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When starting a new business, oftentimes you will run it alone.  However, there will come a time when you decide to hire others to help you.  In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to use your leadership skills to establish a team that you can trust to help you and your business grow.

What Makes a Good Leader?

A good leader isn’t someone who is bossy and spends their time delegating and barking orders.  While delegating is an important skill in leadership, what matters most is how you make others feel.

Leaders are those who empower their team to be able to perform their best by giving them the tools, coaching and training they need to succeed.  When interviewing and hiring others to help you and your business, it’s important to consider who would best fit in with your company and who is looking for long term growth.

Think About Long Term Growth

While it’s unrealistic to assume everyone on your team is there to stay, you’ll want people on your team who aren’t just there for a paycheck.  Part of this process is leading in a way that they will be excited about their job, and proud to be working with a company that cares about their well being.

So, how do you grow a team with your leadership skills?  Here are a few ways your leadership can help grow your team into an empowered and successful unit.

Delegate by Strengths

A big part of growing a team is deciding what roles your company needs, and who is best qualified to fill them.  A lot of this is done in the hiring process.  By asking relevant questions to potential employees, you can gauge their interests and their strengths and decide where they can best fit.  Maybe they aren’t quite right for the position they are applying for, but they would be perfect for another role you need to fill.

Your job as a leader is to discern your team member’s strengths and use them to your company’s advantage.  What do your team members excel at?  What needs to be done in your company? And how can those two pieces fit together in a way that works best for everyone?

By asking yourself these questions, you can see the big picture for your needs and who is best suited for the long term goals of your company. 

Incorporate Active Listening

Active listening is essential in a leadership role.  It’s true that you are in charge of leading your team, but you can’t lead if you don’t have a team, just as they can’t do their jobs correctly without you.  Every position is different and requires guidance, and that is up to you.  But in the process, it’s important to respect them by being willing to listen.

While delegating by strengths is important, it’s important to take into account your teammates’ wishes too.  Someone may be excellent at customer service, but they may find the role unfulfilling or exhausting.  Maybe they just need a new challenge, and crave learning new things.  

Everyone is different, and their work preferences and needs are unique.  It’s important to take this in mind when designating roles and designing schedules.  You want your teammates to be happy, fulfilled and productive.  If they tell you they don’t want to fill a particular role, respect them enough to compromise or find a better fit.

Lead by Example

Growing a team isn’t easy.  And for long-term success, it helps to find compatible teammates to lead.  One of the best ways to lead others is by example.  It’s not enough to tell people how to do things, or that you want them to encompass certain values during their interactions with others.  You need to be willing to do them yourself.  If you are starting a company whose core values are honesty and integrity, yet you lie to customers and aren’t always upfront about things, your team will notice.

Being an effective leader isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people, and growing your team may take some time.  That is to be expected, and you will see it gets easier in time.

Here at Biz to Biz, we believe that one of the most effective ways to quickly grow your business is by relationship building, and that is best done with strategic networking groups.  Our networking groups are designed to give you the tools, resources, referrals and skills to grow and succeed. Who knows, you may even discover your future teammates inside a networking group.

Learn more about our groups here >