Over coffee this afternoon, talking to a sales professional about what I do, I heard that small business owners aren’t interested in leadership. “Isn’t leadership just something that corporations are interested in?”
Boy am I glad you asked that question!
Yes, it makes sense that corporations are interested in leadership. Leaders get results; leaders work toward the future; leaders inspire better performance in the workforce. Leaders even generate more love for their customers! In fact, in my experience, small business owners are also interested in the same qualities – looking toward the future, getting better performance, generating customer love.
Leadership is a Necessity For Business Success
In my humble opinion, a small business owner needs to have more attention paid to leadership qualities, than does his counterpart in big business! In a small business, the owner needs to have a plan that will take him or her into the future. Let’s look at why leadership is not only for a small business owner, but essential to him or her!
Leaders are committed to getting results. For every small business that I know, someone really cares that new business comes in and that expenses are controlled. A good manager will pay attention to income and expenses; when he or she anticipates problems and does the extraordinary, that looks like leadership to me. Leaders make the results of priority. In a small business, this leadership perspective maybe called “entrepreneurial attention.” Makes sense to me. Every entrepreneur I know is a leader in his or her business.
Small businesses need the power of influence. Hey, it’s rough being in small business. You cannot just open your door on Main Street and expect a steady stream of customers. Leaders need to create a market. Some may call it marketing; I believe that influence has a great deal to do with it. The small business owner has to create a likability factor to keep the business running. If there is no influence, the business is doomed. Influence is a leadership quality.
Leaders are ready to look for opportunities. Part of the job of a small business owner is to keep an eye open for means to exploit a niche. The person just doing his or her job won’t be looking for opportunities to do more work. Again, this sounds like entrepreneurship – leadership in the small firm. Any worker in a small business who finds a new opportunity is celebrated as a leader.
Leaders build power teams. More and more people are working in teams these days; we notice the teamwork movement most in corporate America. Small businesses use teams as well, with the important difference that the nature of the work is less specialized. Members of the team are expected to play many roles. The best teams are created because a leader challenged its members to meet the standard of excellence.
Leadership Skills Help Businesses Grow
Leadership isn’t a luxury for small business. The presence of effective leadership can be a success factor for a business that just emerges. It is not sufficient to have workers and managers in a small business – someone needs to be proactive and farsighted about the growth needs of the business. Small business needs leadership!
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Watch my two minute video, “The Leader’s Spark,” http://youtu.be/bmuRw10klo4