People do not always think of Leadership as important to running a business. The focus often falls on marketing skills, sales, and customer relationships.
Many of us want to try running our own business because we are sick of our office leadership or environment.
Don’t you think you could accomplish so much more, if you weren’t watching out for what other people in your office say? Or if you weren’t worried about upsetting your boss at every turn?
But running a business demands a high level of Leadership skills from you. Actually, if those horrible bosses from your history had run their own business, they’d probably be much better leaders. And your experience of working with them could be vastly different.>/p>
Your business; no matter what stage it’s at requires you to be a good leader, and here’s why.
You have to be willing to take initiative
When it comes to running your own business, no-one is going to push you to do anything except yourself. If you choose to do nothing, and not develop yourself, that’s completely fine. But this will ruin your business.
Have you ever had a boss who could not make a decision?
Whether it be because they were too scared of the consequences, or they didn’t have the skills to get to the right conclusion; having a boss like this really slows things down!
You are all waiting for your boss to move forward to the next stage, but they are procrastinating. And ultimately their decisions are rushed and uninformed.
You know you don’t want to run your business in the same way.
Running your own business gives you the chance to come face to face with your own fears. Yes, certain decisions can be paralyzing, but you cannot stay that way forever.
Unlike your boss, you need this decision to move. You can’t keep your sales frozen because you are too scared to commit to one decision over another.
It’s a good training ground for confronting tough decisions, making yourself better, and improving your leadership skills overall.
I love this quote from Oprah Winfrey and feel like it really sums everything up.
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” — Oprah Winfrey
You will learn to lead and not follow
Even running a business on your own requires leadership skills. You must already take initiative and lead through action, since you are the one taking initiative. You will learn how to make decisions decisively.
If you are not leading your own team, you will be trying to lead thought and action within your own niche.
As you work in your field you will learn more information about your chosen specialty; you might choose to study more about writing if those are the services you offer. However you will also discover others in your industry or niche too.
At the very beginning you will look up to them, take their advice, and learn from their mistakes. In this way, they are the current thought leaders of their niche. Your ultimate goal should be, not to directly compete with these people, but to define a niche and become the leader in that sphere.
If you would like to read more about becoming a leader in your own niche, check out my article here!
The more developed you become as a business person, and the more people look at your brand the less you will want to be seen following others. You will want to be the one experimenting with ideas, creating, and innovating.
“Focus on identifying your target audience, communicating an authentic message that they want and need and project yourself as an “expert” within your niche.” – Kim Garst
You have to be responsible for your own decisions
While we are reminiscing about our terrible bosses; what is a sign of terrible leadership?
When things go wrong who will take the blame? Does the captain go down with the ship? Or are one of the subordinates blamed, potentially even fired?
We see, once again how leadership differs when running a business compared to being a mid-level manager or boss. You are the one who makes the decision in your business, therefore the responsibility falls solely on you.
Yes, the internet algorithm might have said something to do with your problems. Or maybe people just don’t get your ideas. However, we always need to acknowledge and own up for the issues that arise in our business.
Business teaches you just how much is riding on your shoulders alone.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” — Jim Rohn
If you are able to handle this level of responsibility than you will be able to cope when your business expands and you eventually bring on extra assistants or experts…
When is time for the business to grow?
Your leadership skills will really come into focus when you grow your business.
Do you want your business to have a large group of active and loyal fans? Is audience engagement and sharing the love important to you? Do you also want to focus on the most important parts of your business; whether that be coaching, creating, or selling?
Here’s the thing…
The bigger your business grows the more outside forces will pull you away from the core part of your business. All of a sudden tasks like customer service, refunds, account management, and email communication have grown too!
Many entrepreneurs often find that these tasks eventually take them away from the things that got their business started in the first place.
It can be a hard situation to be in. On the one hand you need to attend to these matters. On the other; your coaching business will stop if you stop coaching, your creative business will stop if you stop creating.
This is where I recommend that entrepreneurs looking into expanding their teams. Knowing when and how to get the right experts on your team to ease the pressure off yourself is a vital skill, and is critical to growing your business beyond a certain point.
However with this, come its own set of leadership challenges.
Learning to delegate responsibility in a team setting
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” – Jessica Jackley
Leadership is not about doing things by yourself all the time. You need to also learn when it’s appropriate to pass tasks to other more capable people.
Yes, while you’ve been working so hard in your business field and you want to be the best, maybe there’s someone who can take care of your graphic design tasks better than you can?
It is not always easy to admit that there are others out there who are better that us at certain tasks.
It’s harder still to learn to trust them with running various elements of our business. After all, we’ve grown this thing from the ground up!
But learning to acknowledge where outside expertise can benefit us is a sign of good leadership and will really help our business grow.
Trust is not earned with the signing of a contract, and it will take time to build. It will be hard on you too.
It can feel like you’re actually doing more work since in the beginning stages you will need to work closely with your new team to set up boundaries and expectations.
However, the results will eventually speak for themselves. You cannot grow your business beyond a certain point without hiring a team. And you cannot have an effective, cohesive team without putting the effort into building one.
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.