As a lifestyle business owner, you are likely to become a leader at some stage in your business. You may not yet be at the stage of employing staff, but even outsourcers require leadership… and the outcome of these relationships depends on your effective leadership.

I’m 37 weeks gone now, so officially “full term” which is extremely exciting. But as I’m now officially on maternity leave, I am relying on the support of my team more than ever before.

I realise how blessed I am… but every now and then it occurs to me how much harder this time in my life would be without these guys around me.

I want you to have the support of a great team around you too… but to nurture your team to operate effectively, you need to be an effective leader.

And that means NOT making any of these common leadership mistakes…

#1: Being too busy!

No leader should ever be ‘too busy’ to offer support and direction. When you admit you are too busy, you show up as inefficient… so definitely avoid the “I’m too busy” attitude.

#2: Unwilling to “muck in”

To be a great leader, you have to get your hands dirty sometimes! For a great example of this in practice, you only need to think of Gandhi. His leadership style was so effective because he wasn’t above his followers, he was one of them.

#3: You fear competition!
Don’t focus on others, focus on what you are doing and how you can do it better. The best leaders in the world train their team members to take over.

Only in this way, can you give attention to many things, i.e., leverage out to make more money.

#4: You want all the glory!
If you’re the kind of leader who claims all the credit, then this will cause resentment to build within your team.

The most powerful leaders actually give all the credit to their team, because it’s a fact that people work harder for commendation and recognition than they ever will for money alone.

Love your team and they will love you! Avoid selfishness.

#5: Lack of loyalty
Any leader who is not loyal to his/her team will not be their leader for long.

#6: Authority
If you’re trying to lead through the “authority” of your role, you’re trying to lead by force.

Real leaders lead through encouragement. In the wise words of Mo-tzu,“People only become unmanageable when one tries to lead them with a violent love.

But if one approaches them with trust and takes them by the hand….there will not be a single one will not adapt himself to the rule.”

#7: You assume a fancy title will gain respect!

Great leaders don’t need fancy job titles to gain respect. A true leadership style is one through his/her actions not by the words on their business card – their offices are free of ostentation and open to anyone to enter.

The first step to being an effective leader is to become a LEADER!

And… the first step to becoming a leader is DELEGATION!

You have to be prepared to let go of the things you are not so good at… and delegate them to others. But not abdicate responsibility for them.

Good delegation is:

  1. Ask someone to achieve an outcome
  2. Ask if they accept responsibility for it
  3. Give them authority to complete it (or outline what you want to be consulted about)
  4. Schedule to review progress on estimated completion date.

Ineffective delegators just hand tasks over like a parcel and never check in.

A strong leadership style is not achieved overnight, but you can certainly start to implement changes now.

I invite you to look at the list and ask yourself honestly which of these mistakes you are making… and which of these you could change within yourself.

Make a commitment to change one thing today and take a step forwards towards becoming a great leader and nurturing a strong team around you that you can depend on.

More and more business owners are undergoing what I refer to as “The Lifestyle Shift”. They are waking up to the fact that they are the boss, and therefore should be able to design their business to fit their lifestyle… not the other way around! It’s YOUR time!