25 Entrepreneurs Offer Their Best Leadership Tips

To be an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to understand leadership and be excellent at it. There are numerous qualities that make up successful leaders including being strong, visionary, reliable, audacity, empowering, positive, motivating, decisive and confident. While recruiting, hiring and finding talented people is important, it is just as important to manage and lead employees. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you build your leadership profile.

#1- Allow team members to flourish

Photo Credit: Guy Siverson

I accept that I don't know everything about my business on the web or off but instead strive to focus on teamwork by empowering others. The team members bring forward a unique knowledge base that is individually theirs. Allowing them to flourish within their knowledge instead of having to know every aspect of what they are doing empowers their abilities to succeed. They always feel much more like they are an important part of the teams overall success and they are.

Thanks to Guy Siverson, Graceful Touch, LLC!

#2-Schedule regular check-ins

Photo Credit: Kent Lewis

With work from home being the new normal. I've found success building in regular check-ins with the team. The combination of video conferences and written communications (Email, Slack) are now 1-3x weekly instead of monthly and have had a tremendous impact in terms of creating connectivity, increasing productivity and overall satisfaction.

Thanks to Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.!

#3- ACCE the team daily

Photo Credit: Michelle Shuster

ACCE stands for Appreciate, Care, Challenge and Encourage. Following this model makes your team feel safe, builds trust and strong relationships, wins the hearts and minds of your team and encourages greater performance. Appreciate – Every human wants to be appreciated. Share appreciation with your team for little things and big things alike. Make an effort to show appreciation for things your team does that they may not think you notice. Catch people doing things right, and appreciate them openly. Care – People don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you care. Show a genuine interest in your team's well-being and recognize what is happening for them in the moment. You don’t have to have all the answers. Simply listen, acknowledge their feelings and be sure to follow up on the things you talk about. Be exceedingly human and be vulnerable. Challenge – Challenge your team to be the best versions of themselves, to perform at a high level and to think outside the box. Empower them and learn from them. Ask your team to help you solve challenges and enable them to implement their solutions. When challenging conversations are needed about performance, have them quickly, privately and directly. Encourage – We all need a little encouragement sometimes, right? Laughing with your team is a great way to encourage them.

Thanks to Michelle Shuster, QnityInc.!

#4- Increase self-awareness around your strengths

Photo Credit: Terry B. McDougall

My best leadership tip is to increase self-awareness around your biggest strength, and to be intentional about when to use it and, more importantly, when NOT to use it. I've noticed that a leader's biggest weakness is often related to them trying to use a strength when it's not appropriate. It's the equivalent of the old saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It's critical for leaders to evaluate each situation and be intentional about deciding what's required to arrive at the best solution. This may mean developing and relying on a less-used skill set or even delegating to someone who has the right skills to effectively address the challenge.

Thanks to Terry B. McDougall

#5- Be open to learning

Photo Credit: Kenny Trinh

Commit to maximizing your own personal, emotional, and moral excellence. Develop your own skills continuously. Be the best role model you can possibly be. Commit to unwaveringly developing the skills and competencies of those who follow you. Meet people where they are at. You can only lead if you’re actually in contact with those behind you. Be rigorous in fully understanding the current situation of your staff, your organization, your environment, and your competition. Keep your eyes and mind open.

Thanks to Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews!

#6- Lead by example

Photo Credit: Dr. Enchanta Jenkins

It has always been my goal to assure that I do not request of others what I am not willing to do myself, encourage and uplifting others to help them better do their own jobs and make the company run smoothly, and set an example of excellence in all that I do. Whether seeing patients, performing paperwork, returning phone calls, or going out to actively search for contracts for our business. The values of respect, courage, and excellence have been displayed since we started. As CEO I have assured that employees were always paid fairly and on time, pay raise increases regularly or sooner, yearly winter bonuses, and the addition of local contracts to aid with company growth.

Thanks to Dr. Enchanta Jenkins, Ellehcal OB/GYN!

#7- Begin with the end in mind

Photo Credit: Ashley Monk

Though all entrepreneurs experience twists, turns, and surprises – the CEO's that rise to the top are those that establish a clear vision of their end goal. Not only does this vision provide benchmarks to evaluate and progress to achieve – this philosophy immediately unifies organizations to a singular purpose. The absence of clarity creates chaos and confusion, but the presence thereof establishes a clear path forward.

Thanks to Ashley Monk, It Media!

