7 Qualities Every Leader Should Have

Being in a leadership position for a company of any size comes with great responsibility. The title of “manager” is not just about the amount of work you’re responsible for, but it’s also about leading and managing a team and being responsible for their ultimate success.

I’ve had experiences with management who were great at what they do, but were not great leaders. If you’re in a leadership position (or desire to be), it’s critical to have (or develop) some key qualities that will contribute to the motivation, productivity, and happiness of the team.

1. Be an expert in your field. It’s critical that you know your job, your company, your industry, your clients, and your team inside and out. You need to be very knowledgeable and well-rounded in order to guide and direct your group in the appropriate way and relate to the necessary key players.

2. Communicate effectively and confidently. As a leader, it’s critical that you are able to convey messages to a variety of people; your direct reports, of course, but also your higher-ups, clients, media, and others. You must be able to communicate your messages clearly and effectively (regardless of which channel of communication you are using) so people understand what you need to tell them. You must also be confident when you communicate so that people believe in your ability to convey what’s necessary.

Leadership Signpost Showing Vision Values Empowerment and Encouragement3. Know how to motivate different types of people. Being a leader means being able to motivate your team to work toward a common goal. However, not everyone responds to the same type of motivation. What works for some won’t work for others, so it’s important to be able to identify which motivational tactics work best for whom, and be able to implement those motivating forces for each member of your direct and extended team.

4. Offer feedback, both negative and positive. When you’re in charge of a team, it’s not uncommon for someone to fail to deliver the level of performance that is expected of them. However, it’s critical to be able to identify early on when things aren’t operating as efficiently as they should be. Delivering negative feedback requires confidence, a calm demeanor, and an eye on the goal. However, remember to give positive feedback when it is earned. When a team member goes above and beyond their responsibilities, hits a tough deadline, exceeds their sales projections, or makes a positive impact, it’s important to recognize them, offer praise, and let them know they are appreciated and valued. This will reward and affirm positive behavior and increase team morale.

5. Know how to delegate. You can’t do it all, and chances are you don’t want to. You have a team for a reason, so make sure that you allow others to take on some of the work and grow their skills professionally. People desire to feel like a part of the team, and they like taking on more responsibility in their roles. So let your team handle work that is within their scope, and also give them the appropriate resources and support to be challenged with more difficult projects.

6. Be a collaborative and helpful team player. Being a leader does not mean dividing all the work among your team and leaving none for yourself. As a leader, you must be dedicated and work hard on projects and tasks in order to set a positive example for their team. Additionally, great leaders are always prepared to multitask, or put their work on hold while they assist the needs of their team. Offer your ideas and solicit the ideas of your group; collaboration is important for a happy and productive team.

7. Walk the walk. Great leaders don’t just guide and support their team, they also embody the qualities and traits that they want their team to display. Maintaining integrity, knowledge, discipline, passion, and other desirable qualities is important, but as a leader, you also need to hit deadlines, communicate effectively, and take responsibility for your own work. Be a role model for your team. Conducting yourself in a way you expect of them will quickly earn you their trust and respect.

By embodying these qualities, your proactive and collaborative leadership style is sure to yield positive results for both you and your team.

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

8 Reasons Why You Should Start-Up, Starting Today!

For many people, the idea of creating something out of nothing is an incredibly exciting notion, however, the thought of leaving the stability and comfort of a full time job (and all that it entails) quickly puts the kibosh on that daydream. If you are one of those hopeful dreamers with great ideas, and you are wondering if you should take the plunge on that business you have always wanted to start, I say go for it! There truly is no time like the present, and I’ll give you several encouraging reasons why you should start your start-up today.

First and foremost, when you are working on your start-up, you are in complete control of doing exactly what you love. Your passions drive your ideas, and if you can create a sustainable business based on your own interests and excellent ideas, you are truly winning at your own life. Not to mention, there are few thrills that exceed the pride and elation you will feel when you watch your dreams become a reality.

hand draws the big ideaSecond, the world has always relied, and will continue to rely on the new and innovative ideas of people like you. Invention and creation keeps society progressing. If you have an idea that you think will benefit others, or you can satisfy an unmet need, make it happen! Take pride in knowing that you are contributing to the constantly evolving and ever-changing world in which we live.

Another often stated but very relevant and exciting reality of creating a start-up is that you have the opportunity to be your own boss. The lifestyle associated with creating your own business, although it can be very time consuming and will require lots of hard work, is incredibly flexible, and will allow you to be the master of your own schedule. If you are able to handle the organization and time management required for starting and running your own business, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a flexible lifestyle, and the satisfaction of working for the coolest boss- yourself!

