Every business faces a set of challenges, and small businesses are no exception. In fact, the challenges are greater when you’re running a small company, and the most common and concerning problem can sometimes be the lack of leadership skills.
Not having multiple hierarchy levels can work against a business, but it can also prove helpful. By acquiring the qualities of a 21st-century leader, small business owners can create a work environment that not only attracts great talent but also improves the productivity of existing employees.
Read on to find out the top leadership tips that will help you evolve into an able leader.
5 Top Leadership Tips
1. Become a Servant Leader
The term ‘servant leadership’ was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his essay, The Servant as Leader. Servant leaders do not desire unusual power. They do what’s best for their team and create a work environment which is more just and more caring.
As a leader in a small business, you need to see beyond your and the company’s interest. It’s important that your team feels cared for. This will not only increase their productivity but will also reduce the employee turnover rate.
2. Develop Leaders
A great thing about leadership is that it doesn’t have to come with position or power. If you think that some members of your team reflect a few qualities of a good manager or leader, encourage leadership development in them. Always remember what the uber-famous and successful Ronald Reagan said – “A great leader is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
Encouraging and mentoring your team members will help you build a strong leadership pipeline in the company. Also, the diverse skills and ideas will only take your business up.
3. Practice Empathy
According to a Gallup poll, only a third of workers born between 1980 and 1996 feel connected to their companies.
It’s well known that empathy encourages employee motivation and engagement. So, here’s what you can do to make your employees feel that they are truly valued:
- Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what can be done to make the workplace more positive for them.
- Don’t push them to meet unrealistic expectations and deadlines.
- Appreciate their work and efforts on a daily basis. ‘Employee of the Month’ awards do not really contribute to an empathetic environment from the top down.
- Stay Humble
Here’s a classic example of humility – Ratan Tata, a former chairman of Tata Sons, personally visited the families of his employees who were affected by the 26/11 attack.
Humility is associated with overlooking the status differences, admitting mistakes, and dropping the old stick of authority. But yet, it is an underrated leadership skill.
Small acts of humanity can take you and your business a long way since they encourage trust between the employers and employees. Here are some top tips to help you get started:
- Stay grounded and shift focus from yourself to your team.
- Don’t refrain from apologizing if your decision-making lands the business in an unfavorable situation.
- Understand that sometimes following the lead of others can solve more problems than expected.
5. Read a Lot
Reading helps you avoid mistakes that others have made. Or at the least, it helps you stay prepared. Ask for recommendations of good leadership books and read at least 20 pages every day. For starters, get your hand on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
While these top leadership tips will help you bring order in your business, great leadership qualities come with constant improvisation. So, keep looking for ways to evolve into a better human being and an even better leader.
About the Author: Liliana Chitnis is a former HR professional who now works as a content marketing executive at NamanHR, an organization that offers end-to-end HR solutions to help companies build a strong human capital base. She strongly believes in the power of consistent training in the workplace. Liliana writes about various topics related to human resources and shares trends, techniques, and tips with her readers. She loves to read and practice yoga regularly, and occasionally binge on Netflix.