Small business owners often find themselves, seemingly by accident, in the role of leader. Having the responsibility for training, motivating, and getting results from a team can seem like an overwhelming task, but leadership is another aspect of business which, although it may not be your natural strength, must be considered and can definitely be improved upon. Leadership

So, here’s our brief guide to leadership in business. What is it, who does it, and how can you be better at it?

What is leadership?
It’s leading a group of people, and having the responsibility of getting the best out of them. Merriam Webster describes it as “the office or position of a leader; capacity to lead”. The word which will ring alarm bells there is most likely ‘capacity.’

It implies that leaders have an innate, natural ‘capacity’ or aptitude for leadership. While it may be the case that some people possess a better foundation of skills for leadership than others, there are still plenty of ways that you can learn to be the best possible leader you can be.

What makes a great leader?
It is important to recognise that there is no one specific leadership style which is universally accepted as the best or most effective. But there are some leadership traits which have been singled out as being helpful.

One desirable leadership quality is emotional intelligence. Being able to identify with team members through empathy, motivation, self-awareness, self-regulation and social skill are important.

Communication is also key. This article, a very useful one about how previously bad leaders have gone about improving, suggests that effective communication is one of the skills which has the biggest payoff for leadership improvement. It is rarely the case that anybody feels that they or their leaders communicate too much.

teamCan you become a great leader?
Some might believe that leaders are born, not made. Well, that’s simply untrue. There are plenty of articles online offering advice on leadership (see below), and many more leadership training courses which will equip you with the tools and information you need to feel confident as a leader.

How can you learn leadership?
The Growth Accelerator programme not only provides funding towards coaching, but also funding towards leadership and management training. Having formal training sessions dedicated to honing the skill of leadership will help identify what you are already doing right and what needs improvement. Contact us to find out more.

Leadership articles: further reading

Harvard Business Review – How Poor Leaders Became Good Leaders

Business Zone – 4 Common Myths About Leadership 

The Fresh Air Learning Company – Forget the Potholes, Lengthen the Road 

Harvard Business Review – Management is (Still) Not Leadership