Fostering Leadership Among Small Business Employees
The quality of leadership is one that should be highly valued by small business owners. After all, as business owners they exercise their own leadership skills every day. The purpose of leadership skills is to allow a group of small business employees to function as a more tightly knit group. Contrary to what one may think, promoting leadership does not mean promoting some employees over others, although in a management role one would expect a high degree of leadership on the part of your employee. What leadership skills give to small business employees is the power to think in critical ways themselves, analyze and respond to problems and communicate better as a unit. It is natural that your employees will excel in different areas. If they are all trained in leadership skills, then that will allow them to complement each other’s talents and step up in turn when they are most qualified to take charge.
There are many leadership qualities you should promote in your employees. For one thing, encouraging creative thought on the part of your staff puts them in a position to catch more detail and perceive stronger ways of doing their required tasks. Another leadership quality is, ironically, the ability to take direction. Without knowing what it is like to serve, it is difficult for one to be able to delegate in a constructive manner. An apt analogy is a music instructor who does not play any instruments. They might know how music is supposed to sound, but they are ignorant of what goes in to making it sound that way themselves, therefore they cannot be expected to teach anyone to play.
Leadership goes beyond delegating tasks. It requires more than just managerial knowledge to inspire someone to give their best effort. It takes empathy and respect to foster a strong bond with a managed employee. While creating these bonds takes time and effort, the benefit of this relationship strengthening is beyond compare as a truly dedicated employee represents a huge asset on the part of your business and will often go above and beyond to create value for the company.
Photo Credit to Baltic Development Forum on Flickr