You own a small business. You might have employees and you might be the only employee in your business. You may consider yourself a “small business owner”, “entrepreneur”, “consultant”, “manager” or any one of a hundred or more titles. But do you consider yourself a leader? Does the term “leader” intimidate you?
You want to be a leader! You want to think of yourself as a leader and you want people to consider you and refer to you as a leader. Yes, you are all of those other things, maybe.
Remember, though, people don’t follow small business owners, consultants, or entrepreneurs. PEOPLE FOLLOW LEADERS and even Leaders need to constantly grow and develop.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” ~ John F. Kennedy
Why do you want to be a Leader? Because you want people to follow you. Even if the sole purpose of your intent is to get people to follow you to your business and buy your goods or services.
Most leaders are seeking more than that, though. Leaders want to make a difference. Leaders want to help people, push ideas and see the following thrive from the leader’s ideas.
Also, remember that people already don’t trust your business. The least trusted sectors in the world are government and business. You, as a Leader, have to develop that trust from the public and your employees. Both in you and your brand.
“If a man’s associates find him guilty of being phony, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity and high purpose.”
Keep in mind, too, that Leaders work ABOVE the status quo. Managers work within the confines of the status quo. Most people can manage. Few people actually lead. Most people think that they don’t have leadership skills. The truth is, though, that many people have leadership skills and they display them every day.
Be A Leader that Delivers with BE, KNOW, DO!
Many people who consider themselves leaders don’t actually lead. They try to enforce standards and work ethic with a title and authority.
True leaders inspire and motivate.
True leaders realize that leadership skills consist of more than just giving orders and expecting to be followed. Even in the military.
Be The Example You Want to Set in your Business
If you want your employees to dress in a professional manner then you have to be the epitome of personal business wear. If you want your employees to self-develop and go to additional schooling then you should be doing the same thing. (Not just college and grad school, either. I’m talking conferences, conventions, workshops, etc.)
These are true leadership skills.
Know the Business
You can’t lecture someone on how to do things in your industry if your incompetent. Many leaders reach a certain level and consider themselves “above” some tasks that they consider menial. These are the managers. You must constantly hone your skills and stay abreast of the trends and skills that you are asking your employees to accomplish. Should a CEO be able to type faster than his administrative assistant? No, not necessarily. However, that CEO should know what a good business memo looks like.
Leadership skills are built off of competence in basic skills!
Being a leader means being followed by people that you inspire and believe in you. When I speak of “a leader that delivers” I’m not talking about the guy that is able to accomplish every mission that his boss tells him to. I’m talking about a leader that delivers to the people who work for him.
Leaders that deliver ensure that the people he leads are recognized for how well the team does and not him. Good leaders use the word “we” when it comes to success and “I” when the project falls on it’s ass.
If the team requires certain supplies, assistance and resources to get the job done then the leaders makes damn well sure he gets it to them. Or he exhausts trying. Or he takes the burden of thinking above the status quo and finding a way to accomplish the project without the available resources.
A Leader understands that the team are professionals and that they need to be “pressed” every so often to get the best out of them. This helps them to develop and even produces a more superior product or service. People are more apt to exhibit greatness under a little stress.
The “BE, KNOW, DO” concept of Leadership is the backbone of the US Army’s leadership training. It is set for leaders to model and strive for. The military wants leaders to be followed because they inspire, motivate and truly are the subject matter experts in their respective fields and training.