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    Carey Smith on Leadership


    Is leadership as important in a small business as it is a big business?

    The leader of a small business is likely to have a deep involvement in the operational aspects of the business.  For want of a better term, the leader of a small business is the ‘jack of all trades’.  In a larger organisation leadership has a different level of depth and also is more focused towards strategic leadership than operational leadership.  Where does the balance lie? 


    In a small business the leader’s energy and attitude reverberate instantly through the business and this has a direct correlation with the day-to-day results.  As a leader of  a small business you are living in a goldfish bowl – everything is magnified, everyone is looking at you but it is unlikely that you are going to be judged directly given that you have no equal or peer within your environment.  The structure will be flatter and there is a danger of overlapping with employed people because we generally are attracted to employing similar people to ourselves.

    In a larger organisation there is different depths of experience, feedback and performance.  Generally a team who works with a leader will be able to offer the leader areas of knowledge in specific fields that they may not have.  It has the potential to shelter the leader so they may make better decisions regarding the direction of the business. 

    The commonality between small business and big business is that having the right team around you remains critical.  The ability of the leader to develop trust, to harness talents and to give opportunity is applicable to all areas of leadership.  It remains a challenge for the leader of a smaller business to embrace deficiencies and to understand that we all have areas that we are not knowledgeable on and therefore being able to seek outside advice which is the grey area between small business and bigger business.

    Leadership for a small business owner is more critical than ever in today’s environment.  Understanding leadership will ultimately attract talent, grow your business and give it the potential to become a market leader.

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