OPINION: Behind every successful business is an effective leader
JOHANNESBURG - Behind every successful business is an effective leader who consistently practises behaviours that cultivate success.
Good habits, when persistently applied, can therefore have a monumental impact on businesses. Take note of these ten positive habits for business owners:
Being on time for appointments signals respect for other people’s time. Aim to be ten minutes early, taking into consideration parking and finding your way to a new location. By being punctual you will also make a great first impression as being trustworthy and dependable.
Waking up early allows you extra time to get ahead of your day - whether it’s making to-do lists or finishing up tasks from the day before. Many business leaders cite the first part of the day as their most productive, so use this for the most important tasks that require focus, avoiding distractions like email and catching up on social media.
It is important to remember why you started the business in the first place and stay inspired. Try to do something you love every day to help cultivate this passion. Be careful not to become consumed by your goals.
If you take the time to keep your business admin in order, it will really pay off in the long term. When you’re on a tight deadline, knowing exactly where to find things – both electronic and physical – can save you valuable time.
Eat the frog. This term stems from a famous Mark Twain quote and means to tackling a difficult or uncomfortable task head-on, rather than procrastinating. Often these tasks require more focus and a strategic approach, so schedule them in early on while energy levels are still high.
Good relationships are key to the success of a business, no matter the industry. Brainstorming with people in a similar line of work can assist in generating fresh, new ideas – not to mention that new business leads are often referred through word-of-mouth.
An effective business leader knows that good business is about more than being profitable; it's about adding value on a broader level. Taking a more holistic approach can add meaning to your business and boost team morale, while making the work that people do more relatable.
Even at the top, there's always room to learn. Look to improve your skills, whether it's through studying a part-time course or getting a business mentor. Similarly, is also important to cultivate curiosity and make a habit of keeping up to speed with the latest industry trends.
Good leaders take both good and bad times on the chin. They focus on solutions and remain positive even when things aren't going well. When new business challenges arise, be the first to jump in to try to resolve them, and remain open to changing things up if required.
The backbone of every business is a strong, cohesive team. Always look to build up those around you, guiding them through challenges and helping them to reach their potential. Publicly praise those who are deserving, and don't point fingers when things go awry. While business is business, remember to stay human too.
Ben Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited.