Leadership tips for business and entrepreneurs

It’s probably no surprise that the best leadership tips for business owners and entrepreneurs come from other business owners and entrepreneurs. That’s why I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and learning from some of the best thought leaders about leadership including Jim Collins, Simon Sinek, Dale Carnegie, Jeff Bezos and many more.

As a lifelong entrepreneur, I’ve been able to find a lot of success in building businesses, like LiveGlam, from these leadership ideas. Below is a list of my top tips for becoming a better leader from my personal experience building companies as well as from other business leaders!

best leadership tips for business owners and entrepreneurs
Business leadership matters. As a leader, you impact your team, customers, stakeholders, vendors and more. Discover how to improve your leadership skills.

Tips for Effective Leadership

For the best leadership advice, I look to the best leaders to see what they are doing differently. These are what I consider to be the best tips for being a better leader.

business owner leadership tips about hiring and firing
Leaders need to know who to hire, and when to acknowledge it’s not a good fit.

Hire slow but fire fast

As the CEO, I’m usually the last person a potential hire interviews with. I like to start off my interviews by saying, “Thanks for putting up with our interview process, I know it’s long and I’m grateful you to have put this much effort in.”

Our interview process is so lengthy that recently we’ve decided to start compensating people for the time they spend simply interviewing with us.

Even though our hiring process is slow, our retention rate is much higher than most companies: less than 10% of our team turns over a year. That’s because we take our time to ensure each team member is going to be a strong fit. It takes a lot more than talent to join our tribe: a rockstar has got to share our values as well.

Dhar Mann LiveGlam owner and team members
Dhar Mann and some of the LiveGlam team members

However, the opposite is true when it comes to letting someone go. If someone is a cultural fit but their skills are not where they need to be, we will spend a lot of time in developing that team member or even transitioning them to a new position.  But if it becomes clear that someone is not a cultural fit or does not align in our value system, we are very quick to let that person go.  It’s not only the best thing to do for the wellbeing of the team and culture, it’s also in the best interest of that employee so they can move on with their lives faster.

Great leadership skills include the ability to know who to hire, and when to acknowledge it’s not a good fit.

The best leaders take their time to hire the right people and are quick to let wrong hires go.

This practice enables leaders to maintain a high standard for their whole team.

best leadership tips for business owners be transparent
As a leader embrace a policy of radical transparency

Be open and radically transparent

I grew up in a conservative Indian household and there wasn’t always a lot of open communication. The lack of communication often created division and it was uncomfortable telling my family what I was really thinking or what was happening in my life. What I didn’t know is I was letting those same patterns of closed communication I had picked up from childhood spill over into my businesses.

I didn’t realize this until one day I decided to do an anonymous company poll to get a pulse on how my team was feeling.  A few people responded saying they felt there was a general mistrust within the team and that they felt in the dark as to what was happening around them. Those sentiments echoed exactly how I felt growing up. I was guilty of building a company culture that stemmed from my family culture without even knowing it.

From that day forward, I decided to embrace a policy of radical transparency: everyone, regardless of their position, would always know everything that was happening within the company unless there was a legal necessity for them not to know. Everything? Yes, everything- the good, bad and the ugly.

Today I communicate openly about our finances, failures, short-term goals, long-term plans and much more.  Almost nothing is considered sacred.

Since adopting this policy of radical transparency, the entire team feels so much more comfortable discussing issues openly and working together as a team.

There’s no feelings of mistrust or worry like something’s going on behind their backs that they don’t know about.  We spend a lot of time embracing this policy with new hires, and the impact has been outstanding.

The best leaders are radically transparent with their team members. They are reliable and trustworthy. They inspire employee loyalty and honesty by being an example of those qualities.

best leadership tips for business owners taking criticism
Great leaders accept criticism

Rarely accept credit, but quickly accept criticism

The best leaders are reluctant to take credit for company successes but are quick to accept responsibility for company failures.

In many organizations, when something goes wrong it’s usually followed with a lot of silence or arguing as to who’s fault it was.  But when something goes wrong inside of our team, you’d think there was a competition taking place as to who was responsible.  Each person is quick to acknowledge what they could have done differently even if the outcome was mostly or entirely outside of their control. That’s because our team knows the only way to grow from failures is to take responsibility for them, otherwise nothing will ever change.

The opposite is true when it comes to taking credit for successes.  The most frequent response to praise on our team is “I appreciate it, but none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for my awesome team.” We spend a lot of time building each other up and never cutting anyone else down.

One of my favorite ideas from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” is during success, the best leaders look out the window to give others credit, but during failures, they look in the mirror to take responsibility.  Unsuccessful leaders often blame everything and everyone for why they are not successful, such as a bad economy, bad timing, a lack of capital or support.

But successful leaders give credit to everything and everyone, besides themselves, for why they succeeded.

