© A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2006
Developing Leadership Skills
Now that my business is growing I’ve been on a leadership course and
understand the theory of being a good leader. How do I put this into
Being an owner-manager will give you plenty of opportunities to put your new skills to
the test, but remember that leadership capability does not emerge overnight; it takes time
and practice, so don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. Why not make a start,
though, by leading a new project, where you can test out the skills you’ve acquired?
Make sure you plan carefully for resources and support. Taking this first step will give
you the opportunity to test out your responses to this new situation. In turn, you’ll then be
able to evaluate what has worked and what hasn’t, and help you plan what to do or avoid
doing next time.
I seem to command an audience easily when I make presentations, but will
I make a good leader?
Commanding an audience is a great skill and many leaders have it, but it’s not the sole
requirement. Leaders also need to be problem-solvers and have originality and flair,
confidence and self-knowledge, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to listen, visioning
capability, good organizational skills, and so on. Your ability as a speaker suggests that
you’re articulate and self-confident. If you possess the other qualities too, you are well on
the way to being the leader your business needs.
MAKING IT HAPPEN
Understand the different facets of leadership
There are different types of leadership styles. Think of three shepherds. The first opens
the gate and walks through, allowing the flock to follow—this shepherd leads from the
front. Another stands behind the sheep and pushes or guides them through,
demonstrating a supportive leadership style. The third moves from front to back and
sometimes to the middle of the flock, demonstrating an interactive leadership style. For
leaders to exist, there must be followers, and the needs of followers change dependi