Anatomy-Of-Leadership

The Anatomy of Leadership in Small Businesses

Leadership is more than just managing people in your company. First-time founders often go into business with a rosy outlook on the future of their company, not aware of the real demands that their people need from them.

Without a clear definition of their role as a leader, companies often fall into disarray, with mounting distrust among employees that leads to a toxic environment that affects the financial circumstances and even health condition of everyone involved.

On the other hand, when your people see that you have the company’s and their best interests first, they will go above and beyond to contribute to the growth of your organization.

The structure of effective leadership can be broken down into a 3-point priority list:

  1. Mission
  2. Team
  3. Self

Mission

Without a mission with goals and an ambition to strive towards, it’ll be difficult to achieve anything worthwhile, and this is your first responsibility as a leader – to establish a future that your people can see and want to strive for.

We’re visual creatures, after all. We pursue things that we can see. If you can paint a brighter future, your people can be motivated to build it together with you.

However, if you work backwards and attempt to motivate your people without a clear mission, you’ll be climbing a mountain with a sharp uphill incline. It matters not if you’re born with a talent to inspire and touch hearts – without a specific direction that allows you to blaze the trail for your employees to follow, your leadership stint is likely to be short-lived.

Instead, increase your chances of success dramatically by starting with ‘Why’. (A great resource on discovering and establishing your mission is ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek).

If you want to know why some people and companies more innovative, more influential, and more profitable then others, then you’ll need to find your ‘why’ – which will give you a clear mission that you can lead your people towards.

Team

Many organizations today have a “one-up” culture, where their employees are obsessed with becoming incrementally better than others to look good to their superiors.

However, these same companies tend to be the same ones with falling profitability and growing distrust among the staff, which is a vicious cycle that’s difficult to reverse. Rather than operating in this manner, we need to create a culture of helping each other.

This way, we can build a ‘circle of safety’ that allows us to trust that we have each other’s back and can protect us from the dangers of outside.

Organizations who have adopted this working style have given their employees peace of mind that creates an environment that encourages a free exchange of information and ideas that propel them towards success.

Google is frequently mentioned as a proponent of this style. They provide free food, meetings that allow any and all questions, and set aside 20% of working time for employees to work on their own projects – an environment that’s super safe to work in.

The alternative? Employees in companies who work the opposite way end up thinking that ‘someone else will steal their ideas’, and hoard all the information to themselves, which restricts the growth of the company.

Create a worry-free place for your people, because safety means progress. And leaders are the provider of this safety.

Self

As the leader, we naturally have a higher status in the group, but we need to be aware that this status comes at a price. And this price is to defend the group.

We need to be the ones who rush towards danger and protect everyone else. That’s why leaders usually have ‘first rights’ – in tribes, leaders are the strongest in the group and will eat first and have the first choice of mate.

In modern organizations, our leaders have bigger paychecks and benefits than the rest. But today, we see many people getting upset at their leaders. It’s not about the money per se – it’s the fact that they took all the money and the perks without providing safety for the group.

In fact, many high ranking executives today have demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice others for their own interests. They too, are working backwards.

Instead of working to become a beacon of leadership and security for their people and possessing fame and wealth as a result of their efforts, these executives use their rank as the means to get what they want.

When putting others first, it often means that you get served later – but it does not mean that your rewards are lesser. It only means that your people come first.

And to best serve your company and your employees, the greatest gift you can give them is your own personal development. Develop yourself through reading books from other leaders who have come before you, and implement action points you have learned for the betterment of everyone around you.

“It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes the people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.”

-Simon Sinek

The Ongoing Nature of Leadership

If you’ve been wearing the hat of a leader in your company for some time, then you may be well aware of the heavy responsibility on your shoulders.

And the heavy burden can sometimes paralyze would-be leaders as they try to lead the people in their organization. If you feel overwhelmed sometimes, you’re not alone.

Read books written by successful CEOs, network with fellow business leaders, and never stop learning and growing – there’s always room to improve and sharpen your capabilities!

There’s always room to become a more effective leader. Discovering and applying leadership and management skills are a never-ending, ongoing part of what it means to be a leader. Never stop learning!

And if you’re feeling stressed out because your company needs to improve sales figures, get your free copy of “5 Steps to Train Your Sales Team in 5 Days” to give you the edge you need to take your business to the next level.

This handbook will help you quickly get your sales team into shape and put your business firmly on the track to growth and success!

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