Shifting credit and accepting blame builds stronger teamwork and trust within the organization. Humble leaders are effective leaders because they minimize status differences and make every team member feel valued and appreciated. They work for the greater good of the whole company rather than themselves. They ask their employees for feedback and they are willing to listen to criticism, admit mistakes and change course as needed. They take the blame but not the credit.

Business leadership tips, don't help team members

Don’t solve your team’s problems

When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I would try to solve all of my team member’s big problems for them. Then I realized by doing so I was spending so much of my time focusing on what I was paying others to do and also inhibiting my team’s growth by making them dependent on me. If I always solved their big problems for them, then how would they function if I wasn’t around?

Great leaders don’t solve their team’s problems.

They teach their teams on how to think about problems correctly and empower them to come up with their own creative solutions.

When you allow your team to make big decisions, there are 2 possible outcomes:

  1. They make the right decision, which is a win for everyone.
  2. They make the wrong decision, which is also okay because what your team will learn from this experience is usually far more valuable than whatever negative consequence came from the wrong decision.

When you coach your team and empower them to solve their own problems they will work harder, grow stronger, and love their job more. It’s an empowering feeling to know that your opinions matter.

Discover my one favorite thinking hack that can help solve any problem).

best leadership skills for business owners employee attitude
Care about employee’s attitude and employee’s aptitude.

Value attitude as much as aptitude

One of my least favorite parts of being a CEO is having to let someone go. But the best leaders know that the wellbeing of the team cannot be sacrificed over the wellbeing of one person. And nothing drove that point home for me when I had to let one of my most talented designers go.

This person was a total design rockstar. She completely redesigned our website and people were continuously WOW’d by her designs. But for whatever reason, she just did not care to communicate and was not interested in meeting deadlines- ever.

At a certain point,, it became clear that if I continued to allow her to slack on communication and slide on deadlines, it would send a message to the entire team that they also did not have to be respect company policies. Or else it would appear that I was treating our designer with favoritism over everyone else.

So after much effort of trying to get our designer to conform to the company culture, I eventually had to let her go. It was a difficult decision, but I knew it was the right one because I could always find another designer but I could never reverse the damage that would be caused to the team if I allowed her to continue working.

Great leaders care just as much about an employee’s attitude as an employee’s aptitude.

Skills can be taught, but attitudes can be tough to change. Making sure a team member is a cultural fit is just as important as them being awesome at the work they do.

dhar mann best leadership tips for entrepreneurs
The best leaders are readers.

Are consistently learning and growing

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the amount of success I’ve achieved has been strongly correlated with the amount of books I’ve read. Besides my required reading assignments during school (which I usually just skimmed the clift notes anyway) I read on average one book every 5 years.  And none of the businesses I’ve started have ever gotten past $1 Million dollars in annual revenue.  That is until I started reading.

In 2016, around the time I founded LiveGlam, I read a statistic that the average CEO reads 60+ books a year. If all these successful people were reading that much they must be doing something right. So that year I committed myself and read 70 books. My business grew to $8 Million in revenue. That next year in 2017 we broke 8-figures and the amount of books I’ve been reading and our revenue have been growing ever since. I’m not saying you’ll become a mult-millionaire tomorrow by reading lot of books (and certainly no one person is singlehandely responsible for the overall business success), but merely that reading and learning is strongly correlated with success.

It’s no secret that the best leaders are readers.

They are always looking for ways to improve and pay attention to what other leaders are doing. Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day, and Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. When I learned how many books were being read by the most successful leaders, it lit a fire under me to start doing more reading myself, and the results have been incredible.

Audiobooks are my new best friend. I quickly began burning through my reading list and learning all kinds of tips for being a better leader, a better entrepreneur, and even a better person. With an audiobook, I can easily get through a whole book in no time while I’m driving, working out, or taking a walk.

 

(If you want to check out some of my favorite books that will get you excited about success – here’s my reading list for the best success books.)

 

How to be a Great Leader

While great leaders can have different styles of leading (find your leadership style here), in my opinion, the best, most effective leaders, incorporate these traits I’ve shared with you. Adopting these key leadership skills can help you become a successful entrepreneur – and a great leader in general. Because when you improve your leadership skills, your odds of success improve too. That’s because, as any great leader will tell you, what you become is ultimately what your company becomes.

 

Stay Connected With Dhar Mann

Dhar Mann shares helpful life, business, and relationship tips through his blog posts and videos, which have been shared on social media millions of times. Subscribe to Dhar Mann’s YouTube channel or follow him on Facebook to stay connected.

11 thoughts on “6 Best Leadership Tips for Business Owners

  1. Liz N. says:

    I love the one about accepting criticism. It’s not easy to do – but you have to as a leader. It’s what helps you grow!

    • Amber says:

      Hello my name is Amber and I live in Apple Valley California. For this trip I would take my husband and we would want to go to Hawaii. We really love the beach and have never gone there. This would be important to us because we never had a honeymoon and would like to go somewhere alone to spend quality time with each other. We also work opposite schedules and a little time off together would be great.
      My favorite tip from the buzzfeed article is to commit to a consistent schedule.

