How you choose to lead as a business runner is personal to you, but it should always take into account the best values of your business and the people working within it. It doesn’t matter whether your business is a new startup or a huge, established corporation; good leadership is always essential — and can often mean the difference between success and failure. That’s why the best leaders will be able to inspire the best out of people, as well as the best out of business.
What Does it Mean to be a Business Leader? 5 Boss vs. Leader Examples
Being a business leader means leading your brand to success in many different ways, both for yourself and through the motivation of your staff. Being a business leader doesn’t mean simply starting and running a business, as there is so much more to it in terms of research, problem-solving, strategies, and key characteristics.
So how can you define yourself as a leader and not simply a boss?
- A boss will tell their employees what to do. A leader will work to help employees understand why they’re doing it and show them how.
- Bosses can be experts in their field and business running. However, only leaders will be able to connect with people and manage their employees and business affairs.
- Bosses only care about results. Leaders will work to help employees achieve goals and success alongside business results.
- Bosses may be quick to place blame for mistakes. Leaders will help to fix mistakes and help build employees’ confidence to avoid mistakes.
- Bosses depend on their title of authority. Leaders can lead, regardless of their title or position in the hierarchy, by inspiring others and working their way to business success.
How to be a Better Business Leader
Whether you’re a boss looking to be a better leader, or if you’re starting a new business and wanting to be the best leader you can be from the very beginning, here is a guide for how you can accomplish that.
Get to Know Yourself, and Your Own Leadership Style
Good leaders work for the respect of their employees and help employees understand how they work and progress. If you don’t know your own business style too well, getting to know yourself is a good place to start so that others can get to know your leadership style, too.
Leaders often work in different ways, so it’s important to find a style that works for you and what you’re trying to achieve. Some leaders may best inspire by getting directly involved and leading by doing. Others may be more creative and visual in their business goals.
Exploring how best you lead and what style works most effectively for your own business setting will be important.
Be Flexible and Open to Trial and Error
Even if you develop a leadership style you’re sure will work, you may find over time and through practice that your business setting requires a different style. It may be that employees learn better in a different way from what you thought or have provided feedback on your leadership style.
Listening to feedback and being open to change, especially when something isn’t working, is important. Being a good leader doesn’t mean getting it absolutely right from the beginning — it may take time to learn as you go, and learn more about your business and staff team, to know what the best fit might be. Being a good leader can mean understanding your mistakes or what’s not working and taking steps to rectify them.
Don’t Neglect Your Qualifications
Being able to lead effectively can also depend on how much you know and how much experience you have. While knowledge and qualifications aren’t everything, they can help set you up as the best example for others and share key skills for the good of your business. Business- and people-centered qualifications will help you build the experience and confidence to lead in this type of setting, such as a doctor of business administration qualification.
Set Your Goals
Every business will need goals to work towards, but leaders need to know these in order to decide on what the best steps are to achieve them. It’s difficult to lead if you don’t know what you’re leading towards. Setting business goals should always be about short-term and long-term success, developing, learning and strategy.
Knowing your business’s mission is key so that you can translate that to your staff and through everything you do.
Develop Your People Skills
With this, there should be a big focus on empathy and compassion. In order to effectively lead others, you need to be able to understand them and also show sensitivity when it matters most. To get the best out of people so that you can work towards business success, it’s important to understand them on a more personal level and know how to get the best out of them as individual people.
There are many ways you can work to do this, depending on your style of leadership. You may have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with your staff, such as working within an office with them, or you may want to take time for better communication, like business meetings or one-to-one conversations.
The more flexible and understanding you are, the more employees can grow to respect you and work hard for what you’d like to achieve together.
Being a better leader is often about the journey and not the destination. While results and goals are always key in business, it’s about learning how to get there, drive the best from your employees, and develop strategies that work. Focusing too much on results in the quickest amount of time can lead to a more detached working environment and serve to distance you from your team of employees.
Instead, inspire and motivate your team as individual people and develop your own skills to make your business a long-term success.