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment’.
As an entrepreneur, exercising self-restraint and following established structures will help improve your leadership skills. Discipline starts by having the right attitude to work; arriving on time and leaving the right time, paying attention to details at work etc, even as a boss.
Discipline is fundamental to the success of a business and a leader. It’s never enough to have a business vision; having discipline will help you achieve your vision.
Strategic and Critical Thinking
Every entrepreneur is required to be a strategic thinker. To improve your leadership skill, you need to be a strategic and critical thinker.
A leader is always thinking and stretching their mental bandwidth. A leader knows how to identify opportunities and when to act fast. An entrepreneur should know how to deal with issues, when to make timely decision, and how to keep his/her team motivated.
Communication is one of the most essential leadership skills needed by every entrepreneur. Because, leadership is about dialogue and needs a relational skill.
A business leader should effectively communicate without mincing words. This will help your team be on the same frequency as you. Also, when communicating, you have to be empathic and careful with your words. Address issues and never forget to compliment when your team does an excellent work.
The ability to listen is the greatest part of communication. A leader who can listen, is approachable and will get valuable feedbacks that can be applied to improve your business.
Communication is not just about the words said but how they’re said, the gestures, body language, eye contact etc. These are skills that every entrepreneur should learn.
A successful leader is not the one that micromanage for a long period of time, but someone who can delegate and trust his team to take charge of the business. You can’t hire smart and intelligent people and still work like an elephant. You need to start delegating.
Once your team is trained and understand the vision, it’s best to trust them to deliver. You have to learn as a leader how to just supervise and look in once in a while.
Long term micromanagement weakens trust of the team in a business. Delegating as a leader gives you the opportunity to focus on other areas like scaling and expanding the business.
Inspire and Motivate
According to John Maxwell, “leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”. There are leaders who are people-oriented. They are active listeners and good motivators, who knows how to get the best from their followers. They understand personality differences, and integrate plans to get the best version of everyone.
Great leaders are listeners. They understand different relationship building techniques. They use this knowledge to create an environment that inspires, motivates, and that allows their team to give their best to the growth of the business.
You can inspire and motivate by validating your team when they deliver. Validated team grow to become a creative force with a goal-getting mindset.
Organisation runs better when there is a functional team that understands what needs to be done at an appropriate time.
Team building is one of the foundations of organisational development. It involves training your team to their full potential, so they can function in different capacities. When there is inclusion and proper training, everyone feels valuable and excited about the business.
You’re a great leader when you can effectively manage your team to deliver results. Start by encouraging creativity, developing leaders within the team, and giving in to healthy competition. You can also reward the best team when they go overboard.
Give Time To Personal Development
Learning and growing defines our existence in life. Leadership and learning are interwoven, and it is a continuous process. As a leader, personal development can help you harness your full potential, build more capacity and enhance your quality of life.
To improve your leadership skills, challenge yourself to do more, attend gatherings and look out for ways to remain relevant in your field of specialization. Apparently, you are your greatest resource and so you definitely need to invest in yourself more than anything.
Periodically, devote time to learning new skills, observe, go for conferences, take time out to explore other countries, cultures and places. Don’t be too comfortable with where you are. Make friends with professionals in your field and be open to learning.
A leader might not necessarily be the smartest of the team, but he/she can act smart by tapping from the wealth of knowledge of the entire team. Hire smart people you can learn from.
An open-minded leader can appear to be more creative than he is. The more you embrace new concepts and ideas, the more you give your business better chances of thriving.
People who are open-minded are considered more intelligent, because they see things from different views. Practically, they respect opinions and other people’s views.
Invest In Others
For leaders, fulfillment comes when they invest in others and help them succeed. Business is about people, and leadership is about people too. Therefore, learn to improve your leadership skills, by building people to take up leadership roles.
Once you have the right people working with you, next is to inspire them to do great things for themselves. With this, they will not only see you as a force to be reckoned with, you will also be securing the future of your organisation.
Good leadership skills are essential to business development and sustainability. Bossing around will not get the best out of your team. Rather, build your leadership skills, create a conducive environment for your team and watch your organisation excel.
Don’t just be a boss, be a leader that inspires others to lead.
What other skills do you think the entrepreneur should possess, let’s hear them in the comments.