Everyone has had that boss who seems to know exactly what they need and gives it to them. Similarly, practically everyone has had a boss whose management approach cut them off at the knees. Running your own business requires developing a leadership style that allows you to get work done without alienating everyone underneath you. Read more about these common leadership styles to see which one fits you the best, and how you can use it.
When you have a collaborative leadership style, you like to get lots of input from the people working under you. You want to work as a team and it shows through your efforts to get employees involved in the decision-making that affects their own tasks. This leadership style can help you maximize the benefits you get from the people you hire. Just make sure that you are getting input from everyone on the team, not just one or two people. Develop a few strategies to refine vague or problematic suggestions, so that collaboration doesn’t slow your workflow.
With an easygoing leadership style, you’re going to let your employees mostly take care of their own jobs. You hired them for their skills and you expect them to use it. If you’re extremely busy with your own tasks, this approach can help you free up time you need to get things done. On the other hand, you’re putting a lot of trust in people who might not work as well in this kind of environment. Periodically check in with your employees to make sure they have everything they need and keep basic tabs on their progress. Consider a different approach with entry-level hires or anyone who needs extra support.
The opposite of easygoing, an authoritarian leadership leads alone. They make decisions without much consultation from employees and often without considering their needs. Most people probably wouldn’t want to classify themselves in this group. However, as you first start out, you might develop this style by default. When you work for yourself and have no employees, this may be the only style you can choose. It might also make sense if you hire someone with very limited experience. Just make sure you’re giving your employees enough opportunities to learn and grow within the position.
As an incentivizing leader, you are goal-oriented and you want your employees to reach those goals. To do so, you set benchmarks and provide incentives like prizes or bonuses to people who work within those limits. This can be an effective leadership strategy as it gives employees an extra reason to push through the next obstacle. Mix up the rewards so that everyone feels like their needs or wants get representation. Just keep in mind that people can get stuck when you ratchet up the goals too far or too fast. Make incremental improvements that people can stretch to grasp but still reach.
Leadership by Example
Many people like to build a rapport and respect as a leader by not being much of a leader at all. If you love to get down into the equipment with your employees and work as hard as they do, you can inspire them by your commitment. People who lead by example tend to teach as they go, giving less-experienced workers the benefit of your knowledge. It’s important to make sure that you don’t get too distracted by the job to let others take turns. It can be difficult to let go of some tasks you’ve done 1,000 times. If you remember to give them the opportunity, they’ll reward you by making your job easier.
Becoming a leader isn’t something that happens overnight. You have to evaluate your leadership style and develop ways to motivate your employees to make your business a success. For more information about what you need to start your own contracting business, contact CSLS today!