Written by Jamie Irvine | 4-minute read
The foundation of every great business is leadership.
To build a truly great business developing the qualities that will make you a great leader are essential.
But, how do you do it?
Take Care of Yourself First
To be a leader and establish a solid foundation to build your great business upon, you need to first take a moment and do a personal assessment.
If you are unable to be a leader personally, in your home, your family, your social network, and your community, you will not be able to be a leader in your business. If there is an area in your personal life, that could use some work, now is the time to address it.
Building a great business and becoming a leader can, and most likely will, all be undone by ignoring any personal problems that you may have.
Let’s get real for a minute.
For me, I had to overcome personal bankruptcy, divorce, and drug addiction before I could make any real progress in my life and business.
Maybe your personal problems are not so extreme, but do you get the point?
You must get your personal affairs in order before you begin the process of establishing your leadership foundation for your business.
The Role of the Leader
When you think about the structure of the typical business the leader is always at the top.
In fact, it appears like a triangle, with a solid base of employees at the bottom providing stability to the whole structure. As you move upward within the triangle you have middle management and above, at the point of the triangle, sits the leader, sitting at the top, making decisions and telling the base WHAT needs to be done.
Before you started your own business you probably worked for a business that had this kind of structure. Perhaps part of the motivation to start your own business was that you wanted to be the person at the top. Wanting to be a leader is admirable but what kind of leader you become is critical to the success of your business.
In a great business, I believe that the top-down structure is all wrong. In a great business, the leader is the very foundation of the business, not the employees.
In that sense, the leader is at the bottom, the leader is what provides the stability to the whole structure. This translates into a monumental task for the leader because usually, it’s one person – YOU.
This can be even more challenging if you are the only person in your business because not only do you need to be the leader you have to do all the other jobs as well.
In every great business, regardless if you are a business of one or you have employees, the leader not only decides WHAT needs to be done but also HOW it should be done. Beyond the WHAT and the, HOW is the WHY!
The reason that we call leadership the foundation of a great business is that everything starts with you, the owner, the leader!
To the extent that you lead is the first determining factor in your business becoming great. Deciding and communicating WHY, WHAT, HOW, and WHEN is critical to success.
Creating a Vision
It all starts with a vision, a thought that will not go away.
You may have a picture in your head of what your business will look like and what it will feel like when it’s done, that is called VISION.
If you don’t, now is the time to start dreaming; to build a mental image of what your business will become.
The question then becomes whether that vision aligns with the definition of a GREAT BUSINESS?
For your business to be a great business it must be a business that produces predictable results, operates independently of its owner, scales, and can be sold for a profit.
Only if these fundamentals are in place will you build a business that will fulfill the personal dream of providing for your family and having freedom and flexibility instead of turning into a nightmare.
Your vision must be of the business, several years from now, who it will serve, how will it operate, what promises it will deliver on, what difference it will make in the lives of its stakeholders, your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your lenders, your investors, how big will it be, how much revenue it will create, and who will ultimately want to acquire or buy your business.
Your vision is the first part of your leadership foundation.
It represents the business model that you will create that will define your every decision as you build your great business.
Let’s talk about your business.