March 2015 Newsletter – The Five Roles of a Leader

The Five Roles of a Leader

A couple of weeks ago I met Paul, a gentle, kind hearted man in his late 50’s at a noisy business networking event. During our conversation he said “I am starting a new business and don’t really know where to start or what it means to lead a company. I have always worked for large companies and someone else did all the leading”.

As we discussed his concerns I could tell that he felt leading a company must be rocket science. The issue of leadership can easily get clouded and muddled. Perhaps you sometimes have felt the same. While there are some things you may do intuitively, you may have asked yourself, this leadership thing seems so complex, am I covering all of the bases involved in leading my business?

But take heart, it is not that complex. There are five main things that must be accomplished by the leader of an entity, namely:

Develop and Cast a Compelling Vision for your Business Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

You must figure out what you want your business to look like in the future. Your Vision is the destination, the direction of where you want to take your business. This Vision needs to be powerful enough to attract people (your customers, employees, etc.) to it. Once you have identified the Vision for your business you must present (i.e. cast) that Vision to persons whom you want to affect.

Develop a strategy for achieving the Vision for your Business

While it is great to have a dream or Vision for your business, next you must have a plan for accomplishing your Vision. This plan is your strategy. Your strategy must lay out the specific details of how you will go about achieving your Vision. That strategy must address all six areas of your firm. These six areas are:

  • Vision and Leadership
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Production
  • Finance and Administration
  • Human Assets
  • Information Technology

Create the organization to accomplish the Vision

Once you have a Vision for your business, and a plan for achieving it, you need an organization for accomplishing your strategy. This organization is the company, the personnel, the methodologies, the processes, etc. you will need to realize your goals.

Even if you intend to run your business by yourself or plan to have very few employees or contractors, you will still need the methodologies, systems, and financial controls that will allow you to achieve your Vision. These comprise your “organization”. The piece of this step that most people have difficulty with is developing and optimizing their systems. Therefore, you need to focus on developing the best systems you can have.

Oversee the Business’ Operations and Manage it via Metrics

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaNext you need to execute your plan.  Since unfortunately businesses do not run by themselves, you will need to monitor, direct and oversee your business’ operations by the use of administrative controls, financial controls and Metrics.

Do not be baffled by the term “Metrics”.  Metrics are basically just the measurements of whether the systems in your business are on target or off target. In other words, Metrics are the measurements that tell you if your systems are effectively accomplishing your goals.

Innovate your business to differentiate it from its competition

Finally, to stay ahead of your competition and differentiate it in the mind of your customer, you need to apply innovation to your company. But what is innovation? It is simply doing things in a better way. Because nothing is ever perfect, there is always room for improvement. Innovation is the key to this desired improvement.

The world is continually changing, new technologies are being developed and your competitors are always looking for an edge to get ahead of you. Therefore, you must fully embrace innovation and the need for systematic change within your organization. Otherwise, over time your business will become obsolete or redundant.

Once you understand that leadership of your company really boils down to the above five roles, “leadership” becomes much less intimidating. Knowing that all of your tasks within your company should relate to either your Vision, Strategy, Developing an Organization, Managing it via Metrics or Innovation enables you to organize and prioritize your daily activities.

If you need assistance in applying these five principles of leadership to take your business where you want it to go, please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220

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