Growing as a Leader: 7 Tips for Business Owners

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 Running a business is no easy feat. From paying the bills to ordering inventory, and all of the nuances between, you are constantly being challenged, scrutinized, and called to lead. Growing as a leader isn’t something that can wait for a more convenient time. It has to happen concurrent to the growth of your business. If you neglect to broaden your own field of knowledge, you are putting your business at a serious disadvantage. 

Even more important than growing as a business owner is gaining valuable life skills. There will be innumerable times when you have to step up to the plate, both inside and outside of your company. Knowing how to handle tough issues with grace, poise, and authority can get you and others out of sticky situations. 

Not sure how to start your journey towards growing as a leader? Start with these seven everyday opportunities to learn, network, and become more well-rounded. 

Read Anything and Everything

A reading study conducted by Stanford found that “close literary reading in particular gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain.” 

What does that mean for people who are growing as a leader?

Not only does reading help you gain new knowledge and experiences, it also helps you think through complicated problems more clearly, have multiple perspectives on a situation, and apply the knowledge you gain from books to everyday situations. 

Seek Opportunities to Lead

Whether it’s in your community, in your business, or at home, seek out opportunities to take charge. No, of course that doesn’t mean trying to be the loudest person in the room or biting off more than you can chew. Instead, look for situations where you could serve as a mentor, organize an event, or speak to a large group of people. Any practical experience you can garner outside of your business is going to help you continue learning. 

Step Outside of the Box

Once you discover that you’re great at something, it’s hard to give it up. Afterall, why pursue new experiences when you are consistently successful doing the things you’re good at? 

Unfortunately, the business world is not one that will tolerate stagnation. You have to be willing to be flexible at any given moment. You have to challenge yourself to push your limits. It’s the only way you’re going to remain competitive in a dog-eat-dog industry. 

Stay Optimistic Through Failure

In science, every failed experiment is a valuable data resource. Knowing what didn’t work is often just as important than knowing what DOES work. As a business owner, especially one that’s still growing as a leader, be willing to fail forward. Reflect on the things that go wrong. Take pride in the idea that you took a risk. This growth midness is necessary if you want to excel as a business owner. 

Try a Little Bit of Everything

There’s no harm in becoming a “Jack of All Trades.” While finding your niche and honing the relevant skills is important, there’s even more value in dipping your toes in a little bit of everything. 

Taking a Spanish class might not help you master the language, but you might learn enough about the culture to have a successful meeting with potential investors. Every skill you practice, whether it’s pottery or advanced calculus, is going to teach you something that translates into your business. 

Ask Others How You’re Doing

Listening to constructive criticism isn’t fun, but it can help you pinpoint weak areas in your leadership style that can be improved upon. A second perspective on a decision, conflict, or even day-to-day procedures can help you get out of your own head. We tend to develop tunnel vision if we don’t take a step back and think how what we’re doing affects others. 

Work with a Business Coach

Being a business owner is tough, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Coaches aren’t going to give you solutions… Instead, they’re going to help you develop your own. This approach allows you to not only work through tough spots, but to also gain applicable skills to help you solve future problems. 

The best business coaches are going to take the time to get to know your business. That philosophy is part of what makes coaching through CGECR so successful. 

When something works, we celebrate that success and analyze what brought you there. When you hit snags, we work together to avoid those same snags in the future. No matter where you are as a business leader, we provide the structure and skills necessary for greatness. We meet you where you are and help you get where you want to be.

Catalyst Group ECR is devoted to partnering with clients to create a creative process that maximizes professional and personal potential.

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