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How to Be a Better Leader

As a small business owner (or soon-to-be owner), you’re also a leader. You’re the captain of your ship. The matriarch or patriarch of your work family. The alpha dog. You get my point. But if you never managed people before starting your business, you might need a few pointers on how to be a better leader. Read on.

Know that Running a Company Does Not Equal Good Leadership

Simply because you’re the one signing the checks doesn’t mean you’re good at leading your staff. It takes effort, and yes, training if necessary.  Being a good leader means listening to your staff and trusting them to do their jobs without micromanaging. Don’t be ashamed to read books on leadership or take training seminars. They’ll make you a better leader and business owner.

Value Honesty Above All

Lead by example. Always be honest and open with your staff, and expect the same in return. No business leader ever succeeded by keeping things from his staff. Even in dark times, honesty will always get you the respect of your employees.

Take Feedback…and Give It

Giving regular performance reviews to your staff can help them improve and get more in line with your expectations. But in return, be open to getting feedback on your own performance. After all, if you’re genuinely interested in improving your skills as a manager, you need to know how you’re doing right now. Take criticism well, and heed it. Otherwise your staff will feel like coming to you with their input is like talking to a brick wall.

Treat Your Business Like a Family

Most small business owners do consider their companies to be their second families. There’s nothing wrong with treating yours as such; just don’t get overly vested in the emotional side of the family. You want to maintain your role as family/ business leader, while still creating a safe environment for your staff. Don’t be afraid to use your authority when necessary; being wishy washy as a manager isn’t any better than a leader who rules with an iron fist.

Remember: being a good leader takes time and effort. If you’re open to improving your leadership skills, put in the time to work on it. You’ll be rewarded with a staff that respects and trusts you, and that makes for a great business.

CorpNet understands that good leaders need good business advice. That’s why we offer a free business consultation to get you off on the right foot when you start your business. Contact us today to find out more.

Photo: Fonzie’s cousin on Flickr

Susan Payton

Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, AllBusiness, CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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