5 Leadership Tips Every Business Leader Should Know

Are you running a small business and have frustrations over your ‘lack’ of leadership skills and qualities? Don’t fret, because you’re not alone. Not everyone is a born leader, so it comes as no surprise that SME owners are often placed in situations where they come off as awkward, unprepared and poor leaders.

If you’re one such business owner, you’re not out of hope just yet. One of the key factors of being a leader is having the willingness to take risks, and as an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already taken some big ones already. So that much, you’ve already nailed down.

Here are 5 more tips to help you display genuine leadership to the people you work with.

Lead yourself

Giving out orders is simple enough for anyone, but that’s not just what being a leader is all about. Good leadership starts with the ability to lead oneself, not just to set an example to the rest of the people in the organization, but to become an efficient component in the overall machinery of the business. You must be capable of motivating yourself first, before motivating those around you.

Stay away from hierarchy systems

Effective leaders show leadership by guiding employees instead of making them feel like peons. You are the leader yes, but making yourself look like the king, queen or the boss of everything is restrictive and creates resentment among your people.

Be willing to experiment

Just because you found a system-whether accidentally or on purpose-that works for you, doesn’t mean you should rely on it too much. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your guns, but as a business owner, you need to be open to new management methods, strategies and approaches. Acknowledge your success, but always be prepared to do better.

See jobs through to the end

Far too many business owners and leaders talk about their supposed accomplishments without walking the talk. How many jobs have you started and seen through to the end? Getting started with tasks and not finishing them is not only a waste of time and money, it also causes your people and customers to lose confidence in your abilities.

Acknowledge good work

We all want the best from the people we work with, but too many business leaders fail to grasp the concept of showing genuine appreciation to their employees in order to bring out the best in them. Remember, if you make your employees know you’re happy with them, they in turn will be happy with you too.

Being A Good Online Business Leader Means Being A Good Listener

Being a good online business leader means not just inspiring other people to do more or showing them the best tools to use to build their own business. A good online business leader also keeps their ears open to other professional business leaders, their team members and even people they believe have nothing to offer.

I’ve been to a few seminars in my time where the speakers were millionaires and they shared with the crowd a time when after they had become successful they had sat through a seminar that cost five to ten thousand dollars. You read that right, five to ten thousand dollars to sit in a meeting and listen to someone else talk.

Sometimes the seminar would be chalk full of information that they could use to boost their business like a rocket ship. Other times the seminar would be an almost complete waste of time, a repeat of education they have already gleamed but on occasion they would hear one statement or one small kernel of knowledge that would make that seminar worth more than what they had paid.

Even rich, successful people never stop learning because they are always on the lookout for ways to keep their business on top.

I’ve also been on team training calls where the leader of the call was discussing a topic and one of their teammates knew more about the topic and shared what they knew. The leader didn’t get angry for being interrupted or condescend their teammate for making them look foolish. Instead, the leader thanked the teammate for sharing their valuable knowledge with the rest of the group and actually dedicated the rest of that call to discussing what the teammate knew on the topic.

The third experience comes from my mentor. Years ago he decided to challenge himself and earn a black belt in martial arts. He knew it would take years of dedication, training and perspiration, but the result would be worth all of it. On his first day in the dojo, he was grouped with all the experienced students as well as the newcomers. The sensei paired every student with someone of equal experience. My mentor, who was 35 at the time, found himself paired with a seven year old girl. At first he felt a little insulted because he thought, What can I possibly learn from a little girl?

That day he learned what it meant to be humble.

Everyone has been given time on this planet to acquire, develop and master certain knowledge and skills that can either mirror, compliment or surpass yours. Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean they are less than you. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you should take the time to learn from them.

Just remember, the day you stop learning is the day you might as well hang up your apron and retire from life and a good online business leader never stops learning. Be a good business leader by being a lifetime learner.

“An education isn’t how much you committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s about being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t know.” – Anatole France 

Scott Gustafson
E-Business Expert

Management Based on Biblical Principles – Four Spiritual Disciplines For Business Leaders

During the early history of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom invited King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom to join forces with him to fight a common enemy in combat. Now, King Ahab did not believe in God, but King Jehoshaphat did. Before King Jehoshaphat would agree or disagree, he asked King Ahab whether there was a man of God, a prophet, nearby that could inquire from the Lord whether it was God’s will that they fight. King Ahab did not want to call the prophet because he knew the prophet would speak against King Ahab’s idea. However, Jehoshaphat insisted and just as King Ahab predicted the man of God spoke against the military campaign. Even so, King Ahab convinced King Jehoshaphat to fight with him, and subsequently, King Ahab ended up losing his life in the battle.

