5 Historical Leadership Lessons for the Small Business Owner
Take a lesson from some of the greatest leaders in history to take your small business to the next level.
If you're a small business owner, you're also a leader. It doesn't matter if you run a one-person show or if you employ dozens of employees, you're in the captain's seat for your business.
But you also know that being a leader isn't always easy. However, history can be a great teacher when it comes to learning how to boost your leadership skills. Many of the greatest leaders in the world all share these five common traits and habits that you can also use to help you lead your business in a strong direction tomorrow - and the days after tomorrow.
- Be Honest
As the old adage goes, honesty is always the best policy, especially when considering the logistics of small business ownership. If you lay all the cards on the table, the path for your next decision can become vibrantly clear. When faced with a hint of doubt about a business decision, a flood of unabashed honesty can be a great equalizer, especially when consulting and leading yourself.
- Surround Yourself with the Smartest People in the Room
Presidents have their cabinets. Generals have their colonels. No leader goes it alone. It's a bit of a cliche, but if you want to be the best, you have to surround yourself with the best. Successful leaders acknowledge any shortcomings in their knowledge base and skill set, and then fill those gaps with the smartest subject matter experts available.
- Delegation Gets Things Done
What good is surrounding yourself with the smartest people in the room if you insist on doing all the heavy lifting yourself? Part of being a successful leader is learning to let go and holding others accountable for the task at hand. If you were smart in your hiring, your company should see great results.
- Two-Way Communication is King
As a small business owner, there should be no doubt that you are the voice of your company. However, even though you can talk about your business inside and out, great leaders also tend to be great listeners as well. Keeping your ears open to your employees, customers, and your competition is an easy way to stay a step or two ahead of any potential pitfalls on your path to success.
- Planning Reduces Failing
Think about the day-to-day fire drills your small business experiences. Now take a moment to think about any habits you could get into to avoid repetitive panic. Proper short- and long-term planning for your business, even small things, like pre-scheduling office supply deliveries, can help you later. Think about things you can do today to be better prepared for tomorrow.