7 Essential Small Business Leadership Skills to Master

Jarie Bolander
Feb 15, 2017 · 5 min read

A Guest Post by Dianna Clark

To be a good leader, a person should possess a specific set of traits and skills that help them to perform complex business tasks, such as motivating others, planning, analytics, and many others. These skills and traits are critical in small business because they are the main driver that stimulates growth and propels the organization to success. Current leadership research has shown that in addition to intelligence, adaptability, and assertiveness, successful modern leaders should be positive and empower and develop followers in order for the small business to develop because one person cannot do it alone.

There is a wide range of different tools that can be used by business leaders to enhance their expertise and develop the organization in the right way. Consider these tools for how to improve your leadership skills to lead your small business to the new heights.


This is a vitally important tool in the toolbox of every leader of a small business. Given that the organization makes its first steps in real business and needs to grow as fast as possible, productive employees are the key to achieving the development. Motivation is the best way to make the employees more productive, so use both monetary and non-monetary motivation to achieve the goals and add the revenue to the company. This article from the Balance could be used to found out how to stay motivated.


A small business, like any other one, cannot survive without communication between different organizational levels because information is everything. The leader is the key to establishing an effective communication system and ensuring its functioning because the employees might not have sufficient time to engage in solving communication problems. They have their own concerns, some of which, by the way, if not communicated to other departments, could be a disaster for the small business. To prevent any negative events associated with communication, the manager should communicate with employees on regular basis and ensure that effective communication exists throughout the company and ensures the opportunity to get information from every section or department. If you need tips for choosing specific communication methods for small business, use this Forbes article about these strategies to get more.


The company’s personnel should have a clear understanding of the goals and objective of the company as well as the understanding of your vision”, says Brian Burke, a business development expert at admission-service. If employees have the vision defined and explained, they have a sound foundation to translating it into the results, so the leader should take some time to share their vision with everyone involved in its implementation. In addition to explaining how and when the vision will help the company to reach the required milestone, the leader should also outline the benefits for the employees, such as rewards for getting the vision implemented. Here are some tips on how to get employees excited about the vision from Inc. Finally, you should ask and consider every piece of feedback from the personnel to involve them in the process as well.


A passionate leader is the best leader because of one simple reason. Would someone become really successful at something they did not care about at all? Of course not, because they would not have the desire to lead and help others to achieve the goals. Passionate leaders show their enthusiasm for the company every day and encourage the employees to feel the same way because this ensures motivation, appreciation, and communication. To include passion in your leadership toolkit, you could begin by thinking about appropriate ways of expressing it, such as showing appreciation for employee contribution in a positive way.


This tool takes the leadership to a new professional level because it involves cultivating relationships with both employees and teams. For example, the leader can teach them how to sell to a specific target audience, thus improving their knowledge and skills, which contributes to the company’s intellectual resources. Moreover, mentoring shows that the leader really cares about his or her employees by taking a time to have a session with them on personal development. As the result, the personnel become more productive and respectful of their leader who is willing to invest their intellectual resources in them.

Interview Skills

Given that small businesses have a limited number of employees, their selection should a very effective process to ensure that the best ones are getting hired. The leader should have sufficient interview skills to select the right people for the job because they cannot afford to make bad decisions here. Moreover, the leader should come to interview with a clear understanding of the skill set and character type the perfect candidate has. This understanding will allow to come up with particular interview questions that will help them to define whether the person is the right one.

Personal Improvement

You have started a small business and it needs to grow to become larger and more profitable. The same could be said about you as well: you need to continue to improve to ensure that your leadership skills fit the growing needs of the business. Never stop learning even if it means staying up late in the office because continuous improvement is the key to adaptation, flexibility and more revenues for your business. The business landscape today changes every month and your organization should keep up with through your knowledge and decisions, which should be made in the right way.


Managing small business requires a lot from leaders because they are the most important element that drives them forward, but it rewards nicely in the end. The strength and skills of small business leaders are often a deciding factor that ensures the success and further development, so their importance cannot be really overstated. Use these tools to improve your skills and take your organization and your expertise to a new level.

Diana Clark is a small business coach who helps people to make the transition from full-time employees to successful entrepreneur. She is also a marketing consultant at emergencyessays.

Originally published at The Daily MBA.

    Jarie Bolander

    Written by

    Engineer by Training. Entrepreneur by Nature

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