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From Business Owner to Business Leader

Have you made the transition yet? With a few tips from this leadership expert, you can learn to become a great business leader.
May 15, 2006
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/163598

Long before you became an entrepreneur, I bet you remember saying to yourself, "One day, I'll own my own business!" People around the world have been saying those same words, some as early as 10 years old and others well into their 80s, with both excitement in their voice and a sparkle in their eye.

But when you thought of owning your own business, my guess is, your thoughts probably centered on the type of business you'd be starting. You dreamed of launching your own restaurant or construction company or taking over the family insurance company. You thought about how to make money and how to survive while ramping up. And how to run the business better and faster than your competition. Your first thoughts were probably not focused on the people that would be working for you or what type of leader you'd be.

At this point, you've most likely proven yourself to be a successful business owner...but have you proven yourself to be an effective leader?

Here's how you can find out. Take a few minutes and answer these questions for yourself:

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you've become an effective leader. But what if you answered no or you weren't sure? Don't feel bad--you're simply a business owner who needs to grow as a leader.

It's very easy to get caught up being the business owner and forget about the importance of being an effective leader in your business. Because those daily details can bog you down to the point where you forget that your employees need your time and attention--and need the guidance that only you, as the business's owner, can give them.

Think you could use a little help to become a better leader of people? Here are a few helpful hints to get you started:

Remember, becoming a great leader is a learning process that never ends. Great leaders enjoy the challenges and the lessons learned--even when they're painful.

The type of leader you wish to become is entirely up to you. But if you want to learn to become a great leader, consider these additional tips:

Patty Vogan is Entrepreneur.com's "Leadership" columnist and owner of Victory Coaching, an executive coaching company for business and personal success, and a chairman for the largest CEO organization in the world, TEC International. She has over 15 years of experience in leadership management, team building, marketing and entrepreneurship, and is the author of two books. Her latest book,Waking Up in Tonga, will be available in December 2006.