Leadership Principles for Business Owners
I’ve been writing new material for our Executive Coaching Programmes and thought I would share some of the key principles around leadership with you in this blog.
Leadership is a most critical aspects of any organization’s success. Effective leadership should inspire all team members, drive innovation, and increase productivity. However, leadership isn’t about barking orders and telling everyone what to do. It is about people, know their strengths, weaknesses and how to match the right people together to get the plan executed in the nest possible way, to deliver the businesses vision, inspiring them to achieve.
In this blog, I will share some of the most important principles of leadership, including quotes from some of the most interesting and successful leaders in history.
1. Lead by Example
You as a leadership must practice what you preach, led by example, and deliver the Vision, mission and culture from the top down. Remember they are watching you and will do what you do, not what you say.
Quoting Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
2. Clear and Effective communication
If you as a leader are unable to communicate clearly and effectively, the Vision of the business, how will your Goals be achieved, yes sometimes they will happen by fear, but the achievement will not be sustained. So clear and effective communication, is needed to successfully lead the business to where it needs to go, allowing open feedback from all involved.
As John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
3. Build Trust
Trust, a word that is thrown around, is critical, yet is it really there? You can’t earn trust, you can’t buy trust, you can’t force trust. Trust is something that you have to accept until it is broken. Leaders often break the trust they have with their teams and don’t even realise it. As a leadership your Trust is always on show, so be honest, transparent and reliable. Admit to your mistakes and own your actions.
As Stephen Covey once said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” This quote emphasizes the importance of trust in all aspects of life, including leadership.
4. Innovation, encourage it
Every business needs innovation to keep moving forward and to stay ahead of the competition. Leaders must encourage team to be innovative, to share their ideas. The funny think (well not really) is that the team usually has all the answers that a leader will spend hours trying to figure out. So, give them the tools and resources to be innovative, you will be surprised what the results are.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs
5. Inspire and Motivate
Inspiration is so important as a leader. You can inspire your team, but you can’t motivate them. The motivation come from the manner that you inspire them. Inspiring my team throughout my career has been my #1 key to success, as you are only as good as your weakest member of your team. If all you do as, a leader is inspire your team, well then you are already on your way to achieve great things.
PS give them the recognition they deserve that inspiration on its own, lets them know they are valuable to the organisation.
As Simon Sinek once said, “Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.”
6. Diversity embrace it
Diversity is in front of us every day, especially in our country. It is essential for businesses or organisations that want to be successful in today’s marketplace.
As a leader, you should not only embrace diversity abut encourage it. It should be part of your culture. This will encourage value and respect within your team members, including differences in race, gender, age, religion, and culture.
“Diversity of thought makes companies successful. We all have blinders but being open to new perspectives challenges and motivates us to be better.” Simon Sinek
7. Lead with Empathy
Don’t mix sympathy and empathy, because then you may be in trouble as a leader. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, whereas Sympathy is pitting them. As a leader, you need to understand your teams needs and concerns, and be able to relate and see their perspective.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
8. Develop Your Team
No matter how great a leader you may think you are, you are only as good as your weakest team member, yes, I have said this before, but I cannot say it enough. Spend as much time developing your team as possible. This should be a huge priority in your business or organisation. Invest and provide opportunities for them to develop, they need to be better than you.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
9. Create a Culture of Accountability
As a leader, of your business or organisation, you must hold everyone accountable for their actions, by setting clear expectations and standards. You as the leader are accountable to your team, as much as they are to you and your business or organisation. You set the example and they will follower.
“The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behaviour the leader is willing to tolerate.” Jeff Immelt
10. Be Resilient
Leadership can be challenging, and effective leaders need to be ‘resilient in the face of adversity’. As the leader you need to bounce back, from every challenge with positivity and encouragement. Learn and move on.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
11. Practice Servant Leadership
Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which your primary role as a leader is to serve your team members. i.e., put them first and empower them to succeed.
“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”
12. Lead with Integrity
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. As a leader, you shouldn’t even need to think about being honest, transparent, and ethical in all your interactions, it should be natural.
“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.”
13. Be Decisive
Being a leader means making tough decisions. Make them quickly and confidently even when you are not sure, the wrong decision is better than no decision. (learn why)
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
“The worst business decision you can make is no decision. The needs are not going to go away. Waiting is what’s gotten us in the situation we’re in now.”
Teamwork is essential in your business or organisations for it to be successful. As the leader, you need to not only encourage, inspire but participate in teamwork, this will inspire your team to work together and share more ideas.
“Collaboration is the art of bringing together the unique strengths and perspectives of individuals to create a collective outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
15. Lead with Humility
Humility is the quality of being humble and modest. As a leader, you should lead with humility by acknowledging your mistakes and weaknesses and valuing the perspectives and contributions of others.
“Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious–but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.”
Effective leadership is essential for any business or organisational success. Be the leader, by setting the example, communicating regularly, clearly and effectively, building trust, envision, inspire and achieve together. Embracing diversity, lead with empathy, developing your team, creating a culture of accountability, be resilient, practice servant leadership, leading with integrity, being decisive, fostering collaboration, and leading with humility, you can become a more effective leader.
If you would like to know more about leadership coaching, reach out to us @www.archerinspirations.com. Remember the words of John C. Maxwell, who said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”