When you’re just starting to build a small business, leadership doesn’t seem that important. The only thing that matters to the company is making money. This can be OK as a short term focus, but in the long run you will need to consider leadership development. Building a strong, sustainable business isn’t easy, but you will need to figure out how to be a business leader and a money maker at the same time if you want to ensure that your company will thrive in the long term.
Every Business Needs to Make Money
All businesses want to make money – a profitable business has a good atmosphere, and is best for both leaders and employees. To ensure long term success, the first thing you need to do is figure out who the money makers are in your company. The money makers are the people that sell products, close cases, make things, and generally do whatever it is that your company is known for.
Once you have identified those people, it’s time for you to be strong business leader, and make sure that you’re protecting those money making assets. A good business leader has several skills. Many of those skills sound like buzz words – they can see the big picture, they are “forward thinking”, and they know how to build important relationships.
As a business leader, your first goal should be to ensure that your money makers are able to do exactly that – make money. If they’re spending a large percentage of their day focusing on non-revenue earning tasks, bring in someone else to do those jobs. If they’re not productive because they don’t have the right tools, get those tools for them. In a small team, where you’re both a leader and a money maker, it might be difficult to make that decision. Don’t let personal vanity get in the way. The first thing that you would learn in executive coaching is to put the needs of the company before your own needs and feelings; and that’s an invaluable lesson.
Leadership Can be Taught
Few people are natural born leaders. Some people have the charisma required to be popular leaders, and some people are good at making the right decisions, but present them in the wrong way. It’s rare to find people who are brilliant leaders from day one. However, most people can learn to lead, and go on to become successful managers.
If you’re struggling to steer your company because you’re nervous, uncertain, or simply finding it hard to let go of day to day tasks and focus on growth, then a leadership development course could help you. If the idea of a full executive coaching course is intimidating, then why not consider short training sessions in your office, or getting together with your employees for a team-building day which includes some honest feedback and discussions?
Growing a sustainable, healthy company takes a lot of work, but it is worthwhile, and if you get things right early on in the process it will save you a lot of grief in the long term.