Friday, September 21, 2012

The Qualities of a Good Business Leader

Business owners are slowly being forced by today's fast-paced times to be a leader from which everyone else within the business can learn from. Gone are the days when owners hired people to do the dirty work for them as they sit as ceremonial heads. Today's really competent CEOs were once lower-level employees who know how to make a company run, and not just merely bark up instructions. The current trend is to have knowledgeable and competent company and business owners who cannot be given the runaround by employees.

So how does one become more of a "leader" and not just a mere "owner?" what are the skills you must master to be a better leader worthy of emulation? Here are the 4 basic skills you must master:

Develop your keen employee handling skills

In any company or business, the ability of a leader to handle his employees is the key to the most success. Why, because employees are those who altogether work together to better the entire company. They want the business to succeed just as you as business leader do. The company's triumph is their own personal triumph as well, because they know that every little bit of effort they made contributed to the entire company's success. Therefore, a good leader must learn how to keep his employees happy. He must always keep their best interests in mind - putting these on top of their own. There will be instances where he may encounter employees who do not like him, or do not desire to have a relationship other than work with him, but good employee handling skills include earning the respect of people even if you are not necessarily their favourite office person. As a good leader, you must keep the personal goals of your employees in mind as well. You must make time to listen to their inputs, in order to build a great working relationship together with them. Help them to feel needed and wanted within an organization. Never rule with an iron fist, because discipline that is gained from fear will fail as against discipline that is gained out of respect. Remember - it's always a give and take process.

Help your people to stay motivated

As a good leader, you must know how to keep your employees motivated especially during rough and difficult patches. Help them if they need it, show them you care about them. Do not give them too much work that you literally forcibly take their time to be with their own family members. Remember, your employees are people who have hearts and loved ones - they are not robots. They also will fall ill from time to time, and you need to understand their individual limitations. Show them that you care by sharing the blessings of the company with them. If they see that the company is doing enormously well, yet you do not offer to give them extra benefits or even a raise, then they will lose their motivation. Realise that they too need to advance for the sake of their self-esteem., promote them if they deserve it. Remember, when you help out others, you will reap much.

Be reachable and approachable.

How uneasy is it to work for someone whom you fear and cannot be at peace with? Someone who gets mad at the slightest innocent question, or someone who makes no effort to understand your uniqueness as a person? Put yourself in the shoes of an employee - if you refuse to be approached for matters other than pure business, like a family matter which affects work motivation, such as divorce, then how do you expect to endear yourself to your employees? Be ready to lend an ear when they need to explain to you why they may not be as efficient as they used to be. Be a coach when needed, and answer queries, especially if it's for the benefit of the company. Employees respond better to those they can trust, who sincerely want to help - one who is not too high up on his pedestal. Reality check - it's lonely to be alone up there.

Know how to find solutions to problems

Lastly, a good leader knows how to lead his people into excellence. He knows what to do, and how to do it. He does not rely on his employees for decisions which should be made by him. In short, a good leader knows what he's doing, and he still should be the most knowledgeable, even if his employees are really competent individuals. He can look at a problem and think of a good solution. And most of all, a good leader should never let his men down, especially when times hit hard.

Maybe buying a business is the easier step, but running it effectively is the harder task. Learn to be not just a mere provider of resources - exert every effort to understand your own company down to the last detail. Once you master this, then you know you are not just a business owner, but a great leader as well.

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