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Were you born to lead? Who feels that they are a leader?

by Richard Foulkes

Who thinks that being a leader is important for their business?

If you think YES than you are right.  Good leaders drive a business forward, inspire and present a vision everyone can get excited about.

It is possible that without good leadership; a business can fail.

Leadership vs Management

Follow the vision
Think execution
Drive people’s success
Work in the present
Endorse the culture

Set the vision
Think ideas
Inspire people
Look in the future Shape the culture

You manage things; you lead people”  — Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

When we become a business owner, we may come from a management position or possess a technical skill that we want to use in our own business. For instance, a Lawyer/Plumber or Accountant.

It is important to understand the difference between management and leadership. Yes, we need to manage things in our business, but we also must lead.

Good Business Leadership Attributes

Empowers others, Focuses on Team Development, Communicates Effectively, Shows High Emotional Intelligence, Problem Solving Skills, Respects Others, Prioritises Personal Development, Encourage Strategic Thinking, Actively Listens, Delegates Work, Takes Accountability, Passion, Visionary, Cares about Others, Stays up to date, Adaptable, Open Minded, High personal standards, Leads by example.

It’s quite a list! Who here feels that they might not have all of those in their Superhero utility belt? That’s OK

Recent scientific studies suggest that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% learned. These findings propose that leaders are made, not born.

Ultimately, the answer is that both are true: a person can be born with natural leadership abilities, and someone can learn how to be a good leader at work.

The important learning here is that developing all of these attributes is possible.

Leadership is a Journey, Not a Destination

Clearly, it’s impossible to have all those skills developed to high level and always working perfectly.

As business owners we also must pay attention to our wellbeing, run our business, and possibly even keep our technical skills strong. It’s a lot.

However, just keeping the skills of leadership in your mind and actively trying to deploy them goes a long way to making them part of your make up.

Practicing Leadership Skills

If you think you are not where you want to be with your leadership skills, where can you get help to improve them?

There are any number of ways to learn more about leadership, mostly theoretical through study. But practicing leadership and trying out what works and applying the theory is going to be more useful.

Experimenting on your team without also putting in good structure can be risky. We’ve all been in businesses where the boss comes back from a “course” full of ways they have learnt to do thing better, but they rarely follow them through after the first few days.

Standing up for leadership roles outside your business is a great way of getting experience and skills that can carry over to your business without needing to “experiment” on your business. BNI is a great example of somewhere you can do this.

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”  -John Maxwell

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