Effective leaders are necessary to your business. What makes a good leader? And, if you consider leadership versus management; which is most important for a small business? A definition of leadership helps you understand the relationship between, and importance of, leaders and managers to your business.
Leadership versus management: which one is more important to your business? Effective managers and leaders are both equally necessary to a small business.
Leaders will ensure your future; managers will ensure your present (day-to-day operations). It's important to be able to define leadership types; and to define what types of leaders you need in your organization.
In most businesses, it would be good to have a mix of effective leaders and managers (and of course staff who would be led and managed). In a small business with staff, you probably need a team with about 20% leadership talent and the rest in management skills. You likely do not want too many leaders ... and not enough managers and followers.
Small business owners need to exhibit both good leadership qualities and management qualities. You need to be a visionary to start a new business, or develop a new product or service. You also need to be a good manager of people and of processes and events: planning, organizing, problem solving, directing and measuring the effectiveness of your actions and your business results.
To develop strength as a leader or as a manager, first complete a full assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. This is very much like a performance assessment - of yourself! Conduct a 360 degree evaluation (asking all those around you for honest, detailed, and likely anonymous, input into how they see you). Use that feedback (the good, the bad and the ugly), to work on an improvement plan.
Effective leaders often work with business mentors or with a small business advisor. An advisor or coach can help you to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. To learn how to be a leader, attend leadership workshops. To learn how to be a better manager, go to management workshops. To be better at both; do something to improve!
If you don't feel you can improve in certain areas, or if you feel the constraint of time, see what areas of your work can be re-assigned or contracted out (for example, use a human resources consultant to help with hiring employees, developing job descriptions, and building performance development programs).
There are a number of styles and types of leaders: they range from charismatic, to transformational, to narcissist, to balanced, to transactional, to situational, and more. No matter what type of leader you are, you need to be able to lead in the environment you operate in.
Recognize that once you start the personal development process, you are not necessarily changed forever (behaviors are hard to change). Often you will revert to your old, unwanted but comfortable behaviors during times of stress. It is important that you become self-aware. Remember that a characteristic of effective leaders is being self-centered, and that must go hand-in-hand with self-awareness.
Recognize what causes you to revert to unwanted behaviors. Then develop tactics to help divert you from reversion: script your most wanted behavior, then practice it, visualize it; think of yourself as an athlete in-training.
Changing your behavior will feel awkward initially, but just like rehearsing a part in a play takes practice and many rehearsals, becoming a good leader AND a good manager takes effort and practice. Opening a small business, and running it, requires this amount of commitment. Understand what makes a good leader and what the differences are between leading and managing (it's not about leadership versus management, but leading and managing working together).
Return from Effective Leaders to Managing.
Or return to More For Small Business Home Page.
Hello. I am a professor teaching Human Resources Management. You have an excellent page on writing business value statements entitled your "Value Statement: Develop a Definition of Values in Your Business". I would like to use this page (giving full credit) to teach my students how to write good business value statements for the HR Strategic Plan they are required to prepare. Thank you. Richard C. Brocato, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Maryland, USA
(Note from Kris: I was happy to give permission to use as the source was fully credited.)
Hi Kris, I really appreciate your collection of business resources on your site; it provides a fantastic outline for writing a business plan as well as the detailed information needed to prepare the content for a great plan. Thanks, Pierce, USA
Hello. I would like your permission to quote your website within my paper for a marketing class I am taking to earn my Bachelors in Business Management. I am currently in a marketing class and I find the simplicity of your definitions and the ease with which you convey the ideas and terms of marketing to be very helpful. Thanks! Amanda, USA