Apart from dealing with hundreds of things on their plates at any given time, business founders also need to be great leaders. That way, when their company starts growing, they’ll be prepared for all the leadership lessons that come with it, in order to positively interact with their employees, among other things.
Being a good leader can be challenging. While a leader’s actions may be criticized when times are tough, it is their leadership qualities that shine through the worst of times and that lead team members to respect them. That’s why it is vital for every leader to try and embrace the qualities of great leadership.
The greatest of leaders display certain attributes that make them hugely successful. Here are the top three leadership qualities that every good leader should possess.
Hire Well and Delegate
As the proverb goes, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” The same is true for a business leader. As founder-CEO, you will be defined by the people you choose to surround yourself. If there is dysfunction at the top, it will flow to the bottom, causing dysfunction throughout the company. Therefore, you must always treat recruiting as one of the top three priorities when it comes to running your business well. This is especially true when recruiting your board of directors, because it will be a lot harder to fire a board member if they make a mistake, as compared to firing a regular employee.
In addition, a rising attrition rate has made the job market tougher than ever, hitting small- and medium-sized businesses particularly hard. One of the best ways to ensure you hire the right candidates for the right roles is to use end-to-end recruiting strategies.
Once you have found the right people for the right jobs, you must also know how to delegate wisely. A successful leader knows how to delegate effectively and get the best out of all his staff members. Delegation is essential for maximizing team performance and productivity. And, knowing when and how to delegate will give you more time to carry out your most important tasks.
Remember, delegation does not end at simply delegating tasks to team members — it also entails having the understanding and awareness about who has the necessary skills and expertise to complete the delegated tasks. Mindful delegation is crucial for saving time and avoiding future inconveniences.
Make Customer Service a Top Priority
It goes without saying that customer service should be a top priority for any business in order to be successful. And to make customer focus a reality in your company, you must first showcase a genuine commitment to customer focus — real change needs to come from the top.
Second, you must make it clear to all your employees, starting at orientation itself, what’s at stake and how important it is for your organization to address clients’ needs proactively. You must also ensure that your business systematically recognizes and rewards customer-focused behavior.
Lastly, you should establish processes that communicate customer insights among staff members, all the way up to the top.
Maintaining genuine and positive relationships with customers has several long-term benefits for any business. Staying in touch with your existing clientele, even when they are not giving you business, is vital for the growth of any organization. This will help you retain customers and create good will in the greater community on a large scale.
Leadership speaker John Baldoni says, “The roots of effective leadership lie in simple things, one of which is listening. Listening to someone demonstrates respect; it shows that you value their ideas and are willing to hear them.”
Active listening — not just to customers but to employees and anyone else who has ideas — is one essential quality you must embrace if you want to be a good leader. Good leaders listen to everyone with great sincerity and attention. It helps them understand people and their differing perspectives.
Listening actively also helps build trust in relationships in the long run. Effective leaders communicate sincerely; they focus on the message as well as the messenger; they never interrupt and always acknowledge what is being said to them.