A business owner is similar to the captain of a ship. The captain is responsible for guiding the ship safely to its destination and ensuring that everybody on board is well-cared for. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to lead your company to achieve its short-term and long-term goals while making sure that everybody on board with you is happy.
As your business expands, hiring your first employees can be a daunting process—getting the right people and making sure that they work productively for you are both crucial to success. Good leadership will help you make sure that once you find people who are a good fit for your brand, they’ll stick around and be dedicated representatives of your brand.
Good leadership can make all the difference when it comes to encouraging employees to be loyal to your company. Read on for nine strategies you can use to start thinking like a leader:
#1. Be Present and Available
Good leaders don’t lock themselves in the office all day long; they’re out on the floor with their team, checking up on everybody to ensure that there are no pressing issues, and engaging with their employees. As a business owner, spending time with your team and having an open-door policy is the first step to becoming a stronger and a more respected leader.
#2. Listen to Concerns
When you take on employees, you need to be prepared for any concerns that they may have about your company or the work that they are required to do. From time to time, employees may experience problems with other co-workers, the workload that they are given, or their paycheck. It’s down to you to make sure that concerns are given due attention and dealt with quickly to ensure a thriving workforce.
If you are looking for opportunities to grow as a leader outside of your organization, schools such as Vanderbilt University offer online courses that focus on dealing with organizational challenges.
#3. Invest in Others
The best leaders know potential when they see it, and they’re not scared of investing in individuals who they think could become something great in the future. This could include investing in college education for your best employees, or giving particularly productive, assertive team members the chance to shine with a promotion.
#4. Be Humble
One thing that all effective leaders have in common is a sense of humility. There’s no shame in admitting when you are wrong; in fact, the ability to do so is more likely to afford you a higher level of respect from your team. Humility is also characterized in how you treat others; the best leaders treat others as equals and show everyone the same respect.
#5. Offer Praise and Encouragement
In a business setting, team members may often need praise and encouragement when working on a task. Instead of simply expecting their employees to ‘get on with it’, a good leader knows when to check in and offer supportive, feedback, and constructive advice, along with praise where due for exceptional work and dedication.
#6. Be Honest and Open
A good leader fully understands the importance of involving their team in as many decisions as possible and being completely transparent about the process. Nobody wants to work for somebody who doesn’t keep them in the loop about the developments that they are working on or keeps them in the dark about important decisions that will affect them. Being honest and open is the way to go when it comes to being recognized as an effective leader.
#7. Be True to Your Word
When you think of a strong and respected leader, you will never think of somebody who is unreliable and doesn’t stay true to their word. Any good leader knows the utmost importance of making good on their promises, which is why they’ll only commit to something that they’re 100% sure of. Even if this means that you have to say no more often, you’ll earn more respect for it.
#8. Share Your Knowledge
Leaders today are in a unique position to share the knowledge and skills that they have amassed with others. When leading your team, don’t be afraid of offering mentorship, advice, and support when it comes to the subjects that you are highly knowledgeable about. The best leaders in business will frequently attend networking events – not only to meet with people that they can gain advice from but to help others by sharing what they know.
#9. Accept Feedback
Lastly, no good leader will ever be too proud to accept feedback and suggestions for improvement from their team. One of the most important qualities of good leadership is understanding the importance of continued learning, development, and growth throughout your personal and professional life. So, don’t avoid asking your team what they think – be open to feedback and act upon it when needed.
Managing a team of employees is a big step up when running your own business. Working on these nine leadership qualities will help you maintain a productive and satisfied workforce.