There are so many experts on leadership and they frequently talk only about high level theories and concepts. Whenever I read a leadership book I always look for a few nuggets that I can teach to my clients and more importantly, help them put the ideas into action. Many times, I struggle to find realistic tactical “things to do” in a book. To that end, I want to share with you 10 leadership responsibilities that small business owners must implement in order to be successful. My 10 small business advice tips have been galvanized by many years of coaching business leaders and providing them with implementable small business advice.

Here are my 10 Small Business Advice Tips on Leadership

  1. Ensure that you are always positive, upbeat, and passionate. You are the role model and your team is watching you and how you act. Your temper, tone, and body language should be carefully controlled and representative of what you aspire to. They see you at your best and worst moments, so be on your best behavior.
  2. Show grit to your people. If something is hard, and you fail at it, don’t give up right away. Tenacity is an attribute of successful small businesses.
  3. Listen more than you talk. You don’t have all of the answers. Encourage your people to speak-up and make recommendations. Insist that you get a recommendation and not just another description of the problem.
  4. Surround yourself with successful and creative people outside of your team. You will be inspired by fellow entrepreneur’s experiences and ideas. Read books, attend conferences, watch TED talks on Youtube, and schedule meetings with experts that don’t think the way that you do.
  5. Keep your commitments and only make commitments that you can keep.
  6. Demonstrate integrity in all that you do, say, or profess. Insist on complete honesty with your teammates and yourself.
  7. Make yourself visible and approachable to all members of your company. You are the boss and unfortunately you intimidate most of your team. I have found that the best way is consistently ask questions about what your company should be doing better. Once you break the ice, the feedback will flow and you clearly hear what is important to know and what to change.
  8. Be the face of the company with the public, suppliers, and customers. As the owner, people want to have a relationship with you.
  9. Celebrate your achievements and successes as urgently as the disappointments. We frequently forget how much we really have accomplished and taking the time to celebrate wins will hearten you and your team.
  10. Be ready to openly and honestly debrief failures. The military does this brilliantly. They specialize in getting at the root of mistakes without casting personal blame. They focus on fixing processes and reinforcing accountability.