As a small business owner or entrepreneur leadership comes into play with almost everything you do. Whether it’s leading your employees or leading your clients, prospects, or vendors. If you want better results or faster growth the most direct path is in becoming a better leader. But what kind of leader are you now?
How do I build leadership skills and be a better leader?
Start by knowing what kind of leader you are.
There are many leadership styles to choose from. Any of which may or may not be effective for you. But more important than the specific leadership techniques or strategies you use is who you are as a leader. In my experience leaders can be roughly grouped into four categories. Here they are are, ordered from least effective to most effective.
1. The Reluctant or Resistant Leader
If you are a reluctant or resistant leader, you may have natural leadership ability and potential, and may even find people are drawn to and look at you as a leader, but you may not have much experience or even desire to lead others. You’re likely a solopreneur or self-employed one-man-band and you like it that way.
From this quadrant, should the need or desire arise, you will be able to move to any of the other three quadrants and have the best opportunity to make that a conscious decision so you land where your best opportunities for growth lie.
2. The Pushover
The push over appears to be very other-centered but often times is in reality quite self-centered. If this is you, you may feel the need to please others, over deliver on service or support, and be perceived as the “nice guy”. You can be preoccupied with what others think of you.
I came from this quadrant, so I totally get it. But please hear me when I tell you, it’s not necessary.
As a pushover you may experience fear and feel indecisive over what is “the best” course of action. You may even lack clarity with regard to your goals, values, and worth. You likely rely too much on a persuasive leadership style and highly value consensus building. The problem is, if you were to ask your team they might tell you that sometimes they are frustrated by the consensus building and just want you to make a decision.
If this sounds like you, your best opportunity for growth is to work on your own self-esteem and confidence via focused development of your own self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
3. The Dictator
In contrast to the Pushover, the Dictator may appear to be self-centered, but is in fact more other-focused. For the Dictator it’s frequently about how others perform, comply, and come through for them. The hallmark of the Dictator is control.
If this is you, you may find that you can be inflexible and rely heavily on an authoritarian leadership style, getting frustrated when others don’t do what you want.
The up-side is that you probably get better results than the Pushover. The down-side is that you may find yourself as the bottleneck to growth – you can only control so much before you’re maxed out.
Of the three quadrants we’ve discussed so far this one is possibly the hardest to get out of. Partly because your style is reinforced by getting results. But also because you’re likely to be quite resistant to relinquishing control. Your tendency will likely be to see the solution to any problem you face as being the need to increase control and you may not be open to the possibility that you could be served by less control.
If this sounds like you, you might like the message I did a couple days ago on letting go of control in favor of influence, which can be much more powerful and scalable.
4. The Effective, Inspiring, and Influential Leader
For the sake of convenience, let’s call this one the True Leader.
The hallmark of the True Leader is balance. While you’re capable of strength and firmness, you’re also capable of compassion and tenderness. You can balance big picture thinking and implementation and execution. You are a team builder and find it easy to delegate and rely on others to excel.
It’s easy for you to inspire others and get them on board with your vision for the future because you have clearly defined your goals and objectives.
You have a high level of self-awareness and excellent emotional intelligence and health.
Your best opportunity for growth is in continuing to work on improving yourself and in developing and expanding your passion and vision for what’s possible in the future.
So the big question is, what kind of leader are you?The Pushover? The Dictator? Which type of leader are you? Click To Tweet
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P.S. If you liked the tips provided in this episode you might also get value from my free report, The 5 Reasons Your Business Isn’t Growing As Fast As You Want (And What To Do About Them).