Leadership Has Changed As A Result Of Today’s Economy.

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Creativity and tenacity are now required traits to be a successful leader in 2011.


Managing employees is one of the biggest challenges for a small business owner. Many have limited experience with this role when they start their business. They have learned how to manage by being managed. They are often surprised when they struggle to manage their employees to be the team they need to realize the profitability they want. The real answer isn’t better management but stronger leadership.

A good manager assumes everything will stay the same and that is how they manage. A good leader assumes everything will change and they lead with that in mind. In today’s small business world change is happening at dizzying speeds and effective leaders must keep up.

In 2009 the best leaders were said to have great execution, in 2010 strategic planning was the big focus According to John C Maxwell, leadership guru, in 2011 the best leaders will need two traits, creativity and tenacity . Being in business today definitely requires both of these traits and it needs to start at the top.

We have all heard the definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results. In today’s small businesses what worked yesterday may not give you the same results today. Costs change, competition comes and goes, the consumer changes their mind. To handle the changes that come at a business owner today requires new ideas and thinking outside of the box. Creativity and flexibility are necessary to keep up with the ever changing world around us. Leaders need to be able to step out of their comfort zone and try on new ideas and strategies. They need to not only allow this in their team, they must encourage it and set the expectation that new ideas are welcome and needed. [Boundaries required are a future article, stay tuned]

Google Corporation is a great example of allowing and expecting creativity in their team. They have a culture of fun and flexibility. From foosball tables to scooters to shared office space, they have built a culture that keeps the creative juices flowing. FUN is a key ingredient to creativity.
A leader who is creative and encourages this in their team will see the opportunities first and be ready for what’s next in their industry.

Being creative only helps a leader who is still leading. When times are tough, and they usually are in the small business environment, it takes tenacity to stay in the game. Leaders excel in hard times. It requires a strong ‘why’, the desire to succeed and the willingness to get up one more time than they are knocked down. I WILL succeed and reach my goals is the most important statement a small business leader can make.

Being creative and tenacious, leading rather than managing, is what is necessary for success and growth in small business in 2011 and moving forward. Do you have what it takes?

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