8 Attributes of a Successful Small Business Leader

You have built and are now leading a small business.

This is an amazing accomplishment! Even though it might not feel like it at times. It’s hard to see how far you’ve come when you are busy running everything.

And everyday that you run your business, every reaction and decision you make, shapes how you lead.

The effectiveness of your small business leadership— how well you company does and how happy your team is— are defined by 8 key attributes.

As a successful small business leader, you are:

1. Strategic

Most people think the future is unknown. But not you.

You see not only the next three decisions that have to be made— you also see the next twelve.

The future is yours to shape because you have systems in place that maintain your past decisions and support your future ones.

You solve problems by looking at what you want, not focusing on what you don’t have.

And when you are ready to initiate your plan, you delegate confidently.

leadership in small business

2. Confident

You are a leader who is confident in making decisions.

Maybe, perhaps, and I don’t know are not in your vocabulary.

Even when the business hits a bump, you do not lose your cool.

You know that when a storm hits, that storm also passes.

You instil that same cool confidence into those around you through clear communication, education, and trust.

3. Delegates

You allow others to share in the work, providing guidance and positive feedback.

You don’t hog tasks even when it is easier or faster for you to do them yourself.

Not only are you growing your business, you are also growing the careers and skills of your team members.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

Jack Welch

4. Appreciative

You make a habit of letting others know what they are doing well.

How? You use your words to give praise and your wallet to share the wealth when things are going well.

Then, you thank your bank manager, suppliers, and your family for their support. Your business wasn’t built in a day (much like Rome).

And, as it’s most often forgotten— you are kind to yourself too.

You are learning, growing, and changing as you go! Small business leadership is a long process that takes lots of time and love.

Appreciate yourself.

I love my job

5. Listens and responds

You are curious and ask effective questions.

People learn from your questions and generate more possibilities for your company because of them.

And when they answer you, you listen carefully to fully understand before responding.

And even when it’s challenging, you acknowledge others views— including when you don’t agree with them.

People follow you because you take the time to make sure they feel seen, heard, and understood.

listening and responding in small business leadership

6. Knows their business

You make it your mission to know the numbers of your business.

For example, you know what your margin is on every product and you review your numbers consistently.

Also, you understand the current marketplace and your part in it. Including, your competitors’ strengths and challenges, and your industries key performance indicators.

7. Visionary

You know where you want your small business to be in three, five and ten years.

You can express this vision with such detail, others can see it and be inspired by it.

The below image shows the phases of appreciative inquiry, which is a cycle that aligns your vision with your leadership.

Phases of Appreciative Inquiry for Leadership in Small Business

8. Focused

You are unwavering when you need to complete a task or achieve a goal.

Especially when it is related to serving customers or holding everything together during bad times.

You don’t believe in the myth of multi-tasking. You deep-dive into your business, completing long-term tasks with vigor and determination.

Focus icon

Applying your small business leadership traits.

Your entrepreneurial journey is just that— a journey!

Be patient and kind to yourself as you lead your business.

You are successful already and by honing these 8 attributes you can strengthen your small business leadership skills even more.

Which attribute comes most naturally to you?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Beverlee Signature

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