You are a business woman on a mission to help and guide others through your business. No matter what your business offers that is probably a simplistic form of what it is that you want to accomplish through your business. Even as simple as it sounds, it is not easy to build a long-lasting business and market yourself so people want what you are offering.
I sometimes feel that people who start a business really had no idea what they were getting themselves into. I know I sure didn’t have much of a clue. How did I truly know what it took to be a leader when I wasn’t really leading people?
I have said many times from the stage “You are always leading people whether you realize it or not because someone is watching you. Where do you want to lead them? Heaven or Hell?”.
Being a leader is not necessarily about what you say but more importantly about what you do and how you affect someone else. How you make people feel when you are with them is as important as what you do. Oh and by the way, you do not have to be liked to be an effective leader. If your words match your action and your actions show respect then you can lead people in the right way. They may feel you are bossy or too smart for them but if you can show respect and be consistent with your actions even if someone does not like you they still may follow you.
I once had a mentor that I completely respected but he scared the living daylights out of me. I went to one of his trainings and his actions matched his words and he communicated in a way that I was able to see that he is tough and bold and scary because his passion to help others was so intense that it made it seem like he was intense. I was able to get over my fear of him because I was willing to risk my fear to be mentored by him! It paid off for me and if you do it right, it will pay off for the people following you. The funny part of this story is that people have told me for years that I scare them so it was finally my turn to be a little scared by someone I admired and respected.
These are some Key Traits of a Leader to help you step up in your role as the leader in your business and your industry. Are there some areas listed below that you can improve on? How do you see yourself improving?
1) Transparency: When it comes to the goals and mission of a business, the CEO or Leader will need to bring the entire team into the bigger conversation of the success of the company. Be willing to share your vision, mission, values and concerns so your team can support you and stand in agreement with you.
2) Flexibility: The nature of business is continually reinventing itself. Look what 2020 created! You have to be willing to dodge, weave and stand strong no matter what circumstances come before you.
3) Empowerment: Leadership is deeply connected to the idea that all employees make a difference. Not only do you have to believe that, but you also have to convey it in a way that they hear you and feel it from you.
4) Facilitator: A key role of the leader is more like a facilitator than a boss—drawing people together around an issue or challenge in a way that allows collaboration and vision. Just telling them what they have to do does not allow them to be creative and open to helping solve the issues that everyday businesses face. Facilitate them to support you. You cannot pay me enough to be “bossed” at! People who do not feel valued or like they are helping you make a difference will leave and find a leader who does draw them into their purpose.
To be the leader you are meant to be means that you will have to evolve in your leadership as your business evolves in the industry. I didn’t become the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation overnight. It has been a lot of evolution, head scratching, team building, mistake making and a few tears being shed over the years. Heck, when I started in business we barely had computers, phones were stuck on a desk or wall and Google didn’t even become public yet! I know I am aging myself but my point is as a company we had to evolve, as person I had to evolve and as a leader evolution was important in order to stay in business.
As the leader you will need to pay attention to the details; small mistakes add up quickly. As an aspiring CEO/Leader you have to be aware of all the details needed to run a successful company. If you are not watching the details, then who do you think is? If anyone is watching it will be your competition looking for where you make mistakes so they can get better in that area and outbid you. Don’t watch your competition (peak every now and again). You job as the leader is to pay attention to what is happening in your business and your industry. Pay attention to the small details and put into action whatever it takes for you to outlast your competitors.
As the leader you will want to understand that your company only exists to provide a need or a want to your client. As the leader in your business your job is to capitalize on what your clients need or want and lead others to fulfill that job alongside you. Great leadership is a choice! You can choose to lead people away from you or you can lead them to walk alongside you and in that process you can make a good living and help others along the way. Be more committed to being respected for your decisions than being liked. You are the leader in your business that is taking the biggest risk and paying all the bills. You will have to make the hard decision and you will have to celebrate the successes too. Be the leader you are meant to be by staying focused and letting your actions speak just as loud if not louder than your voice.