To launch your business as an entrepreneur, you require all sorts of skills such as drive, determination, grit, creativity, to name a few. Then as your business slowly expands and moves from a hobby to a real deal, a time comes when learning how to become a great leader is a must. And you’ll benefit a lot if you started this learning before you even begin hiring any help. To become the CEO of your business, you’ll need to quire many skills over time. Here are the first five that a must-have on this journey.
1. Active listening
Many people in conversations with others listen to respond. It means that they’re not committed to understanding the other person because while the person is talking, half the time, they’re already planning on what to say next. Great leaders, on the other hand, listen to understand. They don’t interrupt and listen attentively to the other person before formulating any response. They also spend most of their talking in asking great and insightful questions.
As the CEO, this skill will not only allow you to understand your clients and what their needs are better but also draw the best out of your collaborators, partners, and employees once you have them.
2. Excellent communication
Once you learn how to listen to understand, developing excellent communication skills can be your next step.
First, in today’s digital marketing age, you are the face of your business, brand creator and brand yourself. The content you put out on social media, newsletters, speaking engagement needs to deliver high value to your audience and match the quality of your brand. Even if you outsource some of this work, you’ll still need to do at least essential parts yourself and also be able to assess the quality of the work social media managers deliver.
Secondly, communication is not all about marketing. It’s also a crucial part of your day to day interactions and building of relationships: with clients, collaborators, contractors, and one day with your employees. Remember, you are the face of your business, a brand, and all the pieces of that brand need to work well together. Your communication skills connect these pieces like glue.
3. Have a Vision and …
In one of my favorite self-improvement books of all time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey described this skill brilliantly: “Begin with the end in mind.”
Having a Vision for your dream lifestyle and your business will allow you to align your goals with it. Just imagine not knowing how your dream life should look like. It’s pretty tough to achieve something when you don’t know what it is. Moreover, once you’ve defined your vision and you’re deeply passionate about it, then you can rally others around it. These people can help develop strategies and tactics on how to achieve it if you let them and listen.
4. Understand the value of your time
All CEO’s know that their most valuable and scarce resource is time. The old adage “time is money” has a profound meaning.
When you spend time on ineffective activities that don’t bring value to your business, it’s not only the time you waste you’re wasting in those moments. More importantly, when you spend time mindlessly scrolling pages and pages of social media posts or vegging on the couch in front of the TV, you’re losing the opportunity of utilizing this time to grow your business. The lost opportunity cost can be huge. So, when you combine this with the nominal value of the lost time, I can tell you now you can’t afford it.
When you truly understand this paradigm, delegation skills, i.e., the ability to relinquish control over non-critical tasks, come almost naturally :).
Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.Thomas A. Edison
Before we move to the last skill, in case you think you don’t have time because you’ve maxed it out with everything you’re doing, I want to challenge you. I bet that if you download this guide and do the quiz in it, you’ll be able to create at least 10 hrs in your week in less than 10 mins 😊. Challenge accepted? – download it here.
5. Know your numbers
Understanding the business financials is a must for all successful CEOs. Great leaders know how to read numbers and grow to love them over time 😊. Now, don’t worry. It’s not about you becoming a CPA and doing complex tax calculations. You can and probably should outsource those functions.
However, being financially literate will allow you to make much better decisions for your business as it grows. You can start with understanding your expenses, income, and cashflow, learning how to project your revenue, and how to price your offerings so the business is profitable. There are many other skills that great leaders develop over their careers.
Self-development is a journey, not a one-and-done deal. As your business grows and you grow with it, the skills you’ll need to acquire will be different. But the most important things are to start, progress step by step, and never stop. And if you need help developing any of these skills, one of the most effective and fastest ways to do it is to work a business coach. Why is it? What does it entail? If you’re a bit like me and are curious to know, I’ll be happy to chat with you on this. So, are you’re open-minded to connecting for a free virtual coffee chat 😊? The first step is to schedule one right now, by clicking here.