What kind of leader are you?

What Kind of Leader are You?

As small business owners, we barely have time to keep the business running, let alone worry about what kind of leaders we are.

If you are thinking about how to grow your business, and you should be, now is the time to consider what kind of leader you are.  Even if you have never explored any research on leadership practices, I think most of us would acknowledge that while a good leader is critical to achieving a high level of morale at an organization, more often than not, leadership is frequently based on nepotism, favoritism and an ever- changing model of inconsistent rewards and inappropriate and poorly understood punishments.

Business growth is a team effort.

If your team isn’t on board with the organization’s goals and objectives, or worse, you haven’t even told them the organization has goals and objectives, rest assured, your efforts will fail.

Leadership is a process and even if you don’t think you were born to leader, you can certainly learn to be one.

Before you go on a mad hunt for leadership articles on the Internet or spend tons of money on books to read about leadership (wondering when you will find the time to read them) or signing up for boot camps on leadership – stop and take a deep breath.  You have more knowledge than you realize about leadership.

Start with a leader you have experience with.  What did you like about them?  Did you ever wonder why they conducted meetings at 7:30am?  Why some people always seemed to advance while seemingly not doing very much work?  And some people, no matter how hard they work, never seemed to get the recognition they deserve?  Did you have a clear set of goals on how to do your job?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask about a leader you may have had.  Maybe you had a leader, or a person you admired in a leadership role.  What about them gave rise to your admiration?

The point here is that the first step in becoming a leader is doing an assessment that defines what you think a good leader should be, where you think you are as a leader and where you want to be.

A critical aspect of leadership is your interaction with others.  It could be family, or colleagues, or subordinates or people you have business relationships with.  Use good judgement here but take some time to ask the people in each of these groups what they think about either your current leadership style, or what kind of leader they think you might be.  Be prepared.  It’s very likely that what other people think about your leadership skills is NOT what you think you are projecting.

There is literally tons of reference material about leadership and the qualities of a leader, so I will leave you to sift through all that.  Here are some good ideas about how to build your leadership at work and at home.

  • The best leaders base their success on the success of the team.
  • The best leaders take ownership when things go wrong and give credit to the team when things go right.
  • The best leaders build a following by leading transparently – being open about their own struggles, empathizing with others, and setting clear expectations for their followers.

What kind of leader are you?  Would love to hear your thoughts.  Keep me posted on your leadership journey.

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