What Kind of Leader Are You?

By the small business content developers at  BizLaunch.com.

As a small business owner, you have probably found yourself in the role of leader more times than you can count. You may have found that some aspects of leadership come naturally to you and others, not so easily. An important part of growing your business is growing as a leader, so it’s important to ask yourself about the parts that come easily to you and where you might have some room for improvement.

Savvy leadership is about skills and processes, so one of the most important characteristics of an effective leader is having the willingness to ask hard questions as well as a desire to learn. An entrepreneur with these two qualities is someone who can grow into a great leader. In essence, there are really only two types of leaders: effective ones and ineffective ones. Here are some essential aspects of accomplished leaders:

1. They learn from others.

Leaders, though they may be highly intelligent and experienced, understand the value of learning from everyone they encounter. That could be an employee, a client, or even a child. Strong leaders look for lessons everywhere, and they use them to develop their own skills.

2. They care about people, but can make difficult decisions.

Their motivations are usually found in helping people or making the world a little bit better, but smart leaders aren’t afraid to make uncomfortable decisions. Effective leaders seek a balance between encouragement and prudence. The ability to discern between what they want and what the company needs allows a leader to say ‘no’ when she needs to.

3. They are responsive to situations, but not overly influenced by circumstances.

There are many instances of individuals who eventually became recognized as leaders and their ability to stay doggedly dedicated to their vision even when people told them they were wrong. Leaders don’t care what people think, and they are comfortable following their own intuition.

4. They take responsibility, but are able to delegate.

As individuals, our sphere of influence can feel small and limited. As a group, however, it expands, giving us the opportunity to advance and do more. Leaders recognize that they can’t do everything themselves, so they find gifted and talented cohorts to help them along the way.  They’re not afraid of work themselves, but also understand the value of having experts manage what they’re best at.

5. They are not defeated by failure, but use it as fuel to create victory.

Failure and defeat are not results anyone wants, but leaders are people who can take a setback, use it as a source of inspiration, and move forward onto bigger and better things. They do not allow disappointment to define them, but move ahead with new goals, determinations, and dreams. Leaders are not defined by how many times they fall, but how many times they rise to the challenge.

As a leader, you may have room for improvement. Who among us doesn’t? Still, if you focus on these characteristics, you too can become an effective leader.

By Andrew Patricio

August 03, 2016