One of the things they don't tell you when you're starting a home based business is the importance of leadership development. Most people are trained by their public school system to be obedient and productive employees, but are not taught the skills of entrepreneurship.
As the owner of a home business, at some point you will begin to need to outsource some of your tasks. This will free your time and allow you to work on the most creative and essential aspects of your business. When you begin to hire people, you will also need to develop leadership skills.
Leadership development tip #1 - Always lead by example. As leader you need to set the tone for the people you work with. If you take three days to respond to an email, dont expect your assistants to respond on the day you email them! If you miss deadlines, send late payments, and show up late for appointment, your assistants will do the same. If you answer emails in a timely manner and are prompt, courteous and respectful, you will find your assistants emulate your positive behavior.
Leadership development tip #2 - Develop Confidence. As a leader, you need to develop confidence in yourself, your vision, your decisions, and in your actions. If you constantly second guess yourself, your assistants will not take you seriously. During times when you need input on decision or choice you have made, consult a mentor or business associate. It can be helpful to ask your assistants opinion on things that havent been decided yet, but once you make a decision, don't ask your assistants if they think you made the right choice!
Leadership development tip #3 - Communicate Clearly. Leaders need to be good at communicating. If your assistants do not understand what you are asking, they will not be able to complete the tasks you need in the way you would like. Be clear and specific about the projects details, illustrate your instructions with examples if possible. Let them know it is okay for them to ask questions. If they are working on a project that will take several weeks to complete, ask to see a portion of what they have accomplished each week, just to make sure they are on the right track.
Leadership development tip #4 - Be Organized. As a business leader, you will need to organize tasks and set deadlines in order for things to be done on time. If you want your assistants to turn a project in on the 20th of the month, you need to give them enough time to complete it. Plan ahead and manage your time effectively. Don't wait until the 19th of the month to check their progress!.
Leadership development tip #5 - Deal With Conflict. Sometimes communication fails, the ball gets dropped, or mistakes get made. As a leaders you need to learn how to listen effectively and resolve conflicts without flying off the handle. Listen carefully to what your assistants are saying. If you have a deadline of the 10th in mind, but your assistant cannot commit to this time frame, make sure you set a clear date you can both agree on. Remember that in business there will always be times when situations are mishandled. Learn how to deal with conflict by staying calm and being focused on what is needed to get the situation back on track.
The leadership development tips will help you grow both personally and professionally. You'll gain increased confidence and your business will grow more smoothly and with greater ease and peace of mind!
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