#8- Develop multiple leadership styles

Photo Credit: Jeremy Owens

An effective leader practices various leadership styles and knows when and how to use each one when the situation calls for it. That said, I recommend leaders to practice developing multiple leadership styles and not focus on a single one. Remember that each leadership style works best on limited scenarios. When leaders limit their leadership style to one variant only, it jeopardizes team output quality and efficiency if the leadership style doesn't compliment the situation.

Thanks to Jeremy Owens, Seriously Smoked!

#9- Let go the ego

Photo Credit: Albert Laster

I believe that the best practice that leaders should adopt having the courage to admit your mistakes when you are wrong. Ego is the greatest killer of development and improvement. As leaders, we cannot afford to standstill or we would be left in the dust before we know it.

Thanks to Albert Laster, Home Living Lab!

#10- Reframe stress into excitement.

Photo Credit: Ozgur Taskaya

A leader in a fast-paced organization is faced with many stressful situations on daily basis. We have deadlines, challenges posed by competitors, your team underperforming, pressure from higher-ups and so on. We can't control our environment and what happens to us but we can control how we respond to them. When faced with stressful situations, we need to tell ourselves a different story. We need to have a mindset change. Instead of saying, this is so stressful, what am I going to do, you can say this is good, another challenge for me to tackle and develop myself as a leader.

Thanks to Ozgur Taskaya, Fenomio!

#11- Connect with your collaborators

Photo Credit: Yoann Bierling

Any leader has only one goal, which is to help others grow. The best way to make it happen is to create a real personal connection with collaborators by spending time with them and getting to know them. That way, not only they will be willing to give their best to you and your business, but will also have a feeling of belonging and will be more likely to see themselves having a career and a life working for you. It might seem difficult at first to create personal connections, but in the long term, it is what matters – and makes your calls being answered first.

Thanks to Yoann Bierling, Womens Swim!

#12- A number of tips

Photo Credit: Abhi Lokesh

With so much confusion and uncertainty these days, employees will look to their leaders on how to move forward and what to do next. Leaders need to take the time to collect whatever data, facts, and opinions are necessary but must then move swiftly in deciding how to respond to the situation. They also need to demonstrate a high level of resilience and calm under duress. Employees need to know that their management can respond effectively and handle the adversity thrown their way.

Thanks to Abhi Lokesh, Fracture!

#13- Be thoughtful

Photo Credit: Barry Collier

With the choices you make you should always think ahead and envision how they will affect your company's image, your employees, and your finances. Things that are though through, tend to be much more effective in the long run than taking chances.

Thanks to Barry Collier, Drum!

#14- Don't always be the leader

Photo Credit: Suzanne Smith

Leadership is about knowing when you should lead and when you should follow others. Leadership needs to be distributed and be given to the most capable spokesperson. Especially with today's headlines, we don't need everyone to lead. We need great followers too. Conserve your energy and only lead when you are the best candidate in the room to lead – either because you are most passionate or the most knowledgeable person. Then, you can focus on the causes that matter the most to you and put 100% of your energy toward it. And, when you are a follower, be the kind of follower you want – follow directions from the leader, inspire others to follow (quick tip: followers follow other followers more than the actual leader), and share your passion for the cause.

Thanks to Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects!

#15- Always think in terms of impact

Photo Credit: Eden Amirav

When it comes to leading your team, make sure that they have their priorities straight. Determine the impact and effort of tasks (all of our tasks are governed by the ‘impact and effort’), and prioritize the tasks accordingly. In doing so, everyone knows in which order to work on tasks and where to put their energy for the best results – this will help your team to achieve the company’s goals much faster. Thinking “impact” is so important in both leadership and in driving the company forward that it’s one of Become’s core DNA values.

Thanks to Eden Amirav, Become!

#16- Trust your team, share responsibility

Photo Credit: Baruch Silvermann

To be an effective business owner, I need to share responsibility with my team. This provides benefits on both sides. On my end, I can focus on the things I am good with and can hand off tasks that I’m less qualified for to people I trust. For my employees, there is an opportunity to develop and showcase their qualifications, learn and sharpen their expertise, and enjoy a culture of empowerment, which is crucial for every organization.

Thanks to Baruch Silvermann, The Smart Investor!

#17- Build rapports

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

One of my best tips for leaders is to prioritize building rapports in the workplace. It's critically important to the happiness of the team and ultimately, the success of the organization. At the present time with so many employees working remote, you can still find fun ways to get everyone involved and engaged via Zoom videoconference calls and group Slack chats. The more team members get to know each other, the more likely they are to work well together and engage with each other in a productive way that benefits the customers and the business.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney,!

