John F. Kennedy was a successful democratic leader. When Kennedy handled the Bay of Pigs situation, he gave everyone in his circle a voice. The way he made decisions had changed decision-making for the modern era.2
Some might say Hitler was a good leader as he lead millions of people to think in the same distorted way as he did but ultimately it was not the right direction for the German’s to go and he killed himself.
Scouller proposed the Three Levels of Leadership model, which was later categorized as an “Integrated Psychological” theory on the Businessballs education website. In essence, his model aims to summarize what leaders have to do, not only to bring leadership to their group or organization, but also to develop themselves technically and psychologically as leaders.
As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,1 his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.2 Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!
I wasn’t too bad at firing people when they were negligent, and I mostly handled them well. In most cases, I went through all the proper steps to build consensus first with HR, create a paper trail to show how I had tried to work through the issues with the employee, and address problems head-on. Yet, I can recall a few instances when I should have moved even faster on the dismissal. Why? Because those troublemakers were bringing down the team as a whole. As a leader, I should have protected my employees more.
But did you know there’s a big difference between being a boss and being a leader ? For example, are you standing over your colleague making sure he isn’t messing up that spreadsheet you sent over? Or, are you sending over the assignment and making yourself available for any questions that may arise?
Write down your own leadership skills and list some examples in which you demonstrated these skills successfully. Maybe if it wasn’t for your conflict resolution skills, the cooperation with your new advertising agency would have failed at the last minute. Ideally, if you are applying for a management position, you would have already gained some experience in staff management. You may have already coordinated a team or headed a department when your superior was out sick. Write down your successes and present the facts: “Over the last three months, I headed the “Marketing Innovation” project, comprised of nine members. I was not only responsible for the coordination of the project, but also the delegation of the responsibilities. Through regular meetings and feedback sessions with staff, I managed to resolve problems and conflicts at an early stage to optimize individual processes. This way, I could bring the project to completion, even three weeks earlier than scheduled.” Have no doubt when it comes to your leadership potential!
Set a timeline for when you want to achieve your objective. If you don’t know when you will achieve your objective by, then it’s hard to know whether you have failed. Give yourself a timeline that is difficult but doable. Winning a Tour de France from scratch in two years is not reasonable, but booking a comedy gig in front of at least 20 paying customers probably is.
Get to know your team and learn from them: Getting to know your employees builds loyalty and trust and lets them know that you care about their personal well-being. As that trust builds, it opens up lines of communication that can prove valuable, especially with making strategic decisions. Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you have all the answers.
Identify potential mentors who have similar values, then have casual meetings with them to find the one with whom you have good rapport. Be prepared to explain what you hope to learn, why you value their insight and expertise, and what you bring to the relationship.
Merkel may be the most successful national leader in the world today. She is, practically speaking, the leader of the European Union, which as a whole is the world’s largest economy, and Merkel has held that position for almost nine years. She played the lead role in managing Europe’s debt crisis, keeping the EU intact while setting even Greece on the road to recovery.
You can’t just “talk a good game” to be a leader; you need to act and to be seen as taking effective action for the good of your small business. My article, Quick-Start Business Planning, is one example of how you can quickly put together an action plan for your small business.
The only way that you can learn is from mistakes, but don’t make lot of mistakes yourself, this will take you years to learn. Instead learn from other’s mistakes, read books of successful people and learn their mistakes and don’t do what they did wrong.
The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.
The most successful organizations often have a mix of these leadership styles for teams and deliverables. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The important thing is to understand where you fall, what your achievements and drawbacks are, and how you can grow or most benefit your team by considering adapting a slightly different leadership style.
Understanding your current leadership style is essential. What are your strengths? Which areas need some improvement? One way to start assessing your skills is to take this leadership style quiz to get a general idea of how you lead.
Who comes to mind when you think of great leaders? Dynasty’s formidable business woman, Alexis Colby, originally inspired me to pursue dreams and set up my own company. Yet, we all know it takes more than flashy hats, big hair and a kick-ass attitude to successfully lead a team in the real world.
Simply put, proper rest keeps you alert, energized, and well balanced throughout the day. The moment we start skimming from our sleep, we rob ourselves of essential hormones and neurotransmitters we need to function well during our awake time.
Thank them for a great class. On the last day of class, bring them a special treat, or write them a note to say how much you’ve enjoyed having them in the classroom. This will make your classroom experience end on a positive note and will show what a great leader you are.
Thinking that you lack resources: In my book How i did it i explained how i managed to make a website that generates thousands of dollars/month in less than 2 years with an initial investment that is less than 50 dollars!! Don’t fool yourself by thinking that you lack resources because if you are serious about success you will do it without having any resources. This website is one of the examples of successful businesses that required no resources at the start up.
Networking at the highest level is important in providing a fresh current of resource inputs for the organization, be it talent, ideas, material inputs, customers, information, markets, and more. Networking is not just for, actually, not even primarily for, making sales. [More on networking here]
Be firm, but be kind. Since you’re leading, you’re the one that needs to set the rules and boundaries. It’s up to you to establish some system, rhyme and reason to the situation. To do so, you must be firm in your convictions and keep to your stance. However, being dictatorial will instigate a revolution. Be logical and understanding when you assert your rule.
Given the prevailing business climate, and in the UK the lengthy period of instability and change the country faces as it moves towards Brexit, it is likely that the pressures will only increase. This will pose further challenges to the ability of leaders in all sectors to act “with purpose”, yet the requirement to do so has never been more pressing.
But you can’t be a leader just by saying you are one. Leadership needs to be worked at. Transform yourself into the kind of leader your small business needs with these five keys to business leadership.