Advice

30 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- Learn that you can’t control people

Photo Credit: Amy Osmond Cook

From constant collaboration with all of my employees over the years at Stage Marketing, my greatest leadership lesson is learning that you can’t control people. You can only empower them. For the past 14 years, since founding our company, we’ve tried every day to live the values of kindness, quality, flexibility, and especially grit as we have grown this company little by little. It’s not by accident that those values are the four core values of our company and living by them has helped us develop new waves of leadership from within.

Thanks to Amy Osmond Cook, Stage Marketing!


#2- Connection between leadership & social influence

Photo Credit: Pauline Volovik

I see a strong connection between leadership and social influence that helps both a leader and an organization formed around him gain goals being set. In the animal world, a leader’s function is to maintain an internal hierarchy while preserving the dominant position. The downside concerns the leader’s duty to protect his community and demonstrate his status to preserve his position.  It is a person who does not have to convince anybody to move forward, he is followed without being forced to.

Thanks to Pauline Volovik, Pv-digitallab!


#3- Never play the blame game

Photo Credit: Anjela Mangrum

I believe staying accountable for your – and your employees' – mistakes is essential as a leader. Real leaders always figure out solutions instead of exiting a situation with ‘it's not my fault' as an excuse. While indeed you might not be at fault, be proactive in resolving a crisis rather than passing the blame or protecting yourself; it's expected of you when you're in charge of a group of people. I can't count the number of times I've had to apologize to clients on behalf of my employees' mistakes, and I think owning up to our shortcomings rather than making up excuses is what has brought us this far.

Thanks to Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions!


#4- Be the leader you wish you had

Photo Credit: Dmitrii Kustov

Be the leader/boss/manager you wish you had. The idea is simple, you as a boss should be the kind of boss you would want to have in your life if you worked for hire. The problem is that we meet people who complain about their jobs and bad bosses every day. And then, when these people get to management positions, they forget how they lived and do the same things their bosses did back then. In general, it's pretty basic, and even I would say biblical rule, love your neighbor as yourself or treat people around as you want to be treated.

Thanks to Dmitrii Kustov, RegexSeo!


#5- Draw clear boundaries

Photo Credit: Colin Toh

Draw clear boundaries between work and life. It’s incredibly important to have clear boundaries between the two so that you can be fully present when at work and when you’re at home. When you’re working, dedicate your full energy & attention so you can make the most of your time & be as productive as possible. That way when it’s time to switch off of work mode into the home, you can feel satisfied that you’ve accomplished the tasks you needed to for the day and can fully dedicate yourself to just relaxing.

Thanks to Colin Toh, Headphonesty!


#6- Stay grounded no matter what

Photo Credit: Yang Zhang

Stay grounded no matter how much you scale up the ladder. Humility is a less spoken-about trait but a very important one. There's room to learn and grow when you don't let success get to your head. It helps to keep ego aside and make rational decisions. It also helps develop a down-to-earth personality that can easily gel with others. This naturally makes you a leader who is approachable and exudes charisma. Always remember where you came from and treat others like you'd treat yourself.

Thanks to Yang Zhang, Plasmic!


#7- Be compassionate and friendly

Photo Credit: Chelsea Cohen

Be compassionate and friendly. In the wake of the pandemic, the entire workplace scenario has changed. Leaders can no longer stick to a strict professional vibe because it seems forceful. Honestly, nobody likes that. On the other hand, if you’re friendly with your employees with a hint of compassion, it makes them feel comfortable. As a result, they’ll communicate more naturally, which in turn creates a closely-knit workforce. This makes your job as a leader much easier and keeps everyone motivated.

Thanks to Chelsea Cohen, SoStocked!


#8- Process through journaling

Photo Credit: Phil Boyer

I’ve found journaling to be an incredibly powerful way to work through barriers as a leader, so when I’m unsure what to do, I like to set aside an hour of uninterrupted time & speak to a higher power. Start with a moment of mindfulness, then read or watch something inspiring & focus on placing yourself in the scenario, & once you’ve entered a contemplative headspace, write the letter. Simply putting your thoughts in writing is a great way to process them.

Thanks to Phil Boyer, Instant 2290!


#9- Humility can go a long way

Photo Credit: Eric Rodriguez

In my opinion, humility can go a long way. It is important to differentiate between being a leader and a boss. Ultimately, both of these roles represent a person who is in charge of a person who is in power – they are not the same. Someone who is a leader will share the spotlight and give others credit when they deserve it. Being humble as a leader is very hard to do, but this is something that requires more confidence and assuredness than taking all the glory.

Thanks to Eric Rodriguez, Innerbody!


#10- Treat all your employees as equals

Photo Credit: Khushali Shah

Leadership is about making the people believe in you. This involves vision, passion, aptitude but most of all compassion. Employees often face discrimination at the workplace, and this has a negative impact on all aspects of the organization. It is up to the leader to set a good example and ensure that all employees are treated as equals. Irrespective of their designation, education, and socioeconomic background. This will lead to a positive workplace, making your organization more efficient in achieving business goals.

