Five Skills That Boost Your Leadership Credibility
Being a powerful leader is an essential component of being a successful entrepreneur, whether you have one or 100 employees.
Even if you work alone, you need to exhibit leadership skills to manage yourself and your clients’ requests effectively.
Here are five skills that will contribute to your leadership efforts and help you stay inspired and ignite creativity in others.
Stay true to your goals
Authenticity may be a buzzword when it comes to leadership discussions, but being sincere and honest and focused on your goal cannot be dismissed.
Having an idea of the work you want to do, the service you want to provide or the product you want to produce is the foundation for what you will become.
As you start down the road, there will be conflicts and change, but as long as you remain adamant that you will add value to this world, you will lead yourself and others in the right direction.
Remember that when you operate your own business, it is a reflection of you and what you value. If you set the tone that your clients matter, that quality matters and that your employees matter, that will become your culture and you will not have to spend time worrying about engagement.
Realize you can’t go it alone
While independence is an admirable goal in the heart of every entrepreneur, taken to the extreme it can cripple your dreams and hinder your business growth.
You need to get help to achieve your plans and that often means delegating, a difficult process for the person who wants to ensure that everything is done to their specifications.
If you stretch yourself too thin as your business grows, the quality of your work will suffer and the clients who were once delighted with you will grow disquieted.
You cannot reach your full potential without trusting and training others to help you. If you allow yourself to be bogged down with routine tasks and fail to have time to manage and grow, it just won’t work.
Believe in yourself
I don’t think there has been a stage in my life when I haven’t had moments of remembering the Rudyard Kipling verse we studied as children about “If you can keep your head when all men doubt you…”
There are going to be days when you find your business under attack and things not progressing according to your agenda. That is when you have to summon the most confidence and exhibit the strongest leadership skills.
You have to show your team that you are still steering a safe and happy course and that despite what is happening, you will make it through.
Panic is not a luxury you can afford when you are growing your own business. When there is a fire, you put it out. When there is a flood, you move to higher ground.
Your team will take up your tone and together you can minimize the damage.
Talk to your team
Too often I meet business people who feel that they are doing a good job leading, but they pride themselves on ensuring people are informed of decisions on a “need to know” basis.
Unless you are running a secret service, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your staff if you don’t include them in your long-term agenda.
People want to know the rules of the game before they start to play, or in this case, to work.
If they know how big your dreams are, they can buy into them and give a little more of themselves, not just work week by week for the money.
Don’t crowd your agenda so full that you don’t have time to talk to those who work with you. It’s okay if you can’t function with a full open door policy, but make it a point to check regularly with your team and share what is going on with them.
This is how you build trust and support and a shared vision.
Demonstrate your commitment
There comes a time in every business when the chips are down and everyone is asked to do a little more.
Your small firm may suddenly get a big order with the opportunity to land a major contract that would mean security for you and your workers.
In times like that, tell the team exactly what this means for you and for them and ask for their additional labor.
Then roll up your sleeves and stand with them as they get the job done. Be present so they can see that you are putting your sweat equity into the project alongside theirs.
These kinds of examples of obvious commitment go a long way to motivating others and stress the importance of the task at hand.
If you tell everyone that something really matters and then you go golfing or drinking, don’t expect them to transfer the same ardor to you that they would if they saw you giving your energy as well.
If you promise them a reward at the end of the job, be sure that you deliver and make it something that really matters to them.
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold expert brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s newest book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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