Your business will only be as good as the people on your team, but it all starts with you. If you are not a good leader how can you expect anyone you hire and bring onboard to reach their goals and achieve success if they do not have someone to show them the way?
Not every successful business owner was a natural born leader. It takes years of experience and a lot of trial and error to figure out how to properly motivate and inspire a company. Most companies have a wide range of different personalities, which all must work together in order to achieve the ultimate goals.
We spoke with several successful business owners and entrepreneurs in order to find out what they believe contributes to being a successful and impactful leader. Hopefully their insight can help you morph into a more successful leader, resulting in more success for your business.
Strive to inspire your team.
“You have to be there to always be the inspirational force within the company. Not everyone is self-motivated and needs a little fire lit under them. You need to learn how each person responds and what inspires them.
When you do this it not only shows them that you don’t see them as a number and more as an important part of the company. Often times the feeling of being important is enough to inspire team members to work hard every day, and this applies to upper management to entry level positions.” – Hyung Park, President of Abraham Lincoln University
Remain humble regardless of success.
“The last thing you want to do is turn into a showboating loud mouth that the company begins to resent. What do you think is going to be more well received by an entire work force: A company owner that shows up to the office in a Lamborghini and acts like he or she is better than anyone, or someone that remains humble at all times, regardless of their personal success?
You never want to act like you are better or above anyone in the company. When you come across as one of them, whether it’s the CMO or the janitor, you create a healthy relationship that leads to a strong company in terms of employees.” – Christopher Kerr, VP Marketing at Earnhardt Lexus
Allow creativity within your company.
“A business owner that is a dictator and never listens to ideas within the company will always fail. You should want everyone in the company to feel as if he or she can bring ideas forward that they believe would be beneficial to the company.
When you adopt this way of thinking you will empower your
team to want to help make the company better. Think about this: who knows your
company better than the people working inside of it every single day? Encourage
creative ideas to be brought to your attention and reward them by acknowledging
them throughout the company. This has a snowball effect and will result in more
ideas being brought to you.” – Pat Skinner of Answer
Work with your team as one of them.
“Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty in the trenches with your employees. Whether that means jumping on the phone for a sales pitch or handling a customer service call, it shows that you are not above doing the tasks you are asking them to do.
This will help to strengthen your relationship with your team and it shows them that you don’t view what they do as being below you. This builds a lot of respect and your entire team will end up working harder for you. Respect goes a long way and contributes to a much healthier work environment for all.” – Chris Moberg, President of Slumber Search
Run your company with integrity.
“Nobody respects a scumbag business owner. You should always make it a point to stress the importance of integrity, and make sure you lead by example. No employee will work hard if they are not 100% confident in the integrity of the company they work for.
If you lose that respect you will create employees that will
do the bare minimum to slide by, simply because they do not respect the values
of the company. Avoid taking shortcuts or going for the easy money if it will
have any negative impact on your integrity.” – Michael Herron, Law Offices of Michael R. Herron
Realize that perfection doesn’t exist.
“When you understand that no employee is perfect, it will eliminate a lot of unrealistic expectations. Sure, you want all employees to do well at all times but holding them to an unrealistic level of accountability will only create resentment and unhappy workers that will directly impact the performance of your business.
You have to walk the fine line of demanding excellence at all times, while also knowing that perfection doesn’t exist. This can be a difficult thing to fully grasp and accept, but once you do it will make you a much more effective leader within your company.” – Ignacio Soria, CEO of Cann & Co.
Be direct to the point at all times.
“You should always try to be as direct as possible. You never want your employees to wonder if there is another meaning behind your words or if you are hiding something. Being direct at all times, even if you have to relay bad news, will end up making you better long-term.
The last thing you want is to have people question your word. All it takes is one time to lose trust and respect. While you may not think so, an employee would rather hear the truth, even if it’s not favorable, than some sugar coated information that they later find out wasn’t entirely truthful. Don’t dance around topics, regardless of what they are. Direct to the point at all times is always the best approach.” – Tad Thomas, Managing Partner of Thomas Law Offices
Be enthusiastic even during dark times.
“You have to learn to be the biggest motivational source within your business. Even if sales are down or there is some unforeseen circumstance out of your control, you have to be the enthusiastic fearless leader at all times.
Your employees look up to you, so if you show weakness or
appear to be down and out, then how do you expect them to work to their fullest
potential? You almost have to approach the situation like a coach. Even if they
are playing a better team, or down in score, they are never going to show
weakness. They are going to be enthusiastic at all times.” – Paul Kelly, 247 CCTV Security Ltd
Be fair to everyone and don’t play favorites.
“You have to treat everyone with the same respect and never play favorites. The sales rep closing 10 sales a day deserves the same respect and attention that the rep closing 30 sales a day receives. The minute you start to play the favorites game is the minute you lose respect and you will see some employees take sides and it creates an uncomfortable work environment.
When everyone knows they are all equals it eliminates and animosity and it also gives everyone the confidence to come to you with problems, solutions or ideas, knowing that their input and suggestions will be taken into consideration.” – Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
Always be learning.
“Even if you are a successful leader to some capacity right now, that doesn’t mean you cannot get better, which results in your business becoming more successful. You have to always be learning, and there are many ways to accomplish this.
You can listen to podcasts, attend industry networking and development workshops or read books. When you are constantly bettering yourself as a person it rubs off and impacts your leadership qualities. You are never too good to stop learning. Even the most successful people like Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos are constantly learning.” – Chad Gaynier of Clarity Clinic