Ways to Improve Your Leadership
Many small businesses get caught up in the management of their companies and don’t spend enough time thinking about leadership. One thing I learned from my own company was that everything I did affected the way people inside and outside my company treated both me and the company. Leadership is different than management. You can delegate management responsibilities to others, but you can’t delegate leadership. The best definition I’ve heard about leadership came from a professor that I had at Harvard. He suggested that leadership means “setting the agenda and holding everyone accountable for meeting it.”
Authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner who wrote The Leadership Challenge believe you have to do five things really well to be a great leader:
- Model the way forward. Do you walk the talk?
- Inspire a shared vision. Engage those around you.
- Challenge the process. Good enough isn’t good enough.
- Enable others to act. Otherwise you will be doing all the heavy lifting yourself.
- Encourage the heart. Understand the importance of people’s emotions.
This is a lot to get right, but you have the rest of your life to work on it. Little improvements will mean a lot to the people around you.