Leadership is the one thing that can really make or break your success as a business owner. If you try to build a company without good leadership, you’ll end up falling short. So how do you become proactive in this area?
Good Leadership Is Developed
There’s a common discussion in business schools and at seminars around the world. It’s the dilemma over whether good leadership is something you’re born with or something that’s learned. This may seem like a tricky issue on the surface. However, most agree that leadership is developed over time. Studies indicate that only 30 percent of leadership is genetic.
You may be born with certain traits that make you a natural leader. However, anyone can hone their leadership capabilities with the right attitude and preparation. Here are some tips to help you improve your leadership skills and become the person your company needs you to be.
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Get Some Formal Training
There’s certainly a balance between developing natural leadership skills and learning specific techniques. All the same, don’t underestimate the value of formalized education. If you find that you’re in a bit of a standstill, perhaps you could benefit from developing leadership through graduate studies at a business school. Most MBA programs have dedicated courses on leadership and other related topics.
If you do go this route, make sure you’re fully prepared for this challenge. Most likely you will need help with the admissions process. And you’ll also have to figure out what it looks like to balance work and school.
Speak with Confidence and Purpose
Leadership is about making others feel inspired and directed. It’s impossible to push people in the right direction if you don’t know how to speak.
“The best way to make a point is to be crystal clear and confident when delivering a message,” business owner Stephanie Chung says. “Leaders should speak with intention and say exactly what they mean or need. It’s not effective to beat around the bush or give a puzzling response.”
Adopt Different Communication Styles
Everyone you encounter is unique. Some people respond to a brash style, while others prefer to have their hand held in the beginning stages of a new endeavor. The best leaders are those who are able to recognize whom they’re interacting with. Accordingly, they change their communication style so that the audience receives it in the most effective manner possible.
Don’t confuse this with being hypocritical or “wishy-washy.” The substance of what you’re communicating mustn’t alter. All that changes is the way you deliver it. Good leaders know how to say the same thing in multiple ways to get the desired result, no matter who is on the receiving end.
Walk Your Talk
When it comes to leadership, verbal communication is only part of the battle. Ultimately, your leadership will be determined by how well you walk the talk. If you’re saying one thing and doing another, you aren’t going to be very effective. Your employees and business partners are watching more than listening. They want to know that you’ll actually do the right thing.
Good Leadership: The Key to Becoming a Better Business Owner
Everyone has their own leadership style. Using the popular TV show Shark Tank as an example, nobody is going to confuse the leadership style of Mark Cuban with that of Robert Herjavec. They are each highly successful business owners. However, they each lead in entirely different ways.
You don’t need to emulate someone else’s leadership style. You do, however, need to work on developing your own leadership skills. A commitment to honing your leadership skills will lead to healthy, long-term business growth.