7 Things Great Leaders Do Every Day When Working with Others

We’d like to point out yet another reason why the internet might just be the greatest thing since sliced bread; it’s not just about eBay, Instagram, and Netflix. What’s really amazing is how the internet enables entrepreneurs to leverage virtual resources to scale their businesses and keep their overhead down. That might even be better than LOLcats!  

In today’s day and age, an enterprising professional doesn’t need an entire team to launch a startup. All you need is a home office, a computer, and some good old-fashioned drive.

But of course, a solopreneur needs more than technology to successfully run a profitable business—and one of the most important ways to ensure a successful by-yourself business is to be a great leader.

Yes, even if you don’t have a team of employees to lead, it’s not just about you. It’s about your clients! As a solopreneur, your clients are your sustenance. No clients mean no business and no money and no one wants that! you’ll still want to be a trailblazer for your clients, offering them innovative services, products, and solutions that will keep them faithful to you for years to come.

So if you’re sitting there wondering how to be the best leader for your business, wonder no more and read on to find out 7 things great leaders do every day when working with others.

1. Make Decisions

A successful leader focuses on making things happen at all times. This might go without saying when you’re responsible for finding all your own clients and ensuring that you have enough work to keep your business afloat every day. But a great leader makes decisions that will sustain progress.

Business leaders are faced with dozens of decisions that need to be made daily. As your organization grows, the decisions typically become more frequent, more complicated, and have more important consequences. Sometimes it’s not even about making the right decision, but just making a decision at all.

Don’t let all that decision making cripple you! Sometimes it can feel like a lot of pressure but the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders will tell you that they have made many wrong decisions throughout their careers, but those failures always lead to beneficial learning experiences.

Remember: Your clients have hired you for your expertise. Be confident. Take initiative and offer direction in the areas where your client is unsure. Don’t be afraid to make tough decisions—as a great leader, your business and your clients will thank you!

2. Make Your Expectations Clear

When it comes to being a successful leader, one of the most important qualities to have is being a great communicator. Every time you take on a new project, it’s critical that everyone involved communicates their expectations surrounding the project. As a great leader, it’s your job to open that dialogue because in the end, if your client isn’t happy, it’s your business that loses. It’s up to you to take charge, open the dialogue with your client.

When there’s easy, open communication not only will it make your job that much easier because you’ll know exactly what the client is expecting out of the project but it will make your client feel more at ease and want to work with you again. Can you say win-win?

3. Be Accountable to Others

Clients will absolutely love you when you show that you value accountability. Successful leaders hold themselves accountable to their clients. No, that doesn’t mean your client is allowed to control you or micromanage your every move—but it’s important to become accountable to your client in a way that assures them you are being proactive with their needs. Take action to show the value and return that they’re getting on their investment by hiring you..

Being accountable to your clients is a sign that you, as a leader, are focused on the success of your clients instead of just your own. Without the success of your clients, you can’t possibly have a successful business yourself. By making each client feel they’re a priority, you’ll lead your business to growth and success.

4. Ask Questions, Seek Feedback

Successful leaders constantly ask questions and seek advice. Externally, a great leader might seem confident and “in the know”—but internally a great leader has a deep thirst for knowledge and a natural inquisitiveness. A truly great leader has a craving to learn new things and is committed to making themselves better through the wisdom of others.

Clients like knowing that you’re paying attention to them and they appreciate it when you ask them questions. It shows that you’re continuously seeking an intimate understanding of their business operations and needs.

Successful leaders don’t just provide expertise to their clients—they also welcome reciprocal information and insight in the form of feedback. They know how to listen and they take the information they get from that feedback closely to heart. The information that they gather from feedback becomes an invaluable tool for their personal and professional development. Showing your clients that you’re open to their ideas and are striving to better yourself so you can be better for them will help create trustworthy, long-lasting relationships and who doesn’t want that?!   

5. Solve Problems and Don’t Procrastinate

As a great leader and solopreneur, it’s up to you to tackle issues head-on. By taking each challenge as it comes and not setting it aside to deal with later, you’ll become incredibly efficient at problem-solving. Not only will this help your business grow but your clients will appreciate your professionalism.

Uncomfortable circumstances provide amazing learning experiences and by taking on issues that most people run from, you’ll not only grow your business but you’ll grow as a person and a leader.

6. Stay Positive

Outstanding leaders create a positive and inspiring culture that attracts clients like bears to honey. As a great leader, when you set the tone and bring an attitude that motivates your clients to trust you, they not only want to work with you again and again but they also recommend you and your services to their peers.

Remember that whatever energy you bring to your work will be noticed and amplified. Your personal attitude is a huge part of the energy you inject into your organization. You can’t rely on someone else to do this for you because you’re the leader; you set the tone, so make it positive!

If you’re looking for a number driven, bottom line reason why a positive attitude matters in your organization, look no further than productivity. People (yourself included) get more done in a positive environment.

7. Invest in Relationships

As a successful leader, you’re open to learning and growing, which means it’s not just about protecting your own domain but rather about expanding through mutually beneficial relationships.

Kick @ss leaders associate themselves with the kinds of people that can broaden their sphere of influence.  And of course, it’s not only for their own advancement but for everyone involved to benefit from as well.

Your network is a valuable source of referrals, and we all know that word of mouth and referrals are the holy grail of marketing. A bigger and stronger network helps you get a lot of things done faster—for yourself and your business.  

Another reason why investing in relationships is truly one of the best investments you can make in your business; you’ll get things done faster! We know this to be true in our personal lives. Need some advice? Your old friend from college always has such valuable insight. Need a handyman? Ask your neighbours who they use.  Looking for a new insurance agent? One of the members from your local BNI just started working with someone they love. What about a Virtual Assistant? Your friend who inspired you to go into business in the first place recommends Any Old Task. 🙂

How will your perspective ever change if you don’t meet and engage with new people? If you don’t talk to people in other industries or people with different challenges, you’ll never see your situation in a new light.

There’s no doubt about it; fostering new relationships and nurturing existing ones are two of the best investments you can make in business.

Bonus tip: Successful leaders also know the importance of delegating all the little tasks that need to get done, but that isn’t the best use of their own time.

The Payoff

Ultimately, successful leaders are able to sustain their success thanks to these seven habits. Decision making, communication skills, accountability, inquisitiveness, problem-solving, a positive attitude, and relationship building allow them to increase the value of their organization.

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below what habits you’ve gotten into, in order to be the best leader you can be. We always love to hear from you.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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