Thanks to Khushali Shah, Healthy And Khush!


#11- Always be positive

Photo Credit: Christopher Sioco

Leaders are prone to failures, but the ones that get success, in the long run, tend to sustain the failures & stick to their business irrespective of the setbacks. Transformational leaders have always been cheerful, optimistic, and positive in terms of their business procedures. Entrepreneurs had to shut down their businesses just for their pessimistic attitude and the ability to not handle setbacks well. For every setback, think about how you can improve it instead of focusing on the loss your business went through.

Thanks to Christopher Sioco, Tax Robot!


#12- Get creative

Photo Credit: Jack Klauber

Irrespective of how busy you get as a leader, you need to tap into your creativity every day to remain productive and successful as a leader. You need to inspire your employees to show their originality which rises from creativity. Bring new challenges to the workplace and encourage employees to be a part of it. Encourage innovation and allow them to share their opinions after every brainstorming session to get to new heights and overcome the obstacles.

Thanks to Jack Klauber, Everyday Dose!


#13- Never forget why you started

Photo Credit: Richa Nathani

If there's one thing that will always keep you on the right path when the going gets tough, it's reminding yourself of all the reasons why you started your journey. Leaders are tasked with innumerable responsibilities every single day and it's common for them to lose sight of the bigger picture from time to time. But by using constant reminders of where you're headed and reigniting the spark that drove you towards starting your entrepreneurial venture, you can be a constant source of motivation to not only yourself but also those around you.

Thanks to Richa Nathani, Dialed Labs!


#14- KYC; know your colleague

Photo Credit: Anshul Kapoor

KYC; know your colleague is a panacea to leading. The team will reciprocate to leadership for professional proximity & both gain with the exchange of ideas. KYC is a skill-oriented HR phenomenon that once nourished can yield desired results. Leadership today denotes a colleague's spirit & that enthuses positivity in the team. We & Together words must be executed in all communications. More than a skill, both Heart & Mind should be synchronized to lead Team in activating executable plans.

Thanks to Anshul Kapoor, Rendezvous!


#15- Effective communication

Photo Credit: Tracy Acker

A good leader needs to be a good listener & a good communicator. Good leaders should express genuine care & concern for the members of their group, both verbally and nonverbally. By keeping the lines of communication open, these leaders can ensure that group members feel able to make contributions & receive recognition for their achievements. Effective communication is imperative, both in the office and in life. One effective speech has the power to generate positive change, and spark creativity.

Thanks to Tracy Acker, GetPaydayLoan.co.uk!


#16- Invest in developing your current leaders

Photo Credit: Avinash Chandra

A strong leader is one of the core pillars of success in any organization. People aren't necessarily born with leadership abilities, thus organizations can't just sit back and hope people will become great leaders. Leaders must be developed and molded. And I don't mean just the executive level-I mean managers at every level of the company. Despite the fact that 70 percent to 80 percent of the workforce reports to frontline managers, frontline management is often overlooked when it comes to leadership.

Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom Consulting!


#17- Learn to trust your people

Photo Credit: Scot J Chrisman

One of the common mistakes and weaknesses of leaders is about trusting their people either too little or too much. Nevertheless, my tip is still to learn to give trust to your people in the amount that they need to do their job well. Being too controlling just because you don't trust them will often lead to poor performance and results. Perhaps, this ensures at some point that trust can indeed boost their confidence, letting them work more freely and comfortably.

Thanks to Scot J Chrisman, The Media House!


#18- Leadership coherence

Photo Credit: Allison Adams

Whether you're making decisions on your own or with a team, a timeless leadership tip that will increase desired outcomes is to leverage your heart's intuitive intelligence. With the influx of data and demands, the ability to lead from a coherent, connected, confident place through heart-brain-body regulation and management is immeasurable. Just like EQ, Heart Intelligence is a leadership skill that will not only help you successfully adopt and navigate the changing world, but save you time, money, and energy.

Thanks to Allison Adams, Sacred Leadership Global!

#19- Explain your goals

Photo Credit: Anthony King

Set clear goals and let your employers know what they are working towards. Try to include their individual goals in your vision to motivate them. Listen to your team members' feedback when you explain to them your goals. Encourage their participation. Take their feedback into consideration and answer their questions. This makes them feel included in the direction of the company's progress and they stay motivated. It is good to hold follow-up meetings to revisit the progress of even the smaller goals.

Thanks to Anthony King, Transport Executive!


#20- Be honest

Photo Credit: Leslie Radka

The first thing that comes to mind is honesty. This is an effective trait. Honesty is something that should never be taken lightly. If you are not being honest with your employees, partners, customers, etc. then you are doing them a disservice. You need to be able to trust people around you. If they can't trust you, how can they trust you with their own personal information? So, according to me, honesty is the best policy for a leader to lead effectively.

Thanks to Leslie Radka, GreatPeopleSearch!


