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Almost anyone can run a business.
They’ll hire a few employees and simply delegate everything, ordering people around. It’s what they’re paid for, right? That doesn’t mean the business owner is actually being a leader, however. Far from it. At best, they’re being a terrible manager.
If any of the above rings a bell, you might want to be better at actually leading your company. You’ll want ways to become a better business leader. Figuring this out is far less complicated than you might think. While you’ll still need to put some work into it, seven strategies to becoming a better business leader can be helpful.
You’ll not only see benefits for the company, but you’ll improve relations between you and your employees. It also boasts multiple other benefits, including:
Increasing employee retention
Improving employee morale
Attracting better-quality employees
Encouraging better-quality work
It’s worth diving into what these strategies are.
Focusing on professional development lets you and your employees get better at everything over time. You should focus on adult learning principles with this. What are adult learning principles? They’re the basic premise of how people learn later in life.
By focusing on these, you help your employees do their jobs better. You’ll see an increase in productivity, output, and even morale. It’ll benefit your employees personally and the business overall, so there’s no reason not to have professional development initiatives at work.
You’ll interact with your employees constantly, so you shouldn’t be cold or distant with them. While you’ll need to keep things professional, you should take the time to connect with them. Get to know them personally and know their interests, goals, and motivations.
The better you connect with employees, the better you can tailor your leadership style to them. They’re humans, after all, so treat them as such. Doing this lets you develop a strong, personal relationship with them. In time, that lets them get more comfortable with bringing ideas and feedback to you.
No matter how carefully you plan out your operations, surprises will come up and not all of these will be positive. These can naturally lead to negative emotions and thoughts, but how you handle these shows an awful lot about your leadership. You’ll need to react positively and in the right way to be a good business leader.
Whether it’s a small mistake or something major, keeping a positive mindset and dealing with the situation appropriately is vital. If an employee makes a minor mistake, for example, there’s no point in yelling and taking your emotions out on them. That’ll be a terrible thing to do.
Instead, focus on helping them address the situation and learn from the experience. It’ll not only make sure they avoid the situation in the future, but makes them feel better about what happened. They’ll be less likely to feel terrible about their job, which could lead to them wanting to leave the company. Respond the right want, and everyone will be all the better for it.
Everyone needs to know what’s expected of them, and that’s especially true at work. You’ll need to be clear with what you want your employees to do and how they should do it. Be sure to set these from the start.
Make sure to put the effort into encouraging feedback and questions when you’re doing this. If you don’t, it could lead to confusion and mistakes being made, which you’ll naturally want to avoid. You should also review your expectations regularly to make sure they’re realistic and achievable for each employee.
Delegating tasks is a large part of having employees. It’s the main reason you would’ve hired them, after all. That doesn’t mean ordering them around, which is more of what a terrible manager would do. By teaching them how to do what you want them to do, you’ll do a much better job of delegating.
Your employees will also do their job better, as they’ll know exactly how to do it. While this takes more of a patient approach, it saves a lot of time and hassle in the long-term. Don’t just focus on what needs to be done with this. Instead, focus on how you specifically want them to do it. It saves a lot of time and confusion while preventing mistakes.
It could even be worth getting them professional lessons in certain areas, as mentioned above. The better prepared someone is to do their job, the better they can do it. It’s a much better option than simply barking orders at them until they get it right.
Feedback is essential to running a successful business, but you shouldn’t get this just from your customers. You should also get feedback from your employees spanning a wide range of areas. Start by focusing on how you’re doing as a leader and whether you could be doing anything better.
Make sure your employees can be open and honest about this. Getting feedback anonymously could be a great way of doing this if employees are unsure about it. You should make sure they’re as comfortable as possible when they’re doing this. The more feedback you get, the better you can change and adapt.
You can become the leader your employees expect you to be. You’ll be able to manage your employees much better because of this. At the same time, aim to get feedback on how the business itself is running. Are processes time-consuming and cumbersome? Could they be done better?
Your employees are in a perfect position to answer these questions and highlight what can be done about it. Getting this feedback lets you streamline and improve your business.
Communication is one of the most vital parts of running a business. It goes far beyond simply telling your employees what you want them to do, however. Make sure there’s an open line of communication between you and your employees. They should feel comfortable speaking to you about problems and issues.
Honesty and transparency are vital to this. While this seems complicated, it’s far from it. By being straightforward and clear while encouraging employees to share, you shouldn’t have a problem with this. It could also be worth customizing your communication style based on specific situations.
Focusing on what your employees respond to best is recommended for this. They’re people, after all, so take the time to treat them as such. The better they can speak with you, the better your company will run. It encourages them to share ideas, which could benefit your company more than you’d think.
As effective as each of the above ways to become a better business leader are, they mightn’t be enough for some entrepreneurs. Some could use a few extra tips and tricks. Thankfully, there are countless leadership tips to take advantage of, with some being more effective than others.
Some of the most notable of these include:
Be Self-Aware - The more aware you are of your skills, strengths, and weaknesses, the more you can actually use them. Play to your strengths while finding ways to minimize your weaknesses. Delegate tasks you know employees are better at, and make sure you’re humble and admit your imperfections.
Be Fair - Being fair and treating everyone equally shows you’re a good business leader. Make sure everyone follows the same rules. You can be fair in multiple ways when running a business, such as being honest and treating people the way you want to be treated.
Work With Your Team - Many business owners believe they’re above their employees because they own the company. While that’s the case on paper, it doesn’t mean you should treat them as such. Instead of working above your team, work with them. Do the same tasks they do and show them you don’t believe you’re above them.
Using some of the most effective ways to become a better business leader and combining them with a few tips and tricks makes sure you can run your business the right way. You’ll see quite a difference in daily operations, as well as the long-term.
Actually being a leader in your company can seem complicated, and it’s definitely not as simple as delegating tasks and ordering people around. By using a few top ways to become a better business leader, you can make it much easier for yourself. Coupled with a few tips and tricks, it’ll be easier than you’d expect.
Connecting with team members, using open communication, and having a positive attitude - among other strategies - will all help with this. While you’ll naturally need to put some effort into this, it’ll pay off dividends for your company. It’ll run more smoothly, and you’ll even see better relationships at work.
There’s no reason not to put the work in.
Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.
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