Most business owners and entrepreneurs are leaders. Many business owners in this community are leaders of local groups and associations.
Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become people others want to follow.
When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of effective leadership.
Here are some of the ways conscientious business owners lead by example:
Blaming others costs you credibility and integrity and stunts your (business) growth. Take responsibility for mistakes and mishaps — they happen.
Keep your eye focused on your vision and moving forward. Think about how can you take responsibility in a positive way and move on.
Part of taking responsibility is telling the truth. Demonstrate that honesty really is the best policy.
In a crisis, be willing to take the first step into the fire. Show others your commitment to the larger vision. Taking calculated risks demonstrates that.
Acknowledge mistakes. Doing so makes it OK for your team to do the same.
Every person who has achieved a level of success has made many mistakes along the way. Knowing that mistakes are part of the process allows people room to be human and grow.
Be persistent, consistent
Try, try and try again. The willingness to go over, under or around any hurdles shows your employees and clients that obstacles don’t define you or your company.
Being consistent makes people feel comfortable with you. Comfort leads to trust. Trust leads to lifelong clients.
Don’t dwell on problems or challenges. Be the one known for offering solutions.
Be sure to include your team. Everyone sees challenges from a different angle, and someone on your team may have a solution you would never have come up with.
Listen, ask questions
Ask questions of yourself, and see what valuable new insights come out of you. Asking questions in search of new ideas sets a tone that encourages healthy communication and inspiration.
Allowing others to try new tasks and skills creates an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths. It also allows them to discover new strengths they might not have known about.
Being a business owner is all about leading your employees to find new and exciting ways to take care of your clients and help them get closer to their goals.
• Victoria Buckmann has 25 years of sales experience and had a successful corporate career with a Fortune 100 company.