Leaders and Bosses are Not the Same

Leaders and Bosses are Not the Same

Be a Leader

Understanding the difference between a boss and a leader can mean all the difference in achieving small business success.

Achieving business success will take a lot of effort on the part of the entrepreneur and any individuals he or she hires to see to it that the organization not only survives, but also thrives. Much of this effort will occur with respect to the types of workers who are brought in. Ensuring that everyone has the same goals and collaborates well within a team environment is one part of the process that must not be overlooked. However, of even greater importance are the leadership characteristics being displayed by the owner of the enterprise.

Many people who start their own companies are likely talented individuals who are skilled in a specific craft or trade. However, in order for a business to grow beyond mom-and-pop status into a marketplace leader, entrepreneurs will have to employ help and guide these individuals in a way that ensures the success of the organization. This isn’t a task that comes easy to most people. One of the ways to address this issue for owners is to work closely with a business consultant to help him or her obtain the skills needed in order to be successful in this area.

However, it’s important for those with their own enterprises to understand the subtle differences between being a boss and a leader. Failure to grasp the distinguishing characteristics between the two can be harmful and cause the business to not reach its full potential.

The difference between leaders and bosses
On the surface, to the uninitiated, these two words may have the same meaning. However, they couldn’t be more different, especially when it comes to running a successful operation. A recent article from Inc. Magazine offered a perspective that entrepreneurs can gain from when working to drive their companies to small business success.

It’s important to remember that true leadership is inspiring. Getting people to work together in harmony isn’t easy and wielding a heavy handed approach that instills fear, such as tactics employed by bosses, will oftentimes yield negative results, Inc. wrote.

Additionally, the best leaders are those who don’t look down on others, including the staff that they may have assembled. Instead, owners with successful enterprises understand the concept of teamwork and get everyone in his or her employ to understand that one person won’t contribute to a company thriving. Success will come from the combined efforts of everyone in the group.

How to lead effectively
Being a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process, one that must be realized through trial and error. However, it is unmistakable part of business success that must not be overlooked. A separate article from Inc. highlights how an entrepreneur can be the type of person that gets others to buy into his or her vision and help the enterprise stand out in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The first step in this process is to be someone who empowers others. Micromanagement never works and in many cases, is counterproductive. Giving staff members ground to make certain decisions without your input as the company owner, will build a deeper level of trust and will inspire workers to give their all. It is also important to recognize staff members for their efforts on a job well done. Not only is the acknowledgement appreciated, but it also lets workers know that you are keeping a watchful eye on their performance. This will encourage them to strive for excellence at all times.

By understanding the difference between leaders and bosses and mastering the former as opposed to the latter, small business success can be easily realized and a company can reach great heights in the process.

Avoid a business disaster with proper planning

Avoid a business disaster with proper planning

A solid disaster recovery strategy should be a part of any effective business growth plan.

A solid disaster recovery strategy should be a part of any effective business growth plan.

When starting your business, you mapped out everything you wanted to achieve and the steps to take to get where you wanted to go. Now that your company is up and running, you most likely still have a plan in place to deal with your organization’s growth. But what about if disaster strikes? It doesn’t happen to every enterprise, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen to yours.

A solid disaster recovery strategy is part of any effective business growth plan. Even if a disaster never occurs, it will give you, as an owner, peace of mind knowing that you have something in place to keep your operations running. Even though developing a disaster plan may sound daunting, all it takes is some research and preparation to create a strategy that will stand throughout any possible disaster.

Business disasters can range from natural occurrences, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or floods, to more technical issues, such as a cyber attack or data center loss. Whatever the case, getting a plan in place now means your business can recover more quickly and efficiently should an emergency happen.

– Assess the various risks: Businesses that are located in the Southeast United States may not have to worry about extremely cold weather conditions possibly disrupting their operations every year, but they do have to worry about tornadoes. Companies in every region of the country have to deal with various weather-related disasters that happen in their areas, so figuring out what could potentially throw off your enterprise for a few days is the first step to determining how you can handle them, suggests the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.

You should also take the time to assess any technical dangers, such as information loss due to hackers, the source recommends. This will help you lay out the proper protocols for recovery.

– Create a business continuity plan: Crain’s Detroit Business states that small companies need to develop a strong business continuity plan that outlines what steps will be taken in case of an emergency. The source also recommends that you determine which staff members will be in charge of which responsibilities so that employees know who to reach out to.

– Take a look at your systems: Looking at the systems you have in place can help you poke holes in anything that could be severely impacted by a disaster, writes the Minnesota Society of CPA’s. Do your employees have a way to work if your company’s Internet is down for an extended period? What if your facilities are damaged? Is there somewhere else you can operate out of while recovering? These questions can give you more insight into improvements that can be made to your disaster recovery plan.

Whatever the disaster, whether it’s weather-related or tech-based, you need a plan to get your operations back in line should something occur. Also, having your employees provide their advice and input on the strategy ensures everyone is onboard and prepared for anything that happens.

Collaboration and competition strategies for businesses

Collaboration and competition strategies for businesses

Working together, along with healthy competition, helps drive positive business metrics.

Working together, along with healthy competition, helps drive positive business metrics.

A healthy competitive spirit can help businesses be successful, whether it drives a company to do more when vying against a competitor for a contract or pushes individual employees to try to attain the month’s highest sales volume.

A progressive collaborative attitude is another driver of business, fostering positive attitudes and a sense of team accomplishment as well as strategies to increase profits and growth.

Managers have to balance sympathetic and antagonistic relationships to get the most out of their employees. A corporate consulting service can help you work with the two sides to create an especially effective business strategy both internally and externally. Taking some advice from Fast Company about the nature of healthy and unhealthy business competition can also help organizations stay positive.

Competition within reason

There’s nothing wrong with rewarding top performers and having employees compete for recognition or prizes, as long as the engagements don’t become overwhelming and negatively influence attitudes, behavior and productivity. Too much contention in the office can eventually have negative impacts on a variety of work metrics, Fast Company said.

Competitions can reward those who respond well to such ventures but may not actually be much better at job tasks, making the long-term health of the business take a backseat to performance rivalries and challenges. Employees who do good work but aren’t as attuned to adversarial matchups may be minimized and, even worse, discouraged, hurting their output and the business as a whole.

Focusing on the positive results of interoffice competitions and not the negatives can help contests serve their intended purpose of benefiting the company. Recognize top performers but take care not to shame those who are on the lower end of the spectrum. Managers can also reward those who put effort into improving their skills outside of a designated rivalry.

Working together efficiently

Collaboration can help isolate and develop new ideas that help a company, as well as create a sense of community amongst staff and increase engagement. Working together also helps sharpen employee focus, Forbes reported.

Intense research and analysis are often best completed individually, but other tasks like developing client interaction strategies, deciding on a quarterly goal for a department or team and brainstorming sessions can all benefit from group work. Collaborative efforts should focus on areas where an increase in creativity and multiple perspectives are needed.

Even if employees aren’t physically near each other, using video conferencing and Internet-based seminar software can help bridge the gap.