The responsibilities of leadership aren’t always the first thing we think about as we grow our business. For the small business owner, it can even sneak up on them. They start small, then surround themselves with helpers with whom he interacts daily. With success comes growth. Now the owner has to surround themself with leaders to help them run the enterprise.
And as that happens, the role of the successful owner changes. They aren’t in the day-to-day any longer. Their role is evolving to more of a CEO mindset. It’s less about what they do and more about what they are responsible for. Their role is now focused on three key areas:
- Setting the Vision
- Clearing the Path
- Holding People and Teams Accountable
And, when the owner executes all three successfully their business will make more money, grow faster, and they can even take some time off!
Setting the Vision
As the business grows, becoming a visionary is one of the responsibilities of leadership. They have to make sure that they know what is going on in their business and see where they want to take it years into the future. This means mapping out short-term goals as well as long-term ones. They set the vision and lead the company forward to achieve it.
For the team to execute the vision, the leader must effectively communicate it to employees. They will have to be transparent with the company and keep them informed about performance and execution to work together successfully. The strong leader makes the vision so clear that every employee understands it and sees how their role supports achieving it.
This doesn’t mean that you must have every answer or idea, though. While they own the vision, they rely on the team to add definition to it and make it come to life.
Clearing the Path
Once the vision is in place, the owner leads the team to achieve it. And a crucial part of that is clearing the path forward for the team to do the work. That means removing obstacles and barriers so that people can focus on the job at hand. It also means showing care for each person’s perspective, listening to what they need to do their best work, and helping them navigate through any challenges or roadblocks along the way.
This includes setting clear expectations, communicating goals, and ensuring that operations are running smoothly across the organization. It also means knowing and sharing information so that people are empowered to make the right decisions.
A danger in any organization is the team locking into a “silo” mentality. The leader looks across the organization and helps the team see the broader landscape. Each team must understand how their work interacts with other groups. And when that happens, the way forward for all is more apparent.
Holding People Accountable
One of the responsibilities of leadership is keeping the team accountable. Accountability is an essential part of organizational culture. The effective business owner sees accountability not as a consequence but as an opportunity for improvement. They know that feedback, positive and negative, are the core of accountability. So they look to provide feedback within a larger accountability loop.
An accountability culture is vital to maintain. And the leaders must apply these principles equally across the company. The team is always watching and will know if you treat groups unequally. They will also notice when the CEO is too lenient with themselves and their team, leading to a culture of slacking off.
Leaders are responsible for setting the vision, clearing the path for their team, and holding people and teams accountable. In addition to these critical responsibilities, leaders must also be effective communicators and conduct productive meetings. To learn more about how to lead successful meetings, download my free guide, Ten Rules for Better Meetings.