There is a big difference between just being a business owner and a boss and being a business leader. Bosses and owners are just looking to get things done, to earn some profits and to pay their employees. Business leaders are more than that. They are people who have a very clear vision about their business and who do a billion things (however insignificant they might seem) to turn that vision into reality and turn their company into the best business it could ever hope to be. So, how do you become that leader?
Create a Vision and Work towards It
One thing you will discover in every business leader and every other type of leader, while we’re at it, is the vision. True leaders all have a vision for what they want to do and business leaders are the same. Their vision entails more than just making money. It entails changing the world, changing their lives, as well as the lives of those who work for them. It is more than that, though. True leaders will know how to share this vision and how to make the people who work for them believe this vision. Discover your vision and your passion. Make it come true.
Listen to your Employees
Bosses see their employees as people who do their work and who earn a pay. They see them as cogs that keep the machine that is their company working. Employees are more than that and the true leader knows this. A true leader understands that his or her employees are the people who drive the company, people whose input and ideas are extremely valuable. Hey also know how to inspire their people, but above everything else, they know how to listen to them.
If you wish to become a great business leader, you need to listen to your employees and hear what they have to say. If they have complaints, hear them out and see if you can do anything. If they have suggestions or ideas, listen to what they have to say. They might just have something that will change your company and make it truly great.
Be an Example
There is one point in Napoleon’s career when he stopped being just a high ranking military officer and became one of the biggest military leaders of all time. This happened at the Battle of Arcole when (still quite young) Napoleon went ahead of his troops, crossing the key bridge and waving the French flag as his troops followed him. He understood why truly great leaders stand at the frontlines and lead by example.
You should always do the same. If you expect your employees to give you their best, you can do no less. You need to apply yourself utterly and completely to your business and give everything you have to make your company succeed. If this means sacrificing yourself for the good of your employees, do it from time to time. Let your people know you would do everything for them and the company. They will follow you.
Learn from Others
A business leader is not born. Business leaders are made and one of the things that make them are the lessons that they learn along the way. They need to learn from their mentors and people who have led them in the past. They should learn from past leaders who have traveled that same road decades or even centuries ago.
A true leader will also expand his or her skillset and learn everything they can from whatever the source. For instance, they may hire a coach, a leadership coach whose business it is to show them new ways to inspire their people and lead them. One very important thing to do, however, is to find the best coach possible, someone with amazing coaching skills and plenty of experience.
In the end, the best way to find new ways to inspire people and become the best business leader is to put yourself in their shoes. What would you like to see in your business leader? How would you like them to contribute and show the way?