If you were inclined to do so, you could probably spend the rest of your life reading books about leadership. However, a final, single definition of ‘leadership’ would undoubtedly still elude you.
Leadership means different things to different people. For example, management guru, Charles Handy, said: “Leadership is getting the most out of people. Giving them the room to move but not so much that they go bonkers. Treating them as people in the sense that you realise they have wills, needs and aspirations of their own.”
According to research by the Center for Creative Leadership, great leaders consistently possess ten core leadership skills: integrity, ability to delegate, communication, self-awareness, gratitude, learning agility, influence, empathy, courage and respect.
For me, leadership almost certainly includes enthusiasm, inspiration, guidance, direction, delegation and charisma. I think leaders must also portray confidence in the strong and secure future of their business: clients and staff alike need to feel that the business is there for the long term.
I like to think of a business – any business – as a stage play. The audience are your clients. The play is your suite of products or services. The director represents your leadership team. Back stage is where the essential support functions take place, so your office administration and other functions. Like a theatre production that runs smoothly, so too should your business. This relies on effective and efficient systems and processes – and great leadership from directors and managers.
What is clear is that whether you run a company that has thousands of employees or a small business with just a handful, strong, decisive and purposeful leadership is essential. Ultimately, staff and clients need the reassurance that ‘those at the top’ know what they’re doing!
Next month, I’ll be sharing with you my next tip for Healthy Business Finances: ‘Make it profitable’. In the meantime, you can download the whole chapter for free or please visit the Your Bigger Future website for further information about the book.