Some people are under the impression that leaders are bossy, manipulating, and uninterested in the ideas and opinions of their subordinates. While there may be countless supervisors who do indeed fit this description, that does not make them good leaders. As a small business owner who may manage a staff of employees or is looking to hire employees sometime in the future, you should know what makes a leader truly effective. Here are seven characteristics you should consider developing:
Theodore M. Hesburgh, retired president of the University of Notre Dame, once said, “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” Leaders envision what can, but hasn’t yet, been achieved. They have a clear picture of where they want their business to go and how it can get there. Unwilling to settle for the status quo, leaders are striving for improvement, progress, and continued and amplified success. More than that, good leaders can share this vision with their staff and communicate it in a way that makes it clear, reasonable, and most importantly, inspirational.
Trust is earned, and unless a leader practices good ethics and has integrity, it will be difficult for a staff to trust him/her. Honest, hard-working, reliable, equitable, and respectful are all characteristics of an ethical leader.
Enthusiasm is contagious and when you’re passionate about what you do, generally your employees will feel that enthusiasm and begin to reflect it in their own work. As you interact with staff you must share your passion, enthusiasm, and excitement for your business.
It’s hard to follow a leader if he/she does not appear confident. You must not only feel confident in your managerial approach, but you must also exude confidence. However, confidence doesn’t equate to blind arrogance. It does, however, communicate a cool assurance that you have the resources and know-how to get from point A to B. Only when you have confidence will employees be willing to follow you there.
If you possess vision, enthusiasm and confidence, motivating your staff will probably come easily. Leaders must be conscious of every communication they share with employees and ensure that they are positive and inspiring.
No one likes a smarty pants. You must be willing to listen to your employees and the feedback they have to offer. You might be surprised at the good ideas they have regarding your business and its profitability. Be willing to listen to what they have to say and explore the possibility of their ideas.
Good leaders are approachable and easy to communicate with. You should practice an open-door policy in relation to your employees and those things they would like to discuss with you. Being kind and considerate to them will promote good feelings in the workplace.
While you may not feel like a leader right now, you can become one that employees would be proud to follow. Evaluate your current leadership style and see how you might implement two or more of the above traits. And give yourself the time to learn and improve. You may be surprised at the natural leadership instinct within you.
If you would like to grow your business to sustain more employees, you should consider enrolling in the Universal Practice Builder Program. This course will teach you how to market your unique skills and attract qualified clients, all while increasing your bottom line and improving your marketing strategies. To learn more, visit our website and listen to testimonials of our very own graduates, sharing what they found most valuable in this program.