What’s the glue for a successful sustainable and profitable business? There are many possible answers and I am sure that they would all be correct to varying degrees, but one stands above the rest and that is good leadership. Without good leadership you could find yourself with a directionless business and with disillusioned and disappointed employees. Poor leadership can quickly cause a solid dream to become a fairy-tale on shaky ground. Leadership is a very serious topic for all aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners whether it be of small or very large-sized companies.
So what can you do to ensure that your employees have a great leader to believe in and to make them want to be part of something that they can be proud of and in the process become your best fans and supporters. If you are not a natural born leader it is no reason to squirm away from the idea. There is a lot you can do to learn the skills of leadership and practice yourself into a ‘natural born leader’ and it cannot be ignored because the truth is that employees need to be led and not only managed. Leaders are there to create the vision, provide direction, motivate and inspire employees and in essence encourage and bring about the change needed to succeed.
There are different kinds of leaders just as there are different kinds of managers. Whichever kind of leader you are or want to be it is important to understand what is required to be a great leader. Dr. Mark Manley in his book The Leadership says that effective leaders “… have a high concern for efficacy while pursuing meaningful progress.” A leader’s main objective is to bring about change by having or creating a vision and apply strategies to achieve the vision.
Some of the most important key essentials for a great leader are: Vision, passion, communication, influence, consistency and self-control or self-mastery. Leaders walk the talk. Great leaders can be compared to the captain of a ship who has a destination to reach and keeps the ship on course. He does this by applying the skills mentioned above with integrity and with a very strong sense of mission and purpose.
The path of leadership can be a terrifying one. A business never remains static. A company could go through many high and lows in its lifetime and although true leaders have much influence they cannot always navigate or control external circumstances such as politics, economics, social change, technology, environment and legal factors (PESTEL). And so it is essential that leaders understand their personal strengths and weaknesses, the nature of their industry and all the elements needed to build and grow their business.
Great leaders do not rest on their laurels; they do not rely on what they already know or sweep their weaknesses under the carpet. They really understand what is required of them, they use their natural abilities well and up-skill themselves where they need to and they make sure they are always in the know of the environment they are operating in.
Are you that leader? Are you up for the challenge? If not, I would suggest that you hand the reins over to someone who is so that your business can thrive and succeed. But if you are, and I am guessing that by reading this article you are, the more time you spend with your employees and practice true leadership, you will find that your base of loyal followers will grow with much enthusiasm and this will help facilitate the positive and focused growth that you envision for your business and for each and every one of your employees ultimately creating a lasting legacy you can be proud of.