In this case, the two kings illustrate a difference between management led by biblical principles and those founded on secular principles. Management based on biblical principles makes God central to every activity of the organization or business. This article will discuss four spiritual disciplines common to business leaders who base their business affairs on tenets found in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

The four spiritual disciplines are:
1. Praise and Thanksgiving
2. Prayer
3. Bible Study
4. Silence and Solitude

First, biblical leaders practice praise and thanksgiving. Praise is taking time to acknowledge God’s attributes. God’s attributes are the characteristics that are central to His being. For instance, God is always holy, loving, good and faithful. He demonstrates these traits whether we respond positively or not. Human beings are double-minded and often do things contrary to their desired nature. But, God is always the same and cannot go against his own nature. We praise God for who he is. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done or promised to do. For instance, God did not have to save human beings from their sins. Since God chose to send His Jesus to pay the penalty for our transgressions, we give thanks to Him. We also give thanksgiving to God for what he has provided for the business or orgainzation.The Jewish and Christian Scriptures are filled with examples of leaders who praised God for His character and thanked Him for what He did for them. The best examples are found in the Psalms.

Second, the second spiritual discipline of biblical leaders is prayer. There are two types of prayer. The two types of prayer are intercession and supplication. Intercessory prayer is asking God to help others. Supplication is asking God to intervene in our own personal lives. The night before he was crucified, Jesus Christ prayed these two kinds of prayer. First, while with his disciples, Jesus prayed that God would protect his disciples and cause them to live in harmony together. Second, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God to intervene in his own life. Those who lead organizations according to the Bible believe that God is intimately involved in their affairs and wants to bless their efforts. So, they take time to pray.

Third, biblical leaders study God’s Word found in the Christian Bible on a regular basis. In the Holy Scriptures, God has given many principles of how to lead an organization or business. He has also given many good and bad examples of how to apply His tenets. Organizational leaders who want to do things God’s way regularly read and study the Bible.

The fourth spiritual discipline practiced by biblically based managers is silence and solitude. Solitude is the practice of spending time alone without distraction. Silence is being quiet with nothing in the background. Solitude and silence allow the business leader to stop and think. This world is plagued by frenetic activity. Few leaders take ample time to stop and think through their plans and activities. When you take time to be alone in silence, you can meditate through God’s Word and evaluate past, present and future circumstances and events relevant to your organization. Recently, the U.S. Congress was sent an 1100-page stimulus bill that they had to read and vote on in less than 48 hours. There is no way they could have made an informed decision in such a short amount of time. A biblical leader takes adequate time to be quiet before God and think through major and minor decisions alike.

There is a difference between management led by biblical principles and those founded on secular principles. Management based on biblical principles makes God central to every activity of the organization or business. This article has discussed four spiritual disciplines common to business leaders who base their business affairs on tenets found in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

Being A Good Online Business Leader Means Leading By Example

People are followers by nature. Throughout life they need someone to give them guidance, inspiration and keep them on the right path to get them where they want to be in life. When those people decide to start their own business they will need someone who can offer those same attributes, but they won’t follow just anyone. People will only follow someone who possesses and displays true leadership skills and being a good online business leader means leading by example.

What does leading by example mean exactly?

If you haven’t read my three previous articles on Being A Good Online Business Leader then take the time to do so now.

All done?

Good.

A good business leader is someone who exhibits such qualities as keeping an ear open to your leaders, your followers and your clients; being an avid reader of articles, forums, blogs, newsletters, and emails that provide valuable content to building your business; and keeping an open mind to learning skills and techniques that will encompass and compliment what you already know now as well as gathering and implementing new skills you don’t have.

As an online business leader people will want to read your articles, watch your videos and follow your business activities but they will also want to purchase the same products you buy or join the business you promote.

The material you produce with online marketing will put you in a position of reference and people will see you as a person of importance. If your online material offers valuable insight and information about how to be successful then your followers will become interested in your primary business or any affiliate program you recommend that will help boost a business they already have.

However, do not market something that isn’t a part of your own business system. People will only purchase something they truly believe in and no matter how much you talk about something, market it or even idolize it, no one will take your word for it and buy into the belief that This product works! if it’s not part of your business model. If you don’t use an affiliate program that can be an advantage to your own business practice then why would you spend time marketing, trying to convince someone else to believe, purchase and use that same product?

Leaders are called leaders for a reason. They do the things that others are too afraid to do and when something doesn’t work they share their experience to show that, yes, they too make mistakes, but mistakes they learn from and turn it into a valuable lesson for themselves and their followers. And when a leader does something that proves to be effective they want to share that as well and with more emphasis and exuberance. This follow-by-example has been an effective business practice for years for the reason that it works. But it only works because people followed a system, put it to use and then shared it with others who saw them as people of value, people they can trust, as leaders.

Learn to lead by example by being a person of value, trust and being open-minded to anyone who is in need of assistance, guidance and mentorship.