For many of us, we are our business – whether we call ourselves the business owner, director or solopreneur, we are the person that makes the difference.
So how could you impact your business success if you recognized and developed your leadership potential? Your reluctance to increase your prices, the client who expects you to be available 24/7, the team member who is demotivated; these are all leadership issues.
Effective leadership is key to the success of any enterprise and if you’re not leading your business then who is? None of us operate in a vacuum and our success depends on others. You may have a small team or there are relationships with clients, contractors and suppliers where your leadership and influence can make or break the business.
Perhaps you feel none of this is relevant to you, but guess what? You are already leading! As the business owner in those relationships, how you behave, what you prioritize is being ‘watched’; the signals you give out are telling your team and other key business partners how to respond to you. So if you keep letting your supplier deliver late, you are leading them to believe it’s acceptable, when in fact it may be having serious consequences on your service. They are taking their cue from you – some of that may work but some may be leading to failure. So wouldn’t it be useful to look at your leadership and identify what does and doesn’t work, then you can decide what to do about it.
If you can lead yourself, you can lead others
So how can you become more effective as a leader? Whatever your business situation there is one important person you need to lead and that is yourself.
We are often the person that gets in the way of our success because how we see ourselves, what we believe is possible for us and the business, directly impacts the results we achieve as well as our business relationships.
By understanding why you are the way you are, and clarifying what is most important to you, your true leadership will start to emerge. That self-awareness will in turn offer greater insight into the people around you. From that insight you will develop your natural influence, which is a key part of becoming an effective leader.
True leadership is about building relationships with others, which is why your relationship with yourself is so important. For example, if you don’t take the lead and manage your boundaries with that demanding client, that will impact your other clients, quality of service and your self-esteem.
Start by asking yourself these three questions
- Who are you as a leader?
- Who do you want to be as a leader?
- How are you stopping yourself becoming the leader you want to be?
If your business success really does depend on you, can you afford not to invest in your leadership?
photo credit: deathtothestockphoto