Strengthening your leadership skills: What does it really take to be a leader?

Strengthening your leadership skills What does it really take to be a leader?

Each of us has a different idea of who is a good leader; is it for example Richard Branson, Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela? What makes them different?

In a research project carried out by Franklin Covey, 54,000 people were interviewed and asked to identify the essential qualities of a leader. Perhaps not surprisingly, ‘integrity’ was by far the most popular response. Getting people to trust you is a mixture of your character – who you are – and your competence – how you do.

Thirteen behaviours were identified as building up strength in your integrity as a leader. They can be summarised as:

  1. First of all, talk straight. Too many people use the following tactic with truth… ‘bend it, shake it, do anything with it’.
  2. To really get people’s trust, always tell the truth and let people know where they stand.
  3. Demonstrate respect and show that you genuinely care – if you have made an appointment to see a member of staff, don’t keep them waiting… return phone calls when you say you will.
  4. Right wrongs and apologise for mistakes quickly. Nobody expects you to be infallible, be humble and don’t try to cover things up.
  5. Create transparency and do not have hidden agendas, be genuine in your dealings with people.
  6.  Demonstrate loyalty. Give credit to other peoples’ efforts, be loyal to those who are not present and don’t run people down behind their backs.
  7. Do what you say you will. Don’t blame other people, profess ignorance or go into denial to explain inaction.
  8. Confront reality. Don’t let things fester in the office; face problems head-on rather than hoping that problems will just go away.
  9. Practice accountability and hold yourself accountable as well as others for good or bad results.
  10. Learn to communicate clearly with everyone and check that requests and instructions have been understood. In this way you can manage expectations.
  11. Develop your listening skills. Being able to listen is essential in good leadership. People quickly react negatively if they feel that they are not being listened to and lose faith in their leader.
  12. Do your utmost to keep all commitments – this provides a true reflection of who and what you are so make sure you get organised!
  13. Extend trust to others, delegate and give others clear responsibilities and lead by example.

So here’s the challenge to you… as a leader do you display these 13 key behaviours?

How do you measure up?

If you are serious about success, you will want to adopt these behaviours.

For more information on how to build your ultimate business, follow the link: http://bit.ly/7StepstoUltimateBusinessSuccess

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Starting a Business in Challenging Times

Stack the Odds in your favour!

Experienced business owners will tell you that when you are starting your own business, you may have to wear many “hats”. You may have some great ideas, but fail on the more “administrative” tasks that are needed to be successful.  You need to know your strengths and weaknesses.  Lack of management experience accounts for many small business failures. Entrepreneurs often think that they can do it all and may not seek outside help when they need it. Do not be shy about seeking out the advice of expert advisors, networking with other entrepreneurs and hiring staff to work on the tasks that you are not good at.

On one hand, desire and persistence along with innovative thinking can improve the odds of having a successful business. Knowing what you want to achieve, determination, setting goals, paying attention to detail and motivating others are key elements for your success and business growth.

On the other hand, desire and persistence alone will not make you successful.  For example, a lot of people love to cook and are good at it too.  So, they dream of starting a restaurant.  However, there are already many restaurants, the profit margins are often slim and consumers have lots of choice.  To be successful in that market, you need to be truly offering something new or unique.  In short, you need to be sure that there is a big enough market for what you plan to offer and that the competition isn’t already too strong.

Survival Tips

These tips can help you to overcome a great number of the factors that lead to the failure of many small businesses.

1. Develop a good marketing and business plan that takes into account customer needs, competition, pricing and promotional strategies.

2. Understand your business finances, such as cash flow and handling credit.

3. Make sure you have enough working capital to allow time for the business to grow.

4. Keep a good inventory of your products or services and your existing customers.

5. Supervise, train and motivate your staff.

6. Make sure you do have the experience, knowledge and skills to run your business.

7. Plan every part of your business from start to finish – to fail to plan is to plan to fail!

8. Know your market and define how much of it you will be able to capture – going through this process will ensure a good understanding of your chosen market.

9. Make sure you are offering a product that is unique and desirable compared to your competitors.

10. Don’t under-estimate your expenses and over-estimate your revenue.

11. Make sure you have some cash reserves or a line of credit to help you get through slow periods.

12. Don’t be too proud to seek expert advice when you need it.

Whatever else you do, at least reflect on each of these 12 tips and see which can help you to sustain and grow your new business. The very worst thing that you can do is nothing!

Remember… It is insanity to continue to do the same things you were doing before and expect a different outcome!

If you would like to learn more about this subject then you can download my e-book “The 7 steps to Ultimate Business Success”. Just Click on the following link: http://bit.ly/7StepstoUltimateBusinessSuccess