Top 7 Leadership Skills for Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, I have learnt many leadership skills over the years that have helped me immensely in the growth and success of my business. Just like many of you, I am constantly learning and developing both in business leadership and personally. Below I have listed my top 7 leadership skills for entrepreneurs that should help you to develop your leadership skills just as I am developing mine.
Never are people more motivated than when they have been truly inspired. Inspiration is one of the best ways to motivate an individual as it gives them drive, courage and enthusiasm. Inspire your team! Everyone wants to work in a business that has an impact on the world. As a leader, it is a great idea to continuously inform your team of how the business is affecting its customers and local community. People love to see the bigger picture so, rather than keeping your team in a narrow, business bubble, open up their minds to the community around them and make it clear to them how valuable the part they play really is.
Show that you are Passionate
When you show your team that you are passionate about your business and what you do, it drives them to work hard. Be sure to always display positivity and be optimistic. If you are a leader that is constantly complaining and always pointing out what is going wrong with the business, then consequently your team will become very unsatisfied and it is likely their work ethic will drop as a result. If you make it clear to your team that you love what you do and that you are passionate about seeing your business succeed, then they will feed off of that and your business will surely flourish.
Display High Integrity
The best leaders I have had over the years are those that have high integrity – they do what they say they’ll do and they do it well. Great leaders are honest and transparent. Essentially, it is what it says on the tin. Displaying honesty and integrity as a leader is also a great way of encouraging your team to do the same. The core of integrity is truthfulness. Integrity requires you to tell the truth, to all people, in every situation. Truthfulness within business is the most assured way to earn the trust of your employees. Trust takes a long time to build up but it can be destroyed within minutes. Maintain honesty with your staff, clients and customers and your business will be a great success.
A great leader solves problems instead of passing them off as somebody else’s. When you make a mistake, admit to it. People will respect you for it. Whatever happens, the blame stops at you. As a leader, you will have to face up to problems and make difficult, often unpopular decisions. As a result, you will need to manage conflict well and help your team accept any changes ahead of them.
It should always be your aim in business to develop your team members. Grow your team members, challenge them and encourage them as they learn. Aim for every leader that you raise up, to be better and more knowledgeable than you. What defines a company is a group of diverse, intelligent and motivated individuals. There is a big difference between managing others to succeed and teaching them to find success themselves. Great leaders find satisfaction in teaching others and helping them to discover that they are capable of far more than they initially thought they were. These kinds of leaders have a strong drive to invest in people, not because of the reward in will bring but because of the rewards it will bring to people personally.
Confidence as a leader is absolutely vital. Often, you will have to make decisions that are difficult or that people question. If you state things with conviction and hold your ground, you will gain people’s respect as they will realise you are confident and that you mean business. However, never be afraid of asking questions or taking extra training to learn new things. A confident leader also needs to learn new things and develop his/her skills. Demonstrate your self-confidence by gracefully taking advice and criticism without becoming defensive or shutting down. People like to see that you are open to change and suggestions, as well as noting that you are always looking to improve, personally and professionally.
Communication is one of the fundamental leadership qualities. Don’t forget, communication works two ways, it’s not just about talking but about listening well also. Always take an interest in hearing other people’s opinions. Listen well to better understand quality of life and work/life balance issues to then be able to encourage employee-lead solutions. A good communicator makes for a very efficient leader in any business environment.
Study the skills above and think about which of the above you are strong at and confident in. Work on the others, perhaps as a new year’s resolution. Look at other people with similar traits and learn from them. Leadership ability doesn’t automatically come with the title assigned to you, instead it is a continual learning and developing process. What are some of the skills you are developing? Let me know in the comments below!