As the owner of a home business, you will more than likely start to outsource some of your tasks. This is smart business. It helps free up some of your time and allows you to work on tasks that need your specific attention. However, when you start to hire people, you will need to develop leadership skills.
You should always lead by example. People will see the way you do things, and they may emulate them. If you take several days to respond to an email, don’t expect your assistants to respond the day you email them. If you consistently miss deadlines or send late payments, don’t expect your assistants to be on time with their work. On the other hand, if you answer emails in a timely manner and are always prompt and respectful, you should expect to be treated in the same manner.
Leaders need to have confidence in their self, their decisions, and in their actions. If you, as a leader, are constantly second guessing things, it will be hard for your assistants to take you seriously. If you find yourself wondering about a decision or choice you made, consult a mentor or other business associate. You can certainly ask your assistants’ opinion on things that haven’t been decided yet. But once you make a decision, do not ask your assistants if they think you made the right choice.
Leaders need to be good at communicating. If your assistants do not understand what you want, they cannot complete the task in a manner that will make you happy. Be clear about the project’s details. If you have an example, send it to them. Let them know it is okay for them to ask you questions. If they are working on a project that will take several weeks to complete, ask to see a portion of what they have accomplished each week, just to make sure they are on the same page.
As a leader, you are a manager. You will need to organize tasks and set deadlines in order for things to be done on time. This means that you will also need to be organized. If you want your assistants to turn a project in on the 20th of the month, you need to give them enough time to complete it. You cannot put off forming the idea until the 19th.
Leaders must also be willing to learn how to listen and resolve conflicts. Listen to what your assistants are saying. You may have a deadline of the 5th in mind, but an assistant may be telling you she cannot complete it before the 7th. Or perhaps there will be times when things get mishandled. You will need to know how to keep calm in that situation and get things back on track.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.