#18- Participate in knowledge sharing

Photo Credit: Dr. Ruth Gotian

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and can offer you a diverse spectrum of perspectives. These people may be older, younger or at your age and rank. Participate in a community of practice, a group of people at your hierarchical level who share ideas, best practices, successes and challenges so that you may all learn from each other. Shared knowledge will make you stronger, not weaker.

Thanks to Dr. Ruth Gotian

#19- Be authentic

Photo Credit: Rachael Reed

As a business owner with several businesses my best leadership tip would be to own who you are authentically. Be your authentic self without apology. There is no one in this entire world like you and that is you. There is no one in this world with your same journey and story. Own who you are without apology. We all have a purpose to fulfill in this world and what others may seem as weird or strange may be exactly what someone else in the world

Thanks to Rachael Reed

#20- Be emotionally stable

Photo Credit: Naheed Mir

When you're beginning or managing a business, unexpected things will occur, now it is up to you how you respond to the difficulties that make you either a leader or an emotionally immature dreamer. If a leader responds to each emergency that arises, the organization is reliably in disorder. By not responding promptly upon each unpleasant circumstance, the individual passes on a feeling of inward wisdom.

Thanks to Naheed Mir, RugKnots!

#21- Develop high emotional intelligence

Photo Credit: Maureen Chiana

The key is to first understand yourself, your beliefs, mindset and your values. It’s understanding how to manage yours and other emotions. It’s understanding how to make yours and your people's brain work smarter. Leaders must see themselves as influencing others to bring about change. Gaining a dialectical-thinking mindset and avoiding convergence traps, which occur mainly when stressed or when under pressure enables leaders make effective decisions and also ensures that you can involve your people in decision making. When you engage not only the analytical mind but also your emotions and intuition – your senses and emotional intelligence enable you to scan in moments through lots of possible choices or scenarios to arrive at the best solutions in a matter of seconds instead of hours. It’s also important for leaders to identify the ways that your actions affect yours and other peoples performance to ensure that you get their trust and commitment.

Thanks to Maureen Chiana, Apogee skills Ltd!

#22- Listen to others

Photo Credit: Tim Denman

Effective communication is crucial for leadership, but it’s not just about expressing your ideas and strategies to your team clearly and persuasively. You should also truly listen to other people because communication is a two-way street. Most people won’t tell you what they really think unless you ask them, so you should regularly ask for feedback and listen to it with an open mind, even if this feedback is negative. Don’t present yourself as someone who knows everything all the time, ask more questions, and be ready to ask for advice from anyone, regardless of rank or experience.

Thanks to Tim Denman, ServGrow!

#23- Several tips

Photo Credit: Jennifer Willy

First and foremost, the ability to form connections is just one of the highly admired traits of successful leaders. Thinking differently and divergently is very important. The already beaten road can be only taken so many times and innovators, as the name suggests, want to do things differently. Managers and employers should give constant feedback, monitor employee behavior, encouraging them, giving proper recreational time for changing things up, cultivating leadership and management skills, off-site meetings can also helpful in reducing the constant stress. Curiosity is not just attached to innovators but for the whole leadership community. They should have an inherent curiosity that motivates them to ask questions that are never answered before. Similarly, passion fuels this fire, to do and achieve more.

Thanks to Jennifer Willy, Etia.Com!

#24- Becoming insanely good at communication

Photo Credit: Amira Irfan, Esq.

If you want to be an effective leader, you must have excellent communication skills. You have to be able to verbalize your thoughts precisely and in a manner that your team understands what is expected of them. Not only that, but great leaders excel at listening to what their team is saying as well. You have to be willing to listen to feedback and advice from your team and customers with an open mind. It’s important to remember that communication is a two-way street, and with excellent communication, your business will skyrocket and reach the level of success you desire.

Thanks to Amira Irfan, Esq., A Self Guru!

#25-Be patient

Photo Credit: Shawn Lockery

Taking work from a team is not an easy task, and not everybody is aware of this trick. I believe that patience is the most valuable tip that must be practiced by every leader. Each person has a different approach to work and does remember that you cannot get the hundred percent results from everybody in the first attempt. A leader's primary roles are to teach, manage, and coach to their team member. People who work with you don't have to agree with you, but they have to feel you're willing to share what you've learned and not only criticize. So, if you want to extract the best out of the one, you must be patient and trust a person on his /her efforts.

Thanks to Shawn Lockery, InVivo Biosystems!

What’s your #1 leadership tip? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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