What’s great about living in today’s world is that thousands of people have already successfully, and just as importantly, unsuccessfully, created their own business.That means we are privy to tons of information and resources that make starting up even easierPractically anything you may need to research about your idea, creating a start-up, getting funding, writing your business plan, marketing your business, etc., can be found in a simple web search. (One of my favorite resources for getting started is the Small Business Administration www.sba.gov).

Additionally, with constant advancements and growing presence in web resources, applications, software, and even labor, start-up costs are getting lower and lower. People are starting their businesses with little to no capital, and enjoying inexpensive options for the things that do require funds.

Furthermore, if your business does require initial capital, there are Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists who are looking to invest in you and your ideas. Investors are constantly seeking individuals and teams who are passionate and knowledgeable, and have innovative and lucrative business ideas. If you have a fantastic business plan and persistent determination, there are investors who will want to meet you.Hard Work Easy Money Signpost Showing Business Profits

Since we’re talking financials, let’s not leave out one of the most exciting perks of starting up. You can make a ton of moneySince you’re getting in at the beginning of a new business, a growing with it, not to mention you (as the owner) will have control of most, if not all of the equity, the potential financial upside is massive. If your idea is well thought out, and you have a clear and effective revenue stream, you have the opportunity to earn a very healthy living. Of course there are great risks involved, but without risk, there is little reward.

The most rewarding aspect to many people is the learning experience, and the opportunity to try new things. When you create a start-up, your hands are involved in every portion of the business- from executive management, finance and accounting, to marketing, operations, and everything in between. You are forced to wear many hats at the beginning, and the knowledge and experience you gain from the process is invaluable.

If you find yourself reading this article, chances are you have already considered creating your own start-up, or dreamt of being an entrepreneur. I have learned that most things that we dream about don’t just happen on their own, but with passion, determination, persistence, and a little luck, you can take control of those dreams and start-up, starting today!

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business

For many people, trying to decide if an entrepreneurial venture is worth pursuing is like standing at the edge of a high dive- they question if they should dive right in, or climb back down. The harsh reality is that many failed business ventures began and ended as an idea that needed a little more thought, and a little refining. Before plummeting off the high dive and falling in to the unknown, there are several questions you will need to ask yourself in order to prevent a painful belly flop, and dive into success.No diving sign

#1. Is there a need for this product or service? You want to create a business that makes life easier or more enjoyable for people, so make sure your business concept is serving the need of someone, or some group. There is no point creating something that people don’t need, because ultimately, if people don’t need (or want) it, they won’t spend money on it.

#2. Is there a customer segment for your product or service? People often think they know exactly what their customers want, but rarely take the time to talk to them and find out what they really care about. Your business doesn’t need to serve everyone, but make sure it will serve a segment of people who legitimately see the value in what you’re selling, and are able to purchase it. Once you establish there is a customer base for your business, you can start learning more about them and refining your business to appeal even closer to their needs.

#3. Are you operating in a “blue ocean”? Picture an ocean with sharks in a feeding frenzy over a small school of fish- that’s not where you want to start your business. If there are lots of other people or companies that are doing the same thing as you (or something similar) and selling to the same customers you are chasing, you are in a “red ocean”. Make sure your idea is different enough, or catering to a different customer segment, so that you can begin your company in a clear “blue ocean”, with little to no competition targeting the customers you want.

#4. Is this idea profitable? It’s critical to have a well thought out revenue stream for your business, and realistic goals and projections. Being profitable immediately isn’t necessary, as most businesses start out (and remain) in debt for a long time. However, if you can’t see the opportunity to shift out of the red and into the black in a reasonable timeframe, you may want to rethink that business opportunity.

Business Plan Showing Management Growth Strategy Solution       #5. Do you have the skills, resources, and ability to get started? Be very honest with yourself regarding your personal skills and strengths. Are they aligned with this business concept? Are you knowledgeable enough about the industry, clientele, and start-up process to feel confident getting off the ground? Often times, extensive research is required, even for experts, to position the business for a decent start. Also, be realistic about the financial requirements of the start-up and maintenance of your venture. Are you in a position to take the necessary financial risks? If not, are you able to acquire the funds through other avenues?

#6. Are you management material? Even if you don’t want to be the President or CEO of your company, it will take a great deal of leadership and management skills to get your idea off the ground. You will need to be able to delegate tasks to your team, network with the appropriate people, seek out and secure necessary resources, etc.  It takes tons of time, effort, teamwork, and devotion- make sure you can handle it.

In my other article, “Why you Should Start-Up, Starting Today!”, I encourage hopeful entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. I continue to support small businesses and start-ups, but I also encourage a well thought-out idea, and a meticulously crafted business plan prior to diving in. If you find yourself saying “yes” to the questions mentioned above, it may be time to step onto the diving board and take the plunge!

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.