5 Top Leadership Tips for Small Businesses

September 24, 201911:26 am
Generic placeholder image

Every business faces a set of challenges and small businesses are no exception. In fact, the challenges are even greater when you’re running a small company, with the most common and concerning issue is the lack of leadership skills.

While not having multiple hierarchy levels can work against a business, it can also prove helpful. By acquiring the qualities of a good leader in the 21stcentury, small business owners can create a work environment that not only attracts top talent but also improves the productivity of existing employees.

Read on to find out the top tips that would help you evolve into an able leader.

Become a Servant Leader – The term ‘servant leadership’ was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his essay, The Servant as Leader. Servant leaders do not feel the need to assuage the desire of unusual power. They do what’s best for their team and create a work environment which is more just and more caring.

As a leader in a small business, you need to see beyond yours and the company’s interest. It’s important that your team feels cared for as this will not only increase productivity but also reduce turnover rate.

Develop Leaders – A great thing about leadership is that it doesn’t come with position or power. If you think that some members of your team reflect a few qualities of a good manager or leader, encourage leadership development in them. Always remember what the uber-famous and successful Ronald Reagan said, “A great leader is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

Encouraging and mentoring your team members will help you build a strong leadership pipeline in the company. Also, diverse skills and ideas will take your business up.

Practice Empathy – According to a Gallup poll, less than only a third of workers born between 1980 and 1996 feel connected to their companies.

It’s well known that empathy boosts employee motivation and engagement. So, here’s what you can do to make your employees feel that they are truly valued:

  • Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what can be done to make the workplace more positive for them.
  • Don’t push them to meet unrealistic expectations and deadlines.
  • Appreciate their work and efforts on a daily basis.

Stay Humble – Here’s a classic example of humility – Ratan Tata, a former chairman of Tata Sons, personally visited the families of his employees who were affected by 26/11.

Humility is associated with overlooking the status differences, admitting mistakes, and dropping the old stick of authority. But yet, it is an underrated leadership skill.  

Small acts of humanity can take you and your business a long way since they encourage trust between the employers and employees. Here are some top tips to help you get started:

  • Stay grounded and shift focus from yourself to your team.
  • Don’t refrain from apologizing if your decision-making lands the business in an unfavourable situation.
  • Understand that sometimes following the lead of others can solve more problems than expected.

Read a lot – Reading helps you avoid mistakes that others have made. Or at the least, it helps you stay prepared. Ask for recommendations of good leadership books and read at least 20 pages every day. For starters, get your hand on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

While these tips will help you bring order in your business, great leadership qualities come with constant improvisation. So, keep looking for ways to evolve into a better human being and an even better leader.

Author Bio

Liliana Chitnis is a former HR professional who now works as a content marketing executive at NamanHR, an organization that offers end-to-end HR solutions to help companies build a strong human capital base. She strongly believes in the power of consistent training in the workplace. Liliana writes about various topics related to human resources and shares trends, techniques, and tips with her readers. She loves to read and practice yoga regularly, and occasionally binge on Netflix.