The day we open our business we start wearing many hats, making it easy to get caught up in our daily responsibilities. Focusing on leadership can be difficult when faced with the day to day challenges of operating a business.
The top three challenges I hear from business owners are
Business owners describe challenges as
- I can’t find good help
- Everything gets directed to me at work
- Things won’t get done right without me there
Great leaders look at these challenges not as external but as internal. They realize the skills needed to hire, delegate and be accountable can be developed. The choice to develop these skills or complain about the situation is up to you. Your mindset can be your competitive edge.
STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING AND ASSESSING THE POWER OF MINDSET
You can’t lead others until you start leading yourself. Leadership is about being an example.
Reviewing your values and beliefs help determine a fixed or growth mindset.
I either good at something or not good at something.
Failure is the limit of my abilities. I give up.
I can develop skills and become good at something.
Failure is my opportunity to learn and grow.
Having Mental Toughness: The ability to be flexible and adaptable during challenge while focusing on the goal to improve, is key to leadership.
Empathy – Realizing that we will all have setbacks and allowing yourself to have a bad day. Knowing that a bad day doesn’t affect your ability to grow and develop.
STEP 2: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO CHALLENGE YOU
Do you enjoy challenging yourself to learn and grow or do you procrastinate and continually find yourself putting our fires as confirmation that you are needed?
People who have a growth, mindset tend to surround themselves with supportive people who will challenge them. Their tribe or go-to group. Who are your 5 or 10 people?
People who have fixed mindset find it easy to come up with a list of excuses. The downside is living with regret because you never gave it your best shot.
STEP 3: FOCUS ON BEING YOUR BEST
I have been coaching, mentoring, and speaking with small business owners for decades, and here is what I know. Everyone who has a great leader in their life understands the impact a great leader can make. Yet, most owners don’t realize what it takes. Here are five things to keep in mind as you develop your leadership skills.
Consistency: You know where great leaders stand. They have systems in place, and you can count on them. They aren’t wishy washy on rules.
Support: Great leaders give you the resources and tools needed to develop, do your best and be your best.
Accountability (Realistic): Great leaders don’t blindside you. They don’t ask for unrealistic results. They know what you are capable of to push and challenge you.
Listening: You feel heard and know that your thoughts and ideas are valued. Even if every idea isn’t implemented, great leaders appreciate contributions and value collaboration.
Transparency: Great leaders ask for help, admit to their mistakes and don’t take credit for someone else’s work.
“Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding, or excelling at a task or towards an objective or a performance outcome that you set out to achieve.”
YOUR COMPETATIVE EDGE
Best advice I can give on leadership is be the example. Emulate the behavior you are looking for in others. Be consistent, supportive, accountable, empathetic and transparent.
Be flexible and adaptable when challenge happens. We’re all capable of more than we realize.
The example will rub off on the people who strive to be better. The challenge is the people who don’t seem to model the example. Many owners get caught up in trying to fix or help these people. I’ve learned over the years that you can’t take ownership of someone else’s success or happiness. If you find you care more about it than they do, it’s a sign to move on.
From our earliest childhood memories, we’ve looked up to people we view as leaders to guide, encourage, and support us while keeping us accountable.
There is a leader in each of us. How good of a leader you become will depend on your choice to develop your leadership skills and tap into your leader within.
I enjoy connecting with achievers. If you have questions on this article you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org