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How to develop leadership skills as a business owner

December 03, 2013

Do you want to develop leadership skills, thus bettering your small business? Start by improving your relationship with your employees.

A small business owner must emulate certain traits in order to be a respected leader. In this post, we’ll explain why leadership in business is important, and list the characteristics that you should work to improve upon. By focusing on how you can develop your small business leadership skills, your overall business will benefit!

1. Be a strong communicator – Part of being an effective leader is knowing how to communicate with your employees, customers and partners. When it comes to employees, make sure that you’re conveying to employees what you expect of them, and express when you’re happy with their work. If they are aware of their job performance, they’ll be able to continue to advance.

Another component of being a successful communicator is knowing when to listen. Allow your employees to voice their opinions and concerns with you; and take what they say into consideration. Knowing when to listen will help you build strong relationships, and your employees will appreciate your approach to leadership in business. Plus, it is important to seek outside council when running your small business. Others might have ideas that could help your business, that you may not have thought of!

2. Know how to motivate employees – As you develop leadership skills, you’ll want to learn how to motivate employees. Hold productive meetings, where you set clear cut goals for your employees to strive towards. Get to know each one of your employees, so that you can better understand what will inspire them to work harder. If you know what influences your staff, you’ll be able to master small business leadership.

3. Show off your problems solving skills – Don’t play the blame game; think critically about how you can resolve issues and move forward. If you panic when under pressure, or don’t take responsibility for your mistakes, your employees will likely lose respect for you. Running a small business will likely have its challenges, but how you handle these situations will strengthen your leadership abilities.

4. Be organized and efficient – If you’re slacking, your employees will follow suit! As a leader and small business owner, you should demonstrate your passion for what you do. If you’re always prepared and ready to do your job to the best of your ability, your staff will imitate this.

5. Be transparent – Be honest with employees about any upcoming changes being made to your operations. If they feel like you are not being open with them, they may try to find employment elsewhere. As a leader, you should be forthcoming with employees about anything that might affect them. Of course, there are some decisions and matters that need to be handled privately, but it is important to be as candid with your employees as you can be.

Develop leadership skills so that you can grow as a small business owner. With the various goals that you have for your business, it is vital that you have your leadership responsibilities under control. Moving forward, keep these 5 qualities in mind, and watch your leadership abilities flourish.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2016.

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