Leadership skills in your business

I chose to start with Systems last time because it is less confronting than dealing with Leadership issues. This is part 2 of my “Why Do Some Businesses Grow ” series:

Improving your business systems (Part 1)Leadership skills in your business (Part 2) , The importance of Marketing (Part 3) , Available Capital in Business (Part 4)

In saying that there is no getting away from the fact that for a business to achieve its full potential the leadership skills or lack thereof of the business owners have, do and will have a major impact on its success or otherwise.

At this point it’s important to realize that it’s not only ok but it’s very healthy to realize that you and me both are on a life long journey of personal and professional development. And leadership skills are an essential part of the skill set that a well rounded successful business person requires for that success to be sustainable.

For the cynics out there, yes I acknowledge that there are people who appear to be successful in business that have appalling leadership skills.

You could probably name a few. Maybe you even worked for one at one time or another.

You know the types – the bullying, narcissistic, ego-centric, “I’m always right types” that enjoy throwing their weight around, and spend their working day interfering and generally making everyone else miserable in the so called name of leadership.

Hmmmm… hopefully you’re not one of those types.

That said when you look closer at these people; they rarely have it together in all areas of their life. Sure business might be doing well (but at what cost??) but take a good long look at their health, relationships with loved ones, spiritual lives and…….it well frankly it’s all falling apart.

At this point, you might ask, “Well Tibor let’s say I knew someone like that. Are you saying that it’s too late, their too far gone and nothing can be done?”

No I am not saying that at all. Sure there is hope for this person as long as they are willing to acknowledge that they have a problem and they want to address it.

Leadership vs. Management

At this point it is important to clarify that Leadership and Management are different. Many, to their detriment, use the terms interchangeably.

So let’s look at a couple of lay definitions:

Leadership: the art of inspiring and motivating yourself and/or others to take action to achieve certain specified & desirable goals.

Management: the skill of appropriately managing (directing, controlling, monitoring) the available resources towards the accomplishment of specified goals.

In case you cannot see the distinction let me use a couple of quotes to ram it home.

My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don’t want to do, or do what they’re too lazy to do, and like it.

Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, Thirty-third President of the United States

You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things; you lead people. [Emphasis added]

Grace Hopper, Admiral, U. S. Navy (retired), Nova (PBS TV), 1986

For a business to thrive and grow it needs leaders’ not just managers.

A good leader will be able to lead and manage – since in many ways management is a skill that is a subset of good leadership.

However not all managers make good leaders.

Further good leaders know the importance of:

  1. Being a Leader; and
  2. Developing the Leaders around them.

You see for good leaders – it’s not all about them.

They have a healthy self image and are sufficiently secure in themselves not to feel threatened by one or more of the people around them outgrowing their mentoring and leadership.

To such people the fact that they have contributed to the birthing of other leaders is a testimony to their success (not their failure).

At this point I challenge you to have a good long look in the mirror.

Do you need to change?

Are you a manager or a leader?

Are you managing when you should be leading?

Are you getting the way of your people fulfilling their potential and thereby negatively affecting the businesses success and your own financial rewards?

Do you inspire and have the respect of those you work with?

(A characteristic of a leader)

Do those around you listen only because of the position you have?

(A characteristic of management)

How you doing so far?

Well let me ask a few more questions:

Do you think big or small?

Do you think of yourself or others?

Do you take time to think or are you too busy to think on a daily basis?

Do you think “detail” or do you think “what’s the bottom line”?

Do you think inside or outside of the status quo?

Do you invest your money, time and energy into your own personal and professional development?

Do you think quickly and are courageous in your decision making, or are you more concerned about “business cases” and covering your “butt”?

Now how’d you go?

OK, not so good or better than you thought?

Well whatever the answer it’s probably fair to say there is still some room for improvement.

Therefore it should be no surprise to you if you have caught the underlying message of this article what a leader or a potential leader would do in these situations.

If on that basis you are serious about developing your leadership skills and making changes or improvements to your life, your relationships, your business and your finances I commend to you for your consideration Success University.

Meanwhile next time, I’ll share on the 3rd Growth Limiter, Marketing skills within a business

If you would like further information on how I can help then please call or email Tibor Mackor.

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