Ad: Running a business is far from easy. As an entrepreneur, you will be required to wear many different hats, which will hold you accountable for a variety of responsibilities from money management to business development and marketing. As your venture grows and you begin to see some cash flow, these tasks can become overwhelming, to the point that you simply can’t handle the workload yourself. At this point, well-developed leadership skills are critical. With that in mind, here are 14 things that you can do to become an empowered business leader.
Become an empowered entrepreneur:
Get more sleep
Learn from successful entrepreneur Arianna Huffington. Arianna Huffington was surviving on three or four hours’ sleep a night, which might sound pretty typical for many CEOs. She was “more irritable, more reactive, less present and absolutely less joyful in my life. When I’m sleep deprived, I tend to focus on what is not working rather than what is working.” Back in 2007 Arianna collapsed and woke up in a pool of her own blood with a broken cheekbone. Her doctors declared her as exhausted. Following her “wake up call” Arianna has become a champion for getting more sleep and has written a book ‘Thrive‘ on the subject.
(Photo: Ben Baker/Redux)
Focus On Your Strengths
When your workload begins to get overwhelming, you shouldn’t try to deal with it all on your own. This will only lead to stress, exhaustion and eventually burn out, which is sure to harm both you and your business. Instead, you need to focus on the things that you do best and delegate everything else. If you’re not in the position to hire full-time staff at the moment, then outsource to freelancers and agencies instead. You can also automate certain repetitive tasks.
Hire The Right Help
Delegating is a beneficial practice, you must make sure that you hire the right people for your business. Make sure that you invest time and money into advertising positions within your company, as well as designing an effective hiring process. As well as hiring the right team, you might also find it valuable to hire a Coach like Elizabeth Cairns to advise and guide you on throughout the process of becoming an empowered entrepreneur.
Lead By Your Example
Being the leader doesn’t mean that you should work over your team. In fact, many of the best leaders work alongside the people they lead at least some of the time. Expecting your employees to complete work that you would never do can cause a disconnect between you and them, which is likely to cause issues down the line. To fully understand your team and how to lead them well, you must be willing to get your hands dirty at times and do the jobs you would rather avoid.
Share The Company Vision
It’s difficult to achieve anything, especially in business, without clear goals in mind. This is why all of the most successful entrepreneurs have clear visions for their companies. They know exactly what success looks like to them, as well as the steps to take to get there. However, they also communicate this information with their employees. Although you may feel as though your team needn’t or shouldn’t know your goals, it’s important that they do so that they can stay motivated.
Empower The Whole Team
Employees have to feel confident in their abilities, or they simply won’t work as hard. Because of this, it’s crucial that you empower your team by providing the tools and training that they need to do their jobs correctly. You must also ensure that you hire individuals with the right qualifications and experience. Providing additional learning opportunities, like classes and seminars, and rewards for hard work, with show your team that you appreciate and believe in them too.
Understand Nobody Is Perfect
Nobody is immune from making the odd mistake now and then. As a business owner, you will have likely made more than your fair share in recent years. Because of this, you can’t expect the members of your team to be perfect. Although you should strive for perfection, you can’t get angry or punish your employees when they do something wrong. Instead, explain to them how they made a mistake and show them how to avoid doing things wrong the next time around.
(Image: Brene Brown)
Reflect On Your Mistakes
It’s beneficial for everyone that you are open about your flaws and reflect on mistakes. Instead of ignoring the mistakes that you’ve made and pretending that they didn’t happen, you should reflect on what you did wrong and “embrace the suck” then you can figure out how to do better. By owning up like this, you can help your team to avoid making the same errors, as well as show your honesty. Reseach Professor and Author Brene Brown has studied the importance of walking through vulnerability to reach courage, Brown’s most recent book is the culmination of a seven-year study on the future of leadership.
Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser is a book dedicated to how difficult times can make us grow. Lesser is the Founder of the Omega Institute, a Women’s Leadership Centre focused on wellness and spirituality, but her book isn’t just for New Age types, insists Forbes‘s Liz Elting. “It’s all about using moments of failure and hurt to spark positive growth and change,” she writes, and “that’s an invaluable skill — and mindset really — for any business woman to develop.”
Remain Up To Date
With a workforce and an entire business depending on you, you can’t afford to fall behind on the times. When your knowledge becomes so outdated that it’s no longer useful, it puts everything you’ve worked for at risk. With that in mind, you should find ways to keep upgrading yourself. You could read a new business book each month, for example, or take a business management associates online. You could also find a mentor who can help you to broaden your horizons.
British CEO-turned-entrepreneur Helena Morrissey’s book looks at why now is ‘A Good Time to be a Girl’ In it she “declares that women should be reinventing the system rather than simply ‘leaning in’ to an outdated one,” explains The Independent.
Keep Your Door Open
Sometimes you’ll be able to spot problems in your business from a mile away, but other times they will go unnoticed by you until they cause some serious damage. This is why it’s so important that you create an open and honest working environment. If employees feel like they can talk to you about anything, then they’ll notify you of issues when they arise. Introducing an open door policy and a suggestions box shows your team that you are always willing to listen. As a CEO coach Kim Scott has worked with top companies like Dropbox and Twitter. In Kim’s book ‘Radical Candor: Being a Kick Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity’ she shares a framework that shows how to be both a better boss and a better colleague, teaching leaders how to give feedback, listen effectively, dole out praise, and walk the line between being a pushover and being a jerk.
Offer Regular Constructive Feedback
For the greatest successes, you are going to need a team of employees that are constantly working to improve themselves. However, they won’t know how to do this unless you review their work. For this reason, you should plan annual reviews where you inform individuals of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as follow up on any targets you may have set them. If goals haven’t been met, working with your team to find out why, rather than dishing out punishments.
Manage Your Stress Levels
The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. With so much to do each day and so little time to get it done, you’re going to become stressed now and then. This can be an issue for your mental and physical health, but, when you start to take your stresses on your team, it becomes their problem too. This is why finding ways to manage your stress is so important. There are many different ideas for you to try out, from exercise and meditation to painting and coloring.
Make Time For Yourself
Being a good leader doesn’t mean being all business all the time. With so many responsibilities and so much pressure, you need to take a step back now and then to get away from it all. Take some time for yourself to spend with family and friends, pursue your hobbies and interests, or just sit back and relax. Whether this is for a week or a few hours, the time that you have away will rejuvenate you so that you can come back to the office ready to lead your team to success.
Don’t Ever Give Up
Leading a business is going to get tough at times. Even if things have been going great for a while, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. When no one truly understands the stress and worry that you go through, it can be a challenge to keep going. However, you need to. Even when you’re faced with disaster, you should remember the vision that you had for your business. Let this keep you motivated and moving despite everything that you’re dealing with.
“RELATIONSHIPS, NOT POWER, DRIVE YOU FORWARD” –