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67. Leadership thinking for small business (part 2)

Leadership for small business is essential but so often forgotten. We scanned some of the theories in the last of these. So what should a small business person do with all this theory?

Most importantly, to be aware. Be aware of the need to lead as well as to manage your business; be aware of the dynamics of the group and the potential (for good and ill) of the individuals in the business; be aware of the different management types and styles and therefore make conscious decisions on how to handle companies and individuals within them, whether they are your customers, your suppliers or your staff.

Be aware especially of your own style and, by being conscious of it, be prepared to adapt it when the time is right. I can remember at one stage being Sales & Marketing Director to a pretty fiery Managing Director. So he would usually be Mr Nasty and I was the one who poured oil on the troubled waters. Until an IT project with which he had been very deeply involved started to go wrong – quite badly wrong. He was not in a position to take his usual approach, and, as we discussed it, it was clear that in this instance I would have to be Mr Nasty, whilst he played the role of conciliator. And that worked very well.

Although, of course, I am too nice a guy to stay in that role for long!

So don’t sink under the theory, but do be aware of what the theory tells you, and therefore have a better understanding of what is really happening in and around your business and the options open to you to make the most of it.