The Importance of Developing Leaders in Your Small Business

Oct 15, 2022

Sharon: Good morning. This is Sharon, and I’m here with Steven Kohnke from Denver Business Coach. Good morning, Steven.

Steven: Morning, Sharon. How are you doing?

Sharon: I’m good. I’m looking forward to learning something from you, as I always do in these discussions. So what’s our topic today?

Steven: Yeah, our topic today. So as a business owner, it’s really helpful to think of your businesses, not just the service or the products that you deliver or just a big bunch of things that happen. But it’s really several different technical areas that really need to be focused in on and maintained regularly. So, what we’ve been doing is having conversations around these seven pillars and the seven pillars are foundations, leadership, sales, marketing, operations, financials and HR.

We put together the series of tips and insights for you of what you can apply to your business today. So with that all being said today, we’re focusing in on that operations pillar and more specifically, having leadership development systems within your business.

Sharon: All right. Well, sounds interesting. So let’s start with you really defining what you mean by a leadership development system, specifically for small business.

Steven: Yes. So this is …as a small business owner, you do want to have leaders in your business. You want to have people who are self starters. You want to have people who care and want to grow. So this is just putting more of that system to that process and to those people, really, it’s an actual track.

So what we’re talking about is as milestones and development pieces, in a way, for employees to really develop their skills as a leader and making it a part of their KPIs, entitled to a bonus plan even, but actually having a developmental track for employees and leaders within a business to go through and develop and fine tune, refine those skills that it takes to be a good leader within your business. So, for example, communications would be a really good skill to develop there. But having clear cut examples of what that track looks like, is what a leadership development system for a small business would be.

Sharon: So it sounds like it might take some work and energy, and with that being said, why, as a small business owner, should I hope that is good use of my time, something important for me to invest in?

Steven: Yeah, that’s a perfect way to put that, because, you know, when you look at it that way and say, hey, I need to develop a system to develop leaders in my small business, it seems like, a task that you may not be seeing the benefits of it right away, right? But by having something clear cut in a way that you can show new employees, new hires and people who want to grow within your business, that there is a clear track, it really establishes a culture of growth and really helps people hold on to and care about your business the way that you do. So by showing employees that, hey, you want to develop your leadership skills, this may be your final stop. It may not be, but these skills will… You’ll be able to carry in with you for as long as you’re around. And by showing that care from the business to the employee and really being able to develop those leadership skills within a person, there’s a little bit of reciprocity that goes in there.

Steven: And the employee really ends up having that employee ownership mentality of which we …we value so much and being able to establish that. So, there’s a lot of work up front for sure, but the payoff is less turnover. You get employees that really care. You’re growing employees, you know, you’re investing time and effort and money into the actual development of employees.

And the business performs better when you really can have everyone that’s firing at all cylinders. I mentioned communications a moment before. If everyone is communicating well to the machine, just runs better. It’s well oiled if you have all those parts working well together. So, the why behind it, is really being able to operate at the highest rate of effectiveness within the business when talking about leaders.

Sharon: Makes a lot of sense. So, how, as a small business owner, could I get started?

Developing Leaders In Small Business

Steven: That’s a great question because again, it sounds great, right? Probably the easiest way is we’ve found to do this is to find the leadership that you really want to emulate within your business and make that a part of the track. You can think of it as almost like a book review with your your team or your employees and saying, hey, read chapters one, two, three, and let’s have a conversation about how can we apply these these lessons, these past these skills to what we’re doing here.

That’s probably the quickest way to get started with something like that. And then it ends up taking shape of what an actual process looks like. You can get deeper into sales, salesmanship, communications. You can get deeper into good conflict skills for another one or behavioral intelligence, emotional intelligence, all those are different, really key parts to being a leader.

Steven: And you can find certain certain books that will talk about the development of those specific skills and then have that start there. That’s the easiest way to get going. And then it will kind of take form of what that looks like further on. So then you can actually go to your employees and say, what skills do you want to learn more? Do you want to get better communications?

Do you want to get better emotional intelligence, let’s do this track and then we can go on that track, set the milestones of the KPIs and really tie it into the whole purpose of the business and the development system in itself. So it’s a long way to say, you know, start with a book that you like about a certain skill and make that a part of the the development system.

Sharon: I’m sure you have a whole list of books and a lot more you could say on this topic. But we’re going to wrap up, so any closing comments today?

Steven: Yeah, absolutely. I do have a very long list of books to be adding here about developing leaders in small business. So the easiest way to get a hold of us on that is just visit Reach out to us on there, and we’d be happy to have a conversation with you about how to develop your your leadership development system.

Sharon: Great, great talk today, Steven, thanks so much. Have a good afternoon. Bye Bye.