As a small business owner and CEO, it’s safe to say you need to wear a lot of different hats as you not only go through your day, but also you go over months, years and decades. During this time, you’ll take on staff and employees for various purposes, meaning you’ll drop certain tasks and instead start to lead.
However, what makes a good, effective leader that gets results? You don’t want to rule with an iron fist that everyone ends up leaving, but at the same time, you don’t want to let everyone walk all over you. Where’s the balance?
Today, we’re going to explore the five essential leadership skills you need to know in order to be an effective leader of a small business, helping you get the results you want with the best levels of success.
#1 – Effective Communication Skills
Easily the most important skill you can possess as a small business CEO is the ability to communicate effectively with everybody. From your partner to your ‘lowest’ employee, it’s vital you’re able to communicate in a clear and effective manner that’s concise and free from error.
“Miscommunication is easily one of the biggest problems when it comes to small businesses holding themselves back. Regardless of whether you’re talking face to face or via email or instant message, perfect your communication skills” shares Marie Goody, an HR manager for WriteMYX and Brit Student.
#2 – The Ability to Listen
While tied into the point above, this is so important that it deserves its own space. It’s vital that you take the time to listen to everybody within your business, from employees to customers and you genuinely hear what they have to say.
If an employee approaches you with a problem, don’t take the problem and try and go and sort it out, have a conversation with this person, listen to why they think it started and work together to come to a solution. You don’t have to deal with everything yourself.
#3 – Have Trust
Tied in again with the point above is making sure you have faith and trust in your employees for them to do what they’re paid to do. You need to make sure you’re trusting in their abilities and letting them get on with what they have to do.
“If you don’t trust your employees, two things are going to happen. Firstly, you’ll stress out about every little thing because you won’t believe it’s being done properly, and this will be seriously damaging to your mental health.
Secondly, you’ll start to micromanage which proves to your employees you don’t trust them, and this will devastate morale and motivation. Instead, give your employees the chance to prove themselves and show they care about the company. More often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised” explains Nick Harper, a project manager for 1Day2Write and Australia2Write.
#4 – An Optimistic Outlook
As a leader, everybody in your company looks up to you for guidance and to see where to go and what they’re doing. However, if you’re running the company with a negative and pessimistic attitude, you’ll be amazed at how this rubs off and spreads throughout your business.
With a negative attitude, morale and motivation will rapidly decrease within your business, and it will be hard to pull back. Stay positive and be ready to motivate employees when they need it. Even if things aren’t going well, you’ll need a positive attitude to bring everyone round to a point when they want to get results.
#5 – Celebrate the Good Times
It’s easy to get angry as a leader when things go wrong and start pointing the finger and investigating who’s at fault. While you should always deal with these calmly and collectively, granted, sometimes you might not be able to control yourself.
However, just as it’s so easy to focus and highlight the negatives on things that are going on, you need to make sure you’re focusing on the positives as well. Just secured a high-flying client or hit a sales target?
Be sure to congratulate your team for all the hard work they’ve put in and celebrate these little wins together as a company. The absolute worst thing you can do is take all the credit when things are going well and blame other people when things are going bad.
Make sure you’re being fair and realize that everyone is in this together.
Adelina Benson is a business coach and writer at Academic Brits and Origin Writings. She develops marketing strategies, helps start-ups find their feet, and advices companies on their communication skills. In her free time, she loves to blog to help people reach their full potential.