  2. Julie Hirji says:

    Okay – so I have to admit.. I am not a reader what so ever. I never have been. Hand me a book and it literally goes on the shelf. BUT – I have my own business. I’m a makeup artist and have built a team of a few different artists and even though it’s a smaller scale business.. I still want it to be successful.

    This blog post has motivated me to start reading more. I used to cringe at the idea of Audible Books. I’m more of a listen to music type of person while I drive or work out. But I think I just may try it. I’m constantly on the road due to my mobile business so why not. I can always learn and thing or two.

    Thanks for the tips! Excited to start trying some of them out.

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  4. Talin says:

    Hello Dhar & Laura!😘❤️ I live in Glendale and although my dream vacation would be Greece 🇬🇷 I would have to say a reasonable destination would be Alaska. My husband and I never went on a honeymoon due to work and health related issues. He felt bad about it and told me that wen though we hadn’t gone on a honeymoon that we would go on small trips in the future and call them manymoon trips lol. We have been together 14 years and married 4 of those years. The last four have been challenging in both health and Finances and we have yet to go on a honeymoon or start our plans for the manymoon trips. With the $1000 we would be able to kickstart our manymoom trips (won’t be enough for a dream trip, but it’s more than enough for a small getaway). Also, I would favorite trip you guys went to would be Mykonos 👌🏼. Thank you to the both of you for this great giveaway. 🤞🏼💕

  5. Monika says:

    Hi! I’m from NY and I like to go to Cali with my bf! We’re in a long distance relationship and haven’t seen each other in months since we are both busy med students. We’ve missed spending our anniversary and birthdays together and this trip would mean a lot to us.

  6. Ashley Garza says:

    My name is Ashley Garza I am from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and I would LOVE to got to Mykonos, Greece!!! 🇬🇷 The person I will bring along with me would be my mother❤️ this trip is very important to me because I come from a family and we never have enough money to travel. 😞 My mother is a hard-working woman, she faces battles that may seem simple to others but they’re huge to her and myself. She has 6 kids and 2 dogs who love her to death !! Someway somehow she always provides us a hot meal, shoes, clothes, and a roof over our very own head like it’s nothing but an everyday routines.❤️ We live in a three bedroom house with 8 people and 2 pets, imagine the chaos that comes with that. My month we had always wanted to travel the world but she has never been as far as Dallas, Texas. This is her dream that I want to help make come true!!! ❤️❤️ Not only is this trip and money important to me but I know it would be something my mother WOULD NEVER FORGET!! ❤️

    My favorite tip would be “Write awesome captions” because not only want you post should catch the attention of the reader but it should also tell them a story, with your caption as the title! ❤️

  7. Iris says:

    Hi you guys! Thankyou for doing this generous giveaway, I have so much respect for you guys for giving back, especially when you go out and prepare food for the homeless, you guys are awesome. For the vacation giveaway I would like to nominate my mom. We are here in California. Ever since i could remember, my mom has been my rock. She raised me and my brother all by herself. She would find work cleaning houses, laundrymats, selling food, finding any type of way to keep a roof over our head and keeping food on the table. She made sure we had clean and when possible new clothes, while she shopped at second hand stores for herself. Me and my brother began working at 15 in fast food to help her and now i am thankful to god that we are able to show our appreciation for everything she did for us by taking care of her. I dont know where she would like to go, but i can say this..she is the most grateful person i know, and she would be eternally grateful to you guys for gifting her a trip. (Thanks again you two, love u)
    Ps. Dhar i think your buzzfeed article was on point. My favorite advice you gave for influencers starting out is to stick to one area of expertise. I say that because theres lots of pages out there that have too much content of different subjects and it definitely will lose a viewers interest if they came on to your page looking for one subject that caught their attention.

  8. Stefanie King says:

    I would LOVE to take my boyfriend on our dream trip to Canada. He talks about going to Canada literally every single day. My boyfriend is one of the best people on this planet. I don’t know where i would be without him. Since we were sophomores in high school I lived with him because my family was having a lot of money issues and had to move into a one bedroom hotel with my mom, step dad, brother and sister. so there was obviously no room for me. Throughout all I was going through at the time with my family’s money problems, my boyfriend was MY ROCK. I couldn’t possibly ask for someone more loving and supportive. even though we were only 15 him and his family took me in. ever since he has given me everything I could ever want. We are now 21 and are juniors in college! We are definitely broke college students. We were already saving literally every penny to try to go to canada the second week of march, but my car broke down and had to use what we saved to fix it. He supports me so much with everything I do, emotionally and financially. I would love to be able to give something to him for once. who knows where i would be without him. If i could just do ONE thing for him, I would be so greatful. I love yalls relationship, it is definitely one to look up too. y’all are literally the ultimate goals. Even if I don’t win i’m greatful for the opportunity!! Love y’all!!
    my favorite tip from Dhar is ENGAGE with your followers! y’all do so much to engage with your supporters and trust me everyone appreciates it!!
    (we are from fort worth texas!)

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