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Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” But, becoming a great leader isn’t easy. Successfully maneuvering a team through the ups and downs of starting a new business can be one of the greatest challenges a small-business owner faces.
Here’s a list of 10 tips drawn from the secrets of successful leaders:
1. Assemble a dedicated team. Your team needs to be committed to you and the business.
2. Overcommunicate. This one’s a biggie. Even with a staff of only five or 10, it can be tough to know what’s going on with everyone.
3. Don’t assume. When you run a small business, you might assume your team understands your goals and mission — and they may. But, everybody needs to be reminded of where the company’s going and what things will look like when you get there.
4. Be authentic. Good leaders instill their personality and beliefs into the fabric of their organization. If you be yourself, and not try to act like someone else, and surround yourself with people who are aligned with your values, your business is more likely to succeed.
5. Know your obstacles. Most entrepreneurs are optimistic and certain that they’re driving toward their goals. But it’s a short-sighted leader who doesn’t take the time to understand his obstacles.
6. Create a ‘team charter.’ Just calling together a team and giving them a clear charge does not mean the team will succeed.
7. Believe in your people. Entrepreneurial leaders must help their people develop confidence, especially during tough times.
8. Dole out credit. A good quarterback always gives props to his offensive line.
9. Keep your team engaged. Great leaders give their teams challenges and get them excited about them.
10. Stay calm. An entrepreneur has to backstop the team from overreacting to short-term situations.
by Kara Ohngren