Understanding the nature of leadership and applying its principles never stops for the successful business owner and effective manager. He or she must be on a path of never ending learning about this subject and must always be reflecting on and honing this highly valued craft.
This is one of the essential tasks integral to the building of a successful, integrated and powerful small business. This is because the ongoing development of the leadership skills in the people around us is paramount for our own success.
The people around us, including our employees, our families, our friends, our customers and our acquaintances, all benefit from our developing ourselves as exemplary leaders.
We lead when we evoke leadership skills in the people around us. Others can only be encouraged to do this if we ourselves are committed and dedicated to this ongoing growth and development in our own lives.
People around us need to see and experience leadership behavior that facilitates their ongoing prosperity and wellbeing. In seeking the wellbeing of others, we in fact enhance our own prosperity.
Listening, sharing ideas from a generous heart, having development road maps and plans, meeting with stimulating people, reading good books and literature, engaging a coach or mentor are all key components in developing the leader within.
In addition, there are three key elements that need to be in place to achieve mastery of the leadership craft. We have to adopt the right mindset. We have to possess an effective tool set, and we must be continually developing and practicing the skills associated with being a leader.
The Leadership Mindset
The leadership mindset of the successful, value-based business person is informed by the belief that he or she is here to serve a higher purpose. This purpose fires our personal sense of Mission and Vision and enables us to take responsibility for creating the quality world that we envisage. This picture we hold in our mind’s eye ensures that all our business activities are concentrated on achieving our overarching purpose.
A spirit of enthusiasm is engendered as we talk about our purpose and share our philosophy passionately and openly with others. In doing this, we gain greater clarity ourselves, and we develop an intensity of focus that helps us sort out what is important in reaching our goals.
The other crucial element of the leadership mindset is to recognize that leadership is a behavior and a function and is not merely a position of authority that we hold.
Leadership in the twenty-first century is often collegiate in nature. It is distributed and participative. We talk about effective leadership teams in the value-based business, and all results achieved are seen as part of a team effort.
The formal leader, embodied in the business owner and/or top manager, achieves what they do because they have the mind to gather the right people around them, and they work with and through these people so that together they get outstanding results.
Everyone in the value-based business is expected to take on the leadership mantle, as well as the personal responsibility for adopting the mindset.
The Leadership Tool Set
Once this mindset is understood and embodied by all of the people in your business, high performance is inevitable. Once having adopted this mindset, leaders in the high performing, successful business need a common set of tools to share information and communicate with each other clearly and effectively.
They know that they must have the tools that enable them to build their own self understanding and their understanding of others, within the ever changing complexity of concerns and relationships that exist in a business.
Effective communication and information sharing are critical to high performance leadership in business. The leadership tool set then must include self-awareness and interpersonal communication tools, within a framework that enables and supports the practical application of emotional intelligence in business.
The Leadership Skills Set
The business environment in its natural state stays ‘at rest’. I would suggest that in doing so, it is in fact going backwards. It only changes when we act on it or influence it. Unless we make it happen, it is not going to happen. Unless we act, nothing happens.
The key qualities of good leadership are in and around the ability to identify any gaps between what ‘is’ and what ‘should be’, and to be responsible for bridging those gaps. Leadership, in the end, is the ability to see what needs to be done and then to do it.
Leading and managing the people in our business are born out of this commitment and dedication to developing this skill in ourselves.
In conclusion, we find by having these three key elements in place in our business that we are well on the way to creating very powerful and sustainable leadership capabilities.
Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia’s leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients.