6 important leadership lessons in business
Leadership is an integral part of being a business owner. No matter whether you’re a sole trader or have a team of staff members. As a business owner it’s about leading your business towards your goals while navigating relationships with your staff, customers and suppliers etc.
So, if you want to run a successful business, you need to be thinking about leadership. What kind of leader do you want to be? What are the ethics that come with your leadership style? How does your leadership manifest in the day-to-day running of your business?
We asked Lumi CEO & Founder, Yanir Yakutiel, who’s learnt a thing or two about leadership during his years as a serial entrepreneur. Below he shares with us 6 valuable leadership lessons that matter in business:
1. Lead by example
First and foremost, you always have to lead by example. Never ever, ever, ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. This is something that was instilled in me from a young age and was reinforced during my military service.
2. Believe in yourself and your team
You have to have faith and commitment to what you are doing, so that you can infect your team with your enthusiasm. There’s always a reason not to do something. Things are hard. But if you back yourself and you don’t let yourself get unmotivated by the naysayers. If you truly believe, your team will follow you. This needs to be balanced with the ability to listen to others and synthesise ideas.
3. An idea is nothing without the right execution
Of course, every business starts with an idea. But the reality is that a good idea is a very small part of business success. Good ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s all about the execution. So, once you’ve got an idea, make sure to create a clear roadmap on how you will bring this idea to life. Include a clear set of steps, tasks, timelines and resources required to make it happen.
4. Your team is everything
I’d rather have an A rate team with a B rate idea than the other way around. Build the team in a way that complements your strengths and weaknesses. And don’t be afraid to hire people that are smarter than you. In fact, you should only hire people that are smarter or better at a certain skill than you. Because your job is to lead the company towards reaching its goals by getting the right people to do the job, not actually doing the job yourself.
5. Be slow to hire and quick to fire
Bad employees have a negative impact on the entire team’s performance. If someone isn’t right, you are not doing anyone any favours by not letting them go. They need to find a role that is better suited to their skills. Different people flourish in different environments.
6. Just do it! It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
Running a business always means taking risks. Almost every decision you make has some sort of implications for your team or business’s performance. A lot of the time people hold back on doing things, especially when it’s outside their comfort zone, in fear that they might be doing something wrong or that something could backfire.
But no risk, no fun! Risk is a healthy and important part of driving your business forward. If you’re not willing to take risks chances are that you might be in the exact same position in 5 years from now. If you are waiting for permission to do certain things, it might already be too late. Sometimes it’s just easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Just do it and if it goes badly, use your charm to damage control.
Of course, everyone has their own unique way of leading their business and insights into what works best for them. If you haven’t thought about what type of business leader you are, think about the following:
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. As a leader, it’s important to be aware of them and use them in a suitable way to benefit your business and your employees. Knowing what they are, you can really play on your strengths and work on your weaknesses; and hire employees to complement your strengths and weaknesses. Not always easy to admit, but this honest look in the mirror can really help you improve your leadership in business.
What are your core values & beliefs?
When you create your company, you often think about your mission, vision and values. These are often very closely aligned with you as a person. You then hire people that share similar values and beliefs to join you on that mission. It’s important to be aligned with your team so you can fight for the same goals. If you haven’t thought about this or are struggling to articulate it, think about it that way: What matters most to you? For example, some people might say, honesty. Being honest requires integrity, so integrity could be one of your core values that you lead by.
How do you deal with adversity?
Being a good leader is easier when things are going well. The ultimate test to your leadership is when things are not going that well. How do you deal with adversity? How do you navigate through difficult situations? Do you try to solve everything by yourself or do you empower your team to work through it together? How are you treating other people during a crisis? All of these questions can help you understand what type of leader you really are. Because let’s face it, we mostly show our true selves in the face of adversity.
How do your employees act around you?
A good indication of what type of leader you are is reflected in the way that your team acts around you. Do they often speak up, voice their opinions (even if they are different from yours)? Or do they rarely say a tone when you enter the room and always just execute every task you give them? Great leadership actively involves your team’s opinion and ideas. For that they need to feel comfortable around you and confident that they are allowed to fail. If you have no clue how your team perceives you, it might be time for a feedback session. Feedback is a gift after all 😉
We hope you enjoyed this article on business leadership lessons and styles.
Your Lumi team