Leadership is a crucial aspect of any industry. It is believed that the success or failure of any business endeavor rides solely on the shoulders of the leaders.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or services. If your leadership is not performing at a high capacity, then your business will be, at best, mediocre.
Imagine if you had the best bidet ever known to man or maybe the most technologically advanced car, and yet your managers have no plans, strategies, or initiative to market the product. Even if you have a product that’s top of the line, you won’t make conversions.
On the flip side, a small company that offers average or just above-average products and services but has a really brilliant leadership team will sell their products like pancakes. That’s how important a role leadership has to play in a business organization.
10 Strategic Leadership Principles for Business Owners
1. Learn to delegate responsibilities, not just tasks.
One of the things that sometimes fail a leader is not trusting people enough to give them bigger responsibilities. In most cases, only tasks are assigned. If you want your people to grow, you need to give them responsibilities that will put them in a position to take ownership of the responsibility and, in essence, the entire business.
2. Be transparent at all times
Many businesses run their organization like a secret agency, giving information only on a need-to-know basis. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it shows that you don’t trust your people enough with sensitive information.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying that you disclose everything about the company to everyone. You need to learn how to be transparent and more trusting with your people. If they have questions or concerns, answer them honestly without being reckless with information. Transparency earns people’s trust. And you cannot lead without it.
3. Brainstorm and test ideas.
One of the good qualities of a leader is his ability to accommodate other people’s ideas and be willing to test them out. You need to acknowledge that you won’t always have the answer and working with a team can generate more and better ideas that will benefit the business.
4. Provide a safe environment for failing forward.
As you collaborate with your people and test ideas, make sure you give them enough room for failure. There are risks to trying stuff out. Not all ideas are 100% foolproof.
Sometimes they work, other times they won’t. The important thing is everyone learns something from it and does their best to make improvements the next time. Failure will only be a complete failure if no lessons are learned. ;
5. Create opportunities for growth.
Other than allowing your people to fail forward, give them other opportunities for growth as well. Give them bigger responsibilities. Put them in charge of major projects. Make them lead teams. Send them to conferences and seminars to feed their minds and inspire growth in them.
There are a lot of opportunities for your people to grow. You need to be aware of which ones are right for them.
6. Hire to make an impact, not just for results.
When it comes to hiring people, don’t just hire out of need. Many companies have higher attrition and turnover rates with very low employee longevity because of a need-basis hiring process.
A wise manager will always be on the lookout to hire the right people, the ones that will help you grow your company and help your business transform lives and society.
Be patient with the hiring process and exercise wisdom and discernment.
7. Do not make business your top priority.
While running your business and making sure everything is in order, making it your priority can do it more harm than good. Studies have shown that those people who tend to prioritize their families over their careers are more productive at work, more successful, and bring home a larger paycheck than those who make their work and business their entire world.
8. Constantly reflect and evaluate yourself and your performance.
Evaluating and assessing your business’ performance is something that should be done regularly. It makes you and your team aware of the things you’re doing right and what your areas for improvement are.
However, it shouldn’t stop there. You should also, as a leader, take the time to constantly evaluate yourself and not just your performance. When we talk about performance, we’re talking purely about things involved with work. Go beyond work and take time to reflect on how you’re doing not just as a boss but as a person. How are you treating the people around you? Are you leading with compassion, or are you becoming a distant dictator? Remember that being professional should never get in the way of being relational.
9. Make leadership development an ongoing thing.
A leader in the workplace can learn a thing or two from church planters regarding leadership development.
One of the things that are commendable with church planters is that more than doing groundbreaking work, they lead people with the idea of leaving. This keeps them in a constant leadership-development mode. They’re always on the lookout for the right people to engage, to establish, to equip, and to empower.
10. Work hard, then play hard.
After all is said and done, after all the hard work and toiling, you should also learn how to celebrate your victories with your team. All work and no play will make for a work environment that feels like a slave ship. However, if you take the time out to rejoice with your team over small victories or to schedule regular breaks with them, they will appreciate the break and come to work the next day relaxed, re-energized, and refocused, ready to take on the new challenges.
Plus, playtime at work makes it fun for your people, making them look forward to going to work always.
Remember that in life, everything rises and falls on leadership. Whether you lead a team, a whole company, or just yourself, keep in mind that lives depend on your leadership.