By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker
Running your own business is filled with leadership challenges. What steps can you take to lead your team and grow the company?
1 – Empower Your Business
Highly successful companies encourage team members to work together for the betterment of the whole company. When you make a commitment to empower your employees, you influence and nurture them to become active participants. They will naturally join in on facing the challenges and devising ways to foster success. Empowerment becomes both an individual and a team effort.
Owners and managers cannot empower others to perform their best until they are empowered themselves. Empowered management begins by hiring leaders who possess healthy self-esteem, superior people skills, and the willingness to share expertise to bring out the best in employees.
Caroline Ghosn, CEO of Levo League says, “Empowering others happens as you develop into a better leader and friend. After empowering you, the key is using that courage and sensibility to lead and change lives.”
Eric Harvey, president of WalktheTalk.com, said, “Friends often impress me with their talents; however, many are plagued by extreme self-doubt or paralysis-by-analysis. I try to help by brainstorming ways in which my friends can take their skills to the next level, either to make money or gain followers.”
2 – Have the Courage to Be a Leader
Effective leaders need the courage to do what needs to be done – to do what they know is the right thing. Courage is about having the guts, nerve, and heart to do things that foster and support progress. Eric Harvey has three strategies that demonstrate leadership courage:
- Accept Responsibility: Courageous leaders avoid the temptations to fix blame and focus on the past. They opt instead to focus their attention on the future.
- Create Positive Change: The changes you lead people through today may not have a dramatic effect on the history of humankind, but they can have positive impacts on the professional lives of your team members.
- Hire and promote the best: When you have an open position, look upon that challenge as a great opportunity. Surrounding yourself with extraordinary talent is not just an important part of your job – it’s also critical to your success!
3 – Challenge Others
Leadership is all about relationships, and just like coaching, it is a leader’s responsibility to help others grow. How do you, as a leader challenge and develop those you support? What if your colleague or manager is about to make a decision that you disagree with? Should you exercise your right to challenge their decision? The answer is, yes, as long as you feel it’s appropriate — it usually is. Writer and marketer Mollie Pearson says that you can go about challenging others in several different ways:
- Provide an alternative. One way to challenge someone’s decision is by offering one or more alternatives to their solution
- Play Devil’s Advocate. Simply ask permission to play Devil’s Advocate, and if your colleague says yes, then proceed with expressing your concerns
- Offer value to the project
- Offer feedback. Especially if you absolutely hate confrontation.
Challenging someone else’s decision is not always easy, but it is not “against the rules.” By taking one of the above approaches, you will strengthen not only your expertise, but the company’s value, as well.
Build, Lead, and Grow a Profitable Business
The road to starting and running your own business can be lined with uncertainty. If you want to build, lead, and grow a profitable business, The Startup Roadmap is designed for you. For a limited time, you can get a complimentary eCopy of The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability by clicking this link. If you prefer the print edition, you can purchase it directly from Amazon for $9.99.
Once you have read The Startup Roadmap, please let us know what you think by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.
Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.