Leadership is the X factor in starting and building a successful company. It will influence your entire development, from top to bottom. As a business owner, you have to chart the company’s course. At the same time, especially in the beginning, you are at a disadvantage because you are probably not in a position to pay the highest wages. Furthermore, your talent as a leader may be average, at best.
Tomorrow kicks off the Higher Level Leader Summit. I will be sharing the stage with many of my colleagues, mentors and heroes. I can’t tell you how excited I am to share my thoughts on leadership with you. Learn to Lead at a Higher Level – Register Now for Free Online Access!
When starting a business, you normally come to it having served as either an employee or a manager. Neither of these roles actually prepares you well to lead a business. John Maxwell believes that the most essential role of the leader is giving.
Much of self-leadership is about cultivating good practices or habits. And if you could cultivate only one habit to practice every day of your life, I believe it should be this: giving more than you receive. Managing employees that receive their paycheck from someone other than you is not the same as managing when you are signing the checks. In the past, you probably never set the broad course for a company and only managed employees in ways your superiors had laid out for you. Or, as an employee, you never had a chance to lead at all.
I encourage you to think and lead as if you were a coach. Inspire, encourage, be firm when needed, and get the most out of the talent you have. Share your vision for the company from your first employee interview. You want to be a company they want to work for. Liz Wiseman identified two types of leaders: Diminishers and Multipliers. Diminishers don’t encourage creativity or growth while Multipliers increase their team’s capabilities, twice as much as their more negative counterparts. If you can get employees excited and partnering with you in achieving success, then you have something special. Inspired employees create momentum, which is contagious, and customers will sense it.
But this inspiration must come from your leadership. Growing as a leader through reading, attending seminars and to speaking with people in your industry is the key to success. And growth is really about self-improvement. Our greatest leaders and entrepreneurs have obsessively improved themselves over the course of their lives, and this improvement has translated to better products, better employees and hopefully better lives. If you are struggling to improve, I recommend starting with Tony Robbins’ Categories of Improvement. Where do you need to step up your game? Also, where are you succeeding?