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The Ying & Yang of employees must be tempered by focussed leadership. An element that many organisations fail at with remarkable regularity.
In small businesses it’s always the owner who takes the lead and to be honest they are not always the best people to run the business – Shocking Revelation?
As the business owner as business owner you must be comfortable with allowing others to make decisions for the best of the company. That is not to say just let them do anything willy nilly, but with an overall checking in on what is going on.
Your key skill may be the development of the product you make, it might be the key operator of the service you provide, but overall govern-ship should be left to those that are able to make strategic decisions for the business. It’s not that this will mean the business is no longer yours, it just means that strategic leadership is best left to those whose wheelhouse is particularly decorated with that skill set. However it is imperative that you do not interfere too often, and I say too often because you will interfere and want to change direction. In doing so you must have a solid business case to change and not base it on an emotional whim.
You are probably saying what all this business leader bashing about?
As a business owner it’s about looking in the mirror and admitting that you can’t control or do everything yourself. You must allow other “Team Workers” to do what they are good at, and allow you to do what your good at.
One other area that is a huge danger for many small businesses is that once you start to see revenue coming in, the seduction to buy a better car, a breitling watch, a holiday for the family, you get the picture. You should be reinvesting every penny back into sustaining & developing your business. There will come a time where you can withdraw the dividend payments, but in the early years is a complete “must not do”
Gary Yukl defines leadership as “the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives”
And folks there is the key. “facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives”. If you have someone managing your business operations, one of your key priorities is to impart your business objective and allow them to execute that in a cohesive manner and be brave enough to say OK on you go. Thats does not mean if you see a car crash coming that you don’t say something and make an intervention allowing re-alignment, but enabling them to do their job and not micro-manage their daily lives. This would only bring resentment and eventual parting of the ways. And that my friends is not good for any business especially in the cold light of day seeing that you were maybe in the wrong.
Leadership is a fickle role in business and there is no playbook. A little like parenting, but there are key characteristics that greatly minimise the likelihood of failure.
As a leader it is about taking final responsibility of your staff and not just pointing out it was so and so’s fault, slopey shoulders syndrome as it were. Your leadership should be about inspiring others. Be a Leader Breeder not a Leader Blocker.
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Leadership – What Is It?
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