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Business Tip: Choose to be a leader

By By Lindsay Young
April 25, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2012 at 11:25 p.m.


You own a small business. Are you automatically a leader?

Maybe, but not necessarily.

Managers do not equal leadership. In fact, character traits of leaders and managers are vastly different.

Additionally, I'm sure we can all think of individuals in management roles who are not effective leaders.

There is a culmination of traits that constitute a leader, but there are four main factors for creating effective leadership practices: the leader's characteristics and traits, the leader's behavior and style, group members' characteristics, and environmental factors.

If any one of these factors becomes negative or non-existent, the quality of the leadership function diminishes.

One may ask, "what are character and behavior traits of a typical leader."

Some one-word descriptions may include inspirational, supportive, innovative, trusting, experimental, creative and passionate.

Leaders are typically team players, problem solvers, self managers, role models and highly ethical individuals.

They have a vision, create a game plan with the best team members for the particular job and create a follow through.

It will probably be forever an argument as to whether leaders are born or made.

The psychology world seems to be split in this regard, between genetics and the ability to learn traits. While there may be innate characteristics and behaviors, there are enough studies available to prove that with workshops and proper training, problem solving techniques and leadership abilities can be developed and enhanced.

If you are looking for a leadership training opportunity, on May 4, the University of Houston-Victoria's Small Business Development Center is co-hosting an all day leadership program, Chick-fil-A Leadercast.

The program will empower attendees with life-changing insights from world-renowned leaders and is designed to foster local leadership growth.

Speakers include, but are not limited to, authors John Maxwell and Patrick Lencioni, Quarterback Tim Tebow, CNN's Soledad O'Brien and journalist Laura Ling.

Many of the topics being discussed will be based around choices: how to make wise choices, making choices that positively impact your family, making a choice to lead. Additional topics include how to lead an innovative company, ideas to lead your team to success and ways to be intentional with your strengths.

The event will be broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast for the first time in Victoria. This program will affect and create value, not just for you, but CEOs, team members, managers, local business owners, college students, and stay-at-home moms.

For more information and a list of speakers and topics, contact the UHV-Small Business Development Center at 361-485-4485 or sbdc@uhv.edu.

Lindsay Young is a business advisor with the UHV-SBDC.

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