#21- Hire people slowly

Photo Credit: Andres Zuleta

Our hiring process requires quite a bit of patience, but we’ve found it works extremely well. Our turnover is extraordinarily low, and we consistently find outstanding people to join our team. Hiring for us involves dozens of small steps, starting with clearly defining the role and composing a clear and engaging job post. The fact that our hiring process is drawn out automatically weeds out certain candidates. An important key is making sure we’re able to attract enough applicants, which means we always spend quite a bit of time marketing each position, as well.

Thanks to Andres Zuleta, Boutique Explorer!


#22- Ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities

Photo Credit: Will Yang

As the saying goes, there are only 24 hours in a day. Trying to do everything yourself is not only impossible, but it's also not an effective use of your time. Instead, focus on identifying the strengths of your team members and assigning tasks accordingly. Not only will this free up your time to focus on more important matters, but it will also help to develop your team and build morale. Remember, a good leader is only as strong as their team.

Thanks to Will Yang, Head of Growth Instrumentl!


#23- Show genuine concern & respect for follower's

photo Credit: Cindy Corpis

Good leaders should show genuine concern and respect for their followers, both verbal and nonverbal. This leadership may guarantee that team members feel comfortable and able to contribute and get acknowledgment for their accomplishments by maintaining open channels of communication. To be effective, leadership must have three crucial qualities: enthusiasm, collaboration, and interpersonal skills like honesty, ethnicity, and fairness.

Thanks to Cindy Corpis, SearchPeopleFree.net!


#24- Flexibility is the key

Photo Credit: Kate De Palma

An effective leadership structure will create space for employee feedback, something which is essential to any successful business. All too often, though, what I've seen go wrong with feedback is when the leader takes it too personally and goes on the defensive. Then, instead of being open to new ideas and really listening to another's experience in the company, the leader focuses on defending their choices and actions. This not only creates an ineffective feedback loop, hindering company growth and progress, but it also can alienate the employee and cause the leader to lose their trust. Strong leaders will listen to feedback with an open mind and evaluate it objectively.

Thanks to Kate De Palma, Scented Designs!


#25- Be decisive

Photo Credit: Peter Monkhouse

Many people tend to overthink things, and this often leads to paralysis by analysis. As a leader, you cannot afford to be indecisive. You have to be able to make decisions quickly and confidently, even if you do not have all the information. Of course, this does not mean that you should be rash or impulsive in your decisions. You should still take the time to gather as much information as possible, but once you have enough data to make an informed decision, you should not hesitate to act. Indecisiveness breeds uncertainty and confusion, which can hamper productivity and morale.

Thanks to Peter Monkhouse, ICL SA!


#26- Make your workplace a safe space

Photo Credit: Chris Roth

There are a variety of different types of employees at any workplace, and each has its own sensitivities and needs. Having a workplace culture that is safe means you have to ensure that any form of bullying is kept at bay, employees are made aware of hate speech, and there is no discrimination whatsoever. When employees feel seen and cared for, they are more motivated to give their best, wholeheartedly. Have a set of rules in place and a system for raising complaints. An environment like this is kind & open.

Thanks to Chris Roth, Highline Wellness!


#27- Work with your team not above them

Photo Credit: Igal Rubinshtein

Delegating work is an important part of being a leader. However, it can be more effective to actively collaborate with your employees rather than assigning work and deadlines. This involvement with the team can double up as a form of coaching, thereby improving their performance with your guidance. The idea here isn’t to excessively control or micromanage the work. Instead, go about it by giving your employees creative freedom, letting them voice their opinions, and doing things their way.

Thanks to Igal Rubinshtein, Home Essentials Direct!


#28- Be the change you want to see

Photo Credit: Farzad Rashidi

The best leadership tip I've ever heard is to be the change you want to see. In other words, set the example for the type of behavior you want to see in others. If you want your team to be more organized, be more organized yourself. If you want your team to be more communicative, be more communicative yourself, and so on. I think this is great advice because it's not only applicable in a work setting, but in all aspects of life. As Gandhi once said, Be the change you want to see in the world.

Thanks to Farzad Rashidi, Respona!


#29- Educate yourself and learn new things

Photo Credit: Chris Salmon

It can be easy as a leader to forget that there is still always more to learn about yourself, your business, and your own personal interests. This means that you should never cease any learning opportunities, as you can always improve your current practices and also show what you learn to those around you. Some great ways in which you can continue to learn are to attend conferences, read educational books related to your field, and participate in skill-building workshops.

Thanks to Chris Salmon, Quittance Legal Services!


#30- Scheduling regular check-ins

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Hicks

My best leadership tip is to schedule regular check-ins with your employees. These check-ins are necessary to form a strong bond with your workers and show them that you care about them. It’s also an excellent way to give your team some constructive feedback, helping them further hone their skills. Additionally, ask the employees about their mental health and show as much support as you can. It’ll surprise you to see the wonders that these check-ins can do. I’d suggest conducting them bi-weekly to ensure maximum employee satisfaction and productivity.

Thanks to Elizabeth Hicks, Parenting Nerd!


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

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