12/05/11

By Bev James, founder and MD of The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy

Effective leadership is about having the right mindset as well as the right skill set. I don’t think I have ever met a commercially successful business person who uses the word 'stress', though I have seen people lose millions, dust themselves off, and get on with their next commercial venture. Those who are hard-wired for the entrepreneurial life are unlikely to be defeatist. They rarely procrastinate. They tend to be decisive individuals with high energy who like to work at a fast pace. Obstacles are challenges to be got over, round or through. They have developed a mind set for success.

Plan for action

Effective leaders make sure their team has planned ahead and anticipated problems, but they rarely see potential difficulties as the reason for saying ‘no’ to action. Leaders don’t expect everything to be perfect before they test the water and get things going. They won’t let a quest for perfection get in the way of capitalising on a commercial opportunity.

Live life outside the comfort zone

Leaders are used to living with a level of discomfort. For the effective leader, future success always lies outside the current comfort zone. Those who are the most successful in business are trailblazers and pioneers are constantly pushing their boundaries to new limits.

Look after your team

Perhaps the greatest challenge for a leader in the workplace is to understand that their natural pace of action and decision-making may be a cause of stress for others in the team. Many employees find it very hard to say, ‘I can’t cope with so much change,’ or ‘I have got too much to do.’ Effective leaders stay in tune with the needs of each individual and makes sure that they are able to do their job well with proper support – even when time is short.

Listen to feedback

Most leaders prefer to hear about positive results and constructive solutions. They don’t like bad news. However, effective leaders prefer honest feedback and will schedule time each week to talk to those on the front line of their business. They know that every negative comment presents an opportunity to do things differently and better. If you don’t hear it first hand – you may miss it completely.

Keep communicating

I am passionate about business but I know all too well that unless leaders have a good rapport with their team, launching any kind of strategy is going to be an uphill struggle. The key to success is inspired communication. Lead from the front, communicate and reinforce the vision. If everyone is facing the same direction you are far more likely to succeed.

Stay on top of the finances

Effective leaders know that 80% of their profits come from 20% of their clients or products – and they make sure that they look after those clients. They also keep a close eye on cashflow and finances. Cashflow remains king in all businesses. Having a strong team of financial advisors is essential – but ultimately the responsibility for the financial management of the company rests with the business owner.

Develop the charisma factor

The most successful leaders also have the magic charisma factor. They have earned the trust and respect of a team who will follow their lead no matter how unfamiliar the territory may be. These are the leaders that inspire everyone on the team to raise their game – and become the best they can be.

About The Author

BEV JAMES is founder and MD of The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy, a joint venture with James Caan, and MD of The Coaching Academy – the largest coach training provider in the world. She is a Millionaires’ Mentor and a serial entrepreneur.

www.the-eba.com www.bevjames.com.