Five characteristics of a strong leader

Managing a business can be a challenging task, especially if you are new to the role and unfamiliar with the requirements. However, as difficult as it is to manage a business, inspiring your employees and setting an example can be all the more challenging.

Evolving from a manager to leader is important to your personal development, but it can be justas vital to your business growth.

But what makes a good leader, and how do leaders differ from managers? Here are four key areas that can contribute to your leadership development.

Engagement

As we mentioned, leaders are different to managers. While managers are more likely to engage with employees through facts and figures, leaders generally prefer to engage directly with their employees. So in order to be a great leader, try removing yourself from the tactical details of management when engaging employees and instead inspire through direct engagement.

Failure

Leading by example is a necessary characteristic for any SME owner trying to identify themselves as a business leader. Good leaders are not only capable of making decisions, they are also fearless when owning up to errors they have made and will generally outline how they expect to correct or improve their next decisions as a result.

Character

As a leader it's important to be confident in your ability, but never overstate what you are capable of. The best leaders are humble and will usually recognise someone else's contributions before they draw attention to their own.It also helps to believe in the brand, as most good leaders will have a character that aligns with the values of their business.
In some cases your management style can also be reflected by your character. Here are three effective management styles that can point you in the right direction.

Commitment

Strong leaders will lead the company not only through the growth periods but also during the slow periods or periods of decline. Maintaining a commitment to the brand not only displays your allegiance to the business, it also shows your belief in future success. By openly displaying this commitment you can reassure your employees and spread the belief down the business chain.

Focus

It's easy to differentiate between SME owners that are managers and small business owners that are also good leaders. Most business owners can start their day switched on, but the leaders will stay engaged and composed for the entire day no matter how full or free their schedule is.

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