Small Business Growth: It's About Leadership And Management

Steve Scott
June 1, 2009 — 2,359 views  
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When people think of leadership they usually come up with two scenarios. Either they are doing the leading or they are being led. Whether you are starting up your own business or running your own business the leadership you demonstrate will be critical to your success.

When you are leading others, whether it be employees, contractors, vendors or potential clients or customers that you hope to turn into sales it is critical that you are aware of the process and your impact on it. If you aren't your dream of small business growth and success may turn into a reality of failure.

From the start, it is important that you master the small disciplines of leadership. First you have to master yourself. How are you leading yourself?

Start with something small that you can change and will be of benefit. Enjoy some success and gain positive momentum. As you gain momentum, you can start to take on bigger things. Others will see your example and will be more likely to follow.

Remember that leadership is not taught. It is caught. Years ago, a man who was an executive with a large company was hired away by another large company to straighten it out and turn it around. There was about 30 days from the time he was hired until he was to start his new position.

One weekend, one of the board members of the company that had just hired him drove through the executive's neighborhood. As he drove by the executive's house the garage door was open. The garage was extremely cluttered and the new CEO was in the middle of it trying to get something and get out.

When the board member saw this he was very upset. After all, this man was hired to turn around the company and he couldn't even get out of his own garage. Who is he kidding? The board had a meeting and terminated the executive before his first day of work.

Here's the point. Life is going to throw you some pretty big challenges. But, if you haven't mastered the small ones, you don't stand much of a chance with the bigger ones. All of us come into the world with various gifts and talents.

And, all of us have areas where we can improve. That doesn't mean that you should spend an inordinate amount of time in shoring up your weaknesses. What you must do is develop new skills to be better able to cope with and work through those things that present challenges.

Developing new skills is at the core of personal development. And, in running your own business your income, the quality of your business and your life will seldom exceed your personal development.

As a leader and manager you must own responsibility for your personal development. When others see you developing new skills, whether it is a new way of thinking or a new habit, it will encourage them to do the same. As you push to be better you will be setting the example and leading them.

Let's take a look at management. Leadership is more strategic and more focused on the big picture. You are showing and leading others to a destination or goal that is far off in the future.

Management is more tactical. It is about how you and your business get through the day and produce an exceptional product or service. Growing small business and doing it consistently is about developing good management skills.

Good management skills will go to waste unless you create a good process for achieving the product or service you desire. Think about it. When you take good people and put them in a bad process what do you get? You get bad results.

When you take average people and put them in a good process what do you get? You get above average results. McDonalds, the largest restaurant chain in the world, operates on this principle. They create a very good process where the average person can flourish and grow.

How do you go about creating this process? You write it down. Most entrepreneurs and solo professionals won't do this. As a result, hiring becomes a revolving door. The business owner invests a majority of his time in managing the hiring process and not the business.

The end result quite often is failure. The importance of job descriptions and the expectations of the job along with a process to accomplish it are central to having a successful small business.

About the Author

Steve Scott is a business design and development coach who collaborates with and supports business owners and professionals who are committed to having more in their businesses and lives.

Steve Scott