How to be a Team Player as a Small Business Owner in a Leadership Role

team player

Owning a small business naturally puts you in a leadership role. How you choose to lead your company can say a lot about not only you but can impact your business’s success. But one of the essential qualities of a leader and small business owner is the ability to be a team player. As a leader, you take on the responsibility of the way your company flows. Consider yourself as a Captain of a ship, there will be days you’re coasting through glassy waters, and there might be days your facing the perfect storm.

Being a team player is such a big part of leadership in so many ways. Great businesses develop on the foundation of trust. Being a part of a team means that no matter the skill set, you all have one goal in mind — the success of the company. Good small business owners make great leaders when time is taken to build relationships with both their clients and their employees. As a leader of a team, you can either work with them or tell them how to work. While directly working with them may earn a different type of respect out of your employees, directing your team and keeping them motivated keeps your ship on course. While a leader must motivate, a great leader should always keep in mind that their job is to lead. Neither type of leadership mentioned above is wrong; they do different things.

Another type of team player in a leadership role is the type of leader who instead of sitting in a big office while the job is getting done, they get out and enjoy being active. Some of the most involved leaders you will find at work functions or annual meetings out with their team. Sleeves rolled up, shaking hands, listening to the needs of their employees, and genuinely communicating. They are connecting, getting involved in the daily operations, and trying to understand how things “underneath them work.” Leaders like this like to know what is working and what’s not. They directly want to hear from the people who are putting the product together or directly selling the product to their client. Markets are ever-changing, and continually keeping your ear to the ground keeps you one step ahead. People work better in situations where they feel they are respected, heard, and seen.

While all of these are great examples, understanding the dynamics of your team makes you a better leader. Being a good team player in a leadership role means having the ability to understand the goals and individual objectives of your employees on both a personal and professional level.  Motivating and setting an example of how the work is done more efficiently by working together as a team creates a positive work environment fostering collaboration and innovation.  Remember to encourage those around you. If you’re transitioning from active duty to the private sector, you can also incorporate military leadership methods to your new civilian teams. There are many ways to keep your employees motivated and continue to build resiliency in your workforce.

Just remember, behind every great leader and business is a team dedicated to the mission.

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