How to be a better leader

Three-quarters of small business owners admitted in a recent Business Link survey that their management and leadership skills left some room for improvement. Use these top tips to become a better leader.

UK leadership expert John Fay MBE, managing director of leadership consultancy SFL, offers ten ways SME managers can develop their leadership capabilities.

1. Be brave in your decisions and dealings with people; it will earn their respect.
2. Be yourself, don’t pretend to be anybody else.
3. Always listen to your people and encourage new ideas from the team.
4. Be there for your people at all times, be the rock they can rely on.
5. Be passionate about your company and your people to instil pride in your organisation.
6. Coach, rather than tell people. This will release their true talent.
7. If your people have not developed under your leadership, you have failed them.
8. Inspire people by your own outstanding hard-working example.
9. Treat everyone in the same manner, so no favouritism exists.
10. Continually communicate your vision to your people so everyone knows where they are headed and why.

There will always be natural leaders who have been brought up in a leadership environment and almost have it in the blood,’ comments Fay. ‘In contrast, there are many more of us reliant on experience and development before we can blossom as leaders. All types of leaders achieve more if properly developed.’

Related: The power of charismatic leadership in a small business

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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