The 6 Key Leadership Behaviors of Successful Small Business Owners
What is Leadership Behavior?
Leadership Behaviors are the way that you act or conduct yourself as a small business owner. Effective leadership behaviors are the actions you take to develop, motivate, empower, and assign meaningful work to your employees that causes them to work willingly towards achieving your business’ goals.
Your leadership behaviors directly impact the social-emotional reactions of your employees and are the difference between the success and failure of your small business. By developing strong positive leadership behaviors, you will build proactive management and operative teams that are trusting, flexible, accountable, and passionate about their work and business’ mission. In addition, innovation distinguishes you as a leader from those that follow you.
Trust is Foundation of Effective Leadership
Trust is the basis around which all human relationships revolve. It is the foundation that every small business leader must establish with employees. To earn the trust and respect of employees, you must show trust and respect to them. Trust leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to your employees delivering results for you and the business. Without trust there cannot be leadership.
Key Leadership Behaviors of Successful Small Business Owners
Below are 6 leadership behaviors that you should cultivate to run a successful small business.
1. Be a Role Model
What you do is more important than what you say. Start by:
- Acting with honesty, integrity, and displaying a strong sense of purpose,
- Talking about your most important values and beliefs,
- Putting the success of the team before your own – yours will follow,
- Saying what you mean and do what you say, “walk your talk”,
- Treating everyone in the same way and don’t play favorites,
- Acting with consistency so the employees know what to expect,
- Admitting your mistakes and acknowledge your limitations, and
- Admitting you are in-perfect and asking for feedback from your team.
2. Show the Way
Leading by example is the most powerful form of teaching. As follows:
- Articulate and inspire a futuristic vision of a successful business,
- Be innovative, think out of the box and introduce things,
- Look for opportunities – Take initiative and action to realize them,
- Solve problems and do not dwell on what others should have done, and
- Champion change and seek differing perspectives and solutions.
3. Build Trust
Ensuring that your employees respect you by doing the following:
- Act in ways that build employees’ respect for you,
- Be accountable and act the way you expect of your employees,
- Don’t talk behind someone’s back – Gossip kills trusts,
- Inspire pride in people for being associated with you,
- Go beyond your self-interest for the good of the employees,
- Be compassionate by spending time to understand your employees,
- Consider the moral and ethical consequences of your decisions, and
- Trust your employees and they will trust you.
4. Inspire Employees
In general employees are eager to help and want to do something significant. You need to motive, and inspire then by doing the following:
- Display a sense of dominance, power, and confidence,
- Communicating a compelling vision of the future,
- Talking optimistically about the future of the business,
- Expressing confidence that goals will be reached, and
- Challenge them to be innovative and put forward ideas.
5. Coach Employees
Being someone who focuses on developing the individuals within your business by:
- Spending time teaching and coaching,
- Treating employees as individuals,
- Developing each employee by considering them separately,
- Helping employees to develop identify their strengths, and
- Getting your employees to look at issues from different angles.
6. Reward Achievement
Appreciate the effort of your employees as follows:
- Ask for feedback about the business and their role within it,
- Communicating clearly what is expected and to be achieved,
- Thank employees and express satisfaction if expectations are met,
- Reward employees in exchange for their efforts, and
- Provide appropriate and timely feedback about performance.
Also read our blog post: 14 Characteristics Of A Successful Small Business Owner