Why leadership matters in small business

- April 6, 2020 3 MIN READ

There is a saying ‘culture flows from the top-down’. Great leadership equals great culture. The question is, do you have the skills you need to lead your business to the top?

The role leadership plays in the success of a business is becoming increasingly evident. A small business can simply survive or thrive based on the leadership of its owner. Businesses with poor leadership rarely succeed. If you’ve set your sights on success, then it’s time to hone your leadership skills.

Keep your eyes on the big picture

It can be easy for a small business owner to get lost in the minutia of the day-to-day running of the business. Yet ensuring you always have a sense of the big picture keeps both you and your employees inspired. Research by Mercer[1] shows employees are increasingly seeking work with businesses and brands that have a purpose. A great small business leader knows that motivating employees is about more than confirming they check off their daily tasks. It’s about sharing a vision for the future of the business and empowering your staff to feel as though they are essential in your business’s pathway to success.

Set the bar high

As the leader of the business, setting the tone is crucial. There’s no point enforcing a dress code or a code of conduct if you don’t adhere to it. Employees will soon notice the hypocrisy and they will lose respect for both you and the business. A good leader knows it’s up to them to set the feel of the company or brand. Consistency is key. There can’t be one rule for you and another for your employees.

Show some gratitude

The ability to motivate your staff to strive to do their best is critical to small business success. Motivated staff are happy to go the extra mile for you and your business. Recognising the value your staff bring to the business is essential. Acknowledging your staff for a job well done and expressing gratitude is often the secret sauce that keeps employees engaged and motivated. Every employee has a role to play in success.

Don’t forget to give direction

A good leader understands when to give direction and when to take a step back. Sometimes it may be necessary to give direction daily. At other times you may simply need to make sure everyone is striving for the same goals (that’s where that big picture comes in). Some employees may like a hands-off approach, while others may need to be coaxed to deliver the best results.

Communicate clearly

Being able to communicate effectively with your staff is crucial in a small business. While big businesses may be able to get by with less-than-perfect communication skills, a small business owner needs to be able to juggle the needs of everyone from staff to suppliers to customers. Keeping the lines of communication open is essential if you want to succeed.

Be agile

A good leader also understands the value of flexibility and agility. In this rapidly changing business environment business leaders need to be able to think ahead and plan for what’s to come. Great leaders are always looking for opportunities to assist their business to grow.

Finally, while some people have a natural talent for leadership others will need to learn the skills to succeed as a business leader. However, whatever camp you fall into, honing your talents can only be good for business.

TAFE Enterprise offers a range of short courses perfect for sharpening up your leadership skills. Learn more at TAFE Enterprise or call 1300 045 737 to discuss your training needs.

[1] Global Talent Trends 2019

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