No matter how many people are on your team, your role as a leader is to make high-level decisions, inspire employees to be their best, and keep a cool head.
Small businesses move fast. They’re more prone to change, communication and recognition come easier; and few employees often do the work of many as compared to bigger businesses. Develop these characteristics and skills to help you be a strong leader in your small business.
Emotional stability and maturity
Stress and frustration a constant, so it’s important to face issues effectively without flying off the handle or taking things personally. You should be able to absorb any major risks or obstacles and hold it together during difficult times. Put your own recognition secondary to that of your employees and business.
Leading by example
If you’re always late for work or unprepared in meetings, why should your employees do any better? Nobody’s perfect, but a great small business leader is one who inspires employees through their own actions.
Enthusiasm and passion
Passion is contagious! Infuse the company’s vision and values into the company from the beginning. You don’t need to be able to see the future, but your team needs to see that you’re excited to take on challenges and put in the work to see the business succeed.
Risk management and decision-making skills
Here are some key tips to help you manage risk and make effective decisions:
- Have a clear understanding of the decision to be made.
- Consider the vision and values of the company.
- Evaluate the consequences and outcomes of your decision.
- Brainstorm as many alternatives as possible.
- Evaluate the pros and cons of each alternative.
- Be sure the appropriate person is making the decision.
- Understand the timeline in which the decision must be made.
Thick skin and assertiveness
Learn to take criticism well and be respectfully assertive in your decisions. But don’t hog all the leadership! Rather than controlling and micromanaging, delegate and supervise effectively. Empowering others to make decisions and handle responsibilities will let the company to run smoothly while you’re away or busy doing something else. It’s also a great way to prove you recognize the value of your team.
High standards and the ability to recognize achievement
You must have high standards for yourself and for others and recognize the potential of your team. You should always try to do your best and encourage your team members to do the same. Be sure to recognize achievement and develop a welcoming corporate culture.
Good conflict resolution skills
When you do have to deal with conflict, do so maturely and productively. Look for a win-win situation whenever possible. You should also take time to uncover the real reasoning beneath trivial issues and recurring disagreements. Stick to your word when you make promises or plans, so your employees have a consistent and reliable leader — sounds simple, but it works!