Have you ever heard the saying, “No man is an island?”
It’s true, and it’s something that applies to running a successful business. Every business needs one important thing — something more than time, money, or connections.
Every entrepreneur relies on people.
If you want to be successful at building a strong and sustainable business, you’ll need to know how to lead people and become an excellent guide for your team.
Research shows that 80 percent of people think they’re better-than-average leaders. The bad news for most of these people is the fact that they’re wrong.
They overestimate their skills as leaders, which creates blind spots in their relationships and headaches in their business. Poor leadership is a difficult problem to fix.
Research also shows that most people don’t like negative feedback, which tends to complicate things even more. These people don’t get the feedback they need to improve, so it’s tough for them to become better leaders.
Every entrepreneur needs leadership skills.
Every organization needs a leader; every entrepreneur needs leadership skills.
But why should entrepreneurs take the time to develop leadership skills to become stronger entrepreneurs? Can’t entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to build successful businesses without leadership skills?
No, because a lack of leadership creates a leadership vacuum.
When there’s a problem, crisis, or emergency, the people around you — employees, partners, and shareholders — look for a strong leader to follow.
Tom Rath, Barry Conchie, and the Gallup Research team surveyed more than 10,000 followers to find out what some of the world’s most influential leaders contributed to their lives.Followers search for a leader that can meet four basic needs:
Followers search for a leader that can meet four basic needs:
- Trust points to behavioral predictability. This means the people around you see you doing exactly what you say you’ll do. Trust develops naturally in these relationships, and it’s something that employees and customers look for.
- Stability is all about consistency. Your customers, employees, shareholders, and partners all want to see reliability. Customers want to see that you’re the same company they joined, employees want to know they’ll continue to have a job six months from now, and shareholders want to see that you’re focused on growing the business. It’s about following the plan.
- Hope depends on stability. Your followers need to see that there are good things to look forward to in the future, that things will continue to improve, in order to buy into the vision you create as their leader. If hope is a house, stability is your foundation. It’s tough to get followers to believe in something better when they don’t have stability now.
- Compassion is showing that you care. Gallup found that employees who don’t have close friendships at work or a leader who cares about them aren’t engaged at work. That’s not really surprising when you see that only 30 percent of U.S. employees are actually engaged at work.
Here’s a real-life example.
Toyota decided to stop producing trucks and SUVs at their San Antonio and Princeton plants. A move like this typically means employees are out of a job.
That created a lot of fear, anxiety, and distrust. At first, employees were worried they would lose their jobs.
Toyota decided to keep all 4,000 employees on the clock, choosing to retrain the entire plant instead. That’s full-time hours with benefits while they learned to build a completely different car.
Here are the benefits of good leadership skills:
- Loyalty from customers, employees, partners, and shareholders
- Happy and engaged employees
- Happy and satisfied customers
- Increase in employee productivity
- Dependable and trustworthy employees
- Increase in sales and profit
Strong entrepreneurs know that it takes a team to be successful. Strong leaders focus their time on building the right leadership skills because these skills enable them to bring the best out of those around them.
But, which skills are most important? Which ones will make you a stronger entrepreneur? [click to continue …]