APPRENTICE TIPS: Leadership tips for small businesses

Tuesday July 16 2019


By Julius Bulili

Small businesses need leadership too. It is a fact that without business leadership, your small business ship will circle aimlessly and eventually run out of power. Effective business leadership demands a captain of the ship, not just someone who’s standing by the helm. Leadership is active, not passive.

Cool-headed, farseeing, visionary, courageous - whichever adjectives you select, leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader, a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all.

Anyone can be a leader, even if the only person they’re leading is themselves. However, someone cannot be a leader just by saying he is. Leadership needs to be worked at. As the business owner, you have to transform yourself into the kind of strong leader that your small business requires.

A strong business leader is able to do planning. See!! The core of business leadership is being proactive rather than reactive. As a matter of fact, leaders are good in crises - but that does not mean they sit around letting crises develop.

Leadership involves identifying potential problems and solving them before they reach crisis proportions – and the ability to identify and reap potential windfalls. So good leaders analyze and plan and adapt their plans to new circumstances and opportunities.

Strong business leaders have a vision. This is essential to good leadership. Vision provides direction and without direction, there’s not much point to all that planning; your small business will still flail about. Vision embodies your dreams and your passions. Vision also serves as a leadership vision. A created vision has to be shared to the team. Sharing your leadership vision helps your vision to grow and your business leadership to develop.


As you tell your leadership vision to others, you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. And other people will start to see you as a person who’s “going places” and recognize you as a person with leadership potential.

As a business leader you have to take charge. At this stage of business leadership, you put together your planning and your leadership vision and take action. Whether it’s implementing a specific plan to improve your business’ bottom line or responding to a crisis, you, as the leader, are the one who makes the decisions and sees that the appropriate actions are carried out.

You can’t just “talk a good game” to be a leader; you need to act and to be seen as taking effective action for the good of your small business. You must also put together an action plan for your small business based on your plan and vision.

A strong business leader inspires through examples!! If I asked you, you could easily name two or three people whose leadership qualities inspire you. If I asked you why, you’d tell me about the things these inspiring people did or are doing. Leadership is defined through action. Therefore, in developing your own skills, you have to act in ways that are fitting to your leadership vision and your self - all the time. We can all name many actions of other people whom we admire, but what inspires us is the integrity that gives these actions meaning.

Literally, leadership can be learned. Learning to be a leader isn’t easy because it takes a conscious commitment and consistent effort to develop one’s business leadership skills. But on the positive side, anyone who is willing to make the effort can become a good leader.

And as good business leadership is critical to business success, your efforts to improve your leadership skills will be amply rewarded. Take my above advice as keys to business leadership and you can be the leader your small business calls for.

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