AWOP Conference: The Elements of Leadership

By Christina Suter on Mar 11, 2017 at 07:26 AM in Business Issues

AWOP Conference: Elements of Leadership

As a host of a radio show on the Amazing Women of Power Network, I often attend the AWOP conferences. During my last conference I was interviewed on what my favorite topic of discussion, the 3 core elements of leadership. As a small business management consultant people ask me often about leadership, "How do I deal with an employee", "How do I deal with branding and marketing?", etc.

Being a decent employer is about leading...

1.) Being a good leader and successful leading means being available to lead, which means you're out there, i.e. you can be seen and found. Being available is important because interactions and constant communication with your employees lets them know you are approachable and accessible. This also allows you to be personable and friendly (without becoming their friend) so they can develop a sense of trust and confidence in you. 

2.) Being a role model as a leader, which means you're doing what you're asking of your employees. As role models you want to model for them what you want from them. Leaders need to have clarity of the vision and the purpose of everyone who is apart of the team. Leading is also about setting boundaries and as a leader you need to establish the firm lines where you ask and allow your employees to do their job and not put it on them to save your business. Employees want to know there's someone capable at the helm directing the ship they're on.

3.) Leading is about breaking the wind for other people (being the lead car). Just like in bike races where the strongest biker cycles in front of the pack so the other bikers on his or her team can have a somewhat less strenuous ride as they cycle in their draft wind, a leader gets out in front and makes the course somewhat easier for those following. As the lead car, you break the way, which means you also have the willingness to be right and to be wrong, and willing to be responsible. It also means you are the person to forecast and be willing to look ahead.

Who are you as a leader? Leadership is about the currency of leading and your capacity to direct your business and to be willing to be in front, and that's because you're the one who had the original vision and started the business. Clients often ask me what they think are skill set questions but being a success boils down to being a leader.

I want to add to what I shared at the conference and say that being a leader is about the fact that you signed you on to lead when you had the vision and chose to move forward with turning that vision into a business. You automatically became the leader when you turned the ideal into action and what you build will reflect you, so your business' strengths and weaknesses are a representation of you and your value system. You were chosen and you chose back so you need to develop a leadership skill set.