Many owners and managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) underestimate the importance of having good leadership skills on account of day-to-day duties in keeping their business running smoothly.
Although good leadership is not something that can be easily quantified like the contribution of an employee in some other areas, its impact can always be felt throughout the company. A good leader is an invaluable asset to every enterprise, especially those that include working with people and where good cooperation between different branches like teachers, legal experts, IT specialists, economists or any other occupation is necessary.
Some people are simply born as leaders, while others have to grow into it. There is no doubt that leadership skills can be learned and the most important part of the process is finding a way to develop the human qualities of a good leader, as simply going through the motions and doing what others do will not cut it.
It will be fake and everybody will feel it is fake, which will only create a number of problems between you and your staff. This has proven to be somewhat tricky and more difficult for some people than others. The finest leaders in all areas, including law, certainly followed these simple set of rules in achieving their goals. This is what made them eagles in their profession.
Stay True to Yourself
As said before, the most important tip by far is not to try to imitate anyone or simply to apply what works for others. You must develop your own leadership style consistent with your nature.
For example, if you are a mild-mannered person, you have to respect that and learn to play to your strengths. You cannot just decide to become a strict, no-nonsense authority figure overnight. Some leadership and management training can help you to identify your style and learn to access the problems you face in a different way.
However, at the end of the day, you are what you are and no training can change that, though it can certainly help you to use your qualities and hide your faults more efficiently in terms of leadership.
Study an Adapt
Being a good leader means first and foremost that you know how to get the best out of everyone who works for you. This can prove to be very tricky, as all people are different.
While some may react to direct commands and work better within strict limitations and with specific instructions, others will achieve the best results with just basic guidelines set during a chat by the coffee machine. Your job is to get to know your employees and learn to push their buttons in order to get the best out of them. Remember that everybody has a sweet spot, so to speak, you can have to find it.
Creative thinking is a very important part in the life of every enterprise, whether it is directed at creating a brilliant new product in a moment of great inspiration or fixing a printer with paperclips and duct-tape when it is needed the most.
Either way, creative thinking is a valuable commodity and one of the trickiest qualities to systematically develop and steer in the right direction.
Like in a team sport, any group of people consists of naturally creative individuals and people who simply do the job thoroughly and prefer to think and work in a straight line, so to speak. It is important to encourage them to work together in order for them to benefit from each others` strengths and to streamline the work process in a way that will bring the best results.
Whether for the better or for the worst, changes are simply unavoidable in business. The job of a leader is to be prepared for them, to guide the staff through the process and to ensure that the change doesn’t affect the productivity and motivation of the employees more that it absolutely has to.
The strength of a leader can prove to be crucial in such a time, as it can literally make or break any transition. Some part of your time will be more affected by any particular change than others. It is important to foresee this and to take necessary steps in order to make the change seamless as possible.
Mary Ann Keeling is a social media manager and small biz owner from Brisbane, Australia. Her current area of interest are human rights and international law. She spends her free time reading, hiking and enjoying various water sports.