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Leadership From a Business Owner's Perspective

What three traits must you have in order to be a great leader?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Yes, you and I have a great deal in common-we own our ownbusiness.

Which means that you and I have the same demands put upon us.The people whom we employ have a special need for us to puteverything into perspective for them, in a way only you and I canbe expected to do. After all, it's our business.

What are those special needs? What do employees expect from aleader? From the owner? From the CEO? From the boss?

Our people expect us to be:

Consistent. But you and I are almost always inconsistent.Having worked with thousands of business owners, I can safely saythat most owners change their plan, their agenda, their mood almostdaily.

We've got to understand what the word consistency means.We've got to look at our actions and ask ourselves ifthey're inconsistent or consistent, and if they areinconsistent, why are they inconsistent, and what can we do aboutit?

And in a world that's consistently inconsistent, how can webuild a business which at its heart finds a true measure ofconsistency in everything it does? Wouldn't that be a miracle?Isn't that somehow impossible? Well, yes and no, but that'swhat a leader has to do. Find consistency in an inconsistent world.And reproduce it.

Determined. Yes, we're expected to be determined. Nomatter what you believe to the contrary, your people do want you toshow them the evidence of your determination. Your determination todo what? To do what you say you're determined to do.

I think of the extraordinary leader, George Patton, or even theexceptional leader, Jack Kennedy. Patton not only said what he wasgoing to do, he was absolutely, positively determined, come hell orhigh water, to do it. Most people would say he was a great leaderbecause of his achievements, but that isn't necessarily true.Many great leaders have failed to do what they were determined todo, but because their determination was so alive, so clearly,passionately, convincingly true, whether they succeeded or not,they were a world-class leader. (Of course if you pull off whatyou're determined to do, it's a great plus.) Kennedy wasdetermined to go to the moon. Churchill was determined to save theBritish Empire from the clutches of Germany. These men weredetermined. They were leaders. Everyone, when facing the starkreality of an impossible situation, needs someone who is determinedto raise their level of determination, too.

Passionate. Yes, we've got to be consistent,determined and passionate. Which means we've got to care aboutwhat we do, deeply, lovingly, devotedly, compellingly,importantly...we've got to have a fever in our minds and heartsfor the outcome, and for the process, and for the very fiber ofwhat it is we intend to do and how it is we intend to do it andwhat difference that will make to everyone who comes into contactwith our company, and our people.

But most important of all, think about the impact it will havefor everyone who experiences our idea of a company, our idea ofpeople, our idea of the importance of it all and the impact it willhave on the world around it. Leaders are passionate people. Theyare not rational models of perfection, but they are consistent,determined, and passionate. And most of all, they take everythingthey do seriously. Seriously, as if it were a matter of life anddeath. And that's why people listen to them. And that's whypeople take them seriously.

And that's what it means...at least at random...and at leastfor a start...for you and I, as owners of our own business, to beleaders.


Michael Gerber is the founder and chairman of E-Myth Worldwide, wherehe invented a revolutionary small-business development systemthat's been proven in thousands of businesses across the globe.Since 1977, Gerber has been sharing his business success strategieswith millions of fans of his E-Myth books, audiotapes and programs.As a business-coaching pioneer and bestselling author, Gerber haschanged the face of small business by providing entrepreneurs withan innovative and stunningly clear understanding, capability andprocess to transform any small business into a world-classenterprise.

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