4 Tips for Effective and Inspiring Business Leadership in Uncertain Times
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: December 9, 2010, 4:05 am
- Updated: May 15, 2013, 10:06 am
We live in unstable times with many businesses experiencing disruptive change.
Change isn't always a bad thing, but with employees putting in more hours and taking on more responsibilities, change can quickly become an ever-tightening noose around the neck of your business - unless it's properly managed.
As humans we don't always welcome change - it brings uncertainty, stress, and can lead even the most loyal of employees to question their dedication to your business.
Tha's why unstable times require honest and true leadership.
With strong leadership, your business and its employees will become more agile and resilient to change. Without it, employees quickly become disgruntled, lose interest and quietly plan their exit.
Here are some leadership assessment resources, as well as some tips that can help you become an inspiring leader for your business and your team.
1) Are you a Good Leader?
How do you know whether you are a good leader? How do people inside and outside your business view your leadership skills? Are you the kind of person that people want to follow?
Most business owners have some experience of managing employees, but being a good manager and a good leader are two different things. While a manager can assign tasks, assess performance, and reward achievement, a leader must inspire, bring meaning to the bigger business picture and always have an eye on nurturing employee potential.
Here are a couple of resources that can help you assess your leadership skills, as well as understand how the rest of your business network sees you!
- Quick Assessment: This quiz from SCORE ''What is Your Leader Quotient?'' can give you a quick insight into how your leadership skills stack up or whether they need brushing up.
- 360 Leadership Scorecard' For a more in-depth assessment of your leadership skills, Entrepreneurship.org*, a Kauffman Foundation site, offers up this handy Leadership Scorecard*. It starts with a quick questionnaire format to help you rate your leadership skills, but also includes a 360 assessment form that you can give to employees, contractors, partners, etc. to help you get honest feedback. Using the feedback you can assess discrepancies, and make changes accordingly.
2) What is Stopping you from Reaching Your Leadership Potential?
It's no mean feat running a business and sometimes it's just impossible to find time to surface from the day-to-day and emerge as a visible and trusted leader. This is just one of the signs that you are not reaching your leadership potential. This free on-demand webinar from SCORE, entitled *Fearless Leadership, discusses the eight dangers that may be preventing you from reaching your business potential.
3) Get Tips for Building a Team of Inspired Employees
The cornerstone of effective leadership is building relationships. And, in a small business where every team member has a contribution to make to the bottom line, your relationship with your employees is essential. In business, powerful teams not only drive results, they empower, challenge and motivate employees to learn, grow and participate in the collective success of the business itself.
But team building isn't easy, it means changing your leadership habits - from how you hire and incentivize employees, to how you give up some of the day-to-day business decision-making that you currently control.
For tips on leading and building an effective and inspired team that can survive the rigors and challenges that change brings, read Growing your Business as a Team: 10 Team Building Tips from the Real World of Small Business.
You might also want to check out this article on Recognizing Performance in a Tough Economy - How to Best Reward Stand-Out Employees.
4) Keep Leadership Cheat Sheets at Hand
Whether you recognize that you need to renew yourself as a leader, want to become more hands-on as a leader, or are seeking ways in which to meet your employees' expectations of a leader - you don't need to rush out and take a boot camp in leadership. Sometimes it just helps to step back and consider making simple changes to your leadership style.
A useful reference, for your back pocket, are these quick 5 Tips... leadership cheat sheets* from SCORE, that you can browse through for inspiration and ideas for ways to improve your leadership skills, and get more from your team.
- 5 Tips for Finding and Working with a Business Mentor
- Continuous Improvement Isn't Just for Big Business
- The Ultimate Guide to Hiring, Managing, and Nurturing your Small Business Team
- Get More from Your Team - 5 Employee Incentive Program Ideas that Pay Off
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government website.
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General small business tips and tricks.