Bristol is an exciting and growing hub of business innovation and development. Since the start of 2015, the entrepreneurs of Bristol have launched nearly 3,000 original and diverse business enterprises*. However, once established, one of the biggest challenges for a successful business leader is taking your business to the next level. This week’s International Leadership Week (22nd-26th) aims to support business leaders in this goal by offering insight on how to reinvent your leadership to make a big difference to your company.

As part of this week’s events, Bristol-based business growth specialist Gary Keating, whose business coaching firm works with over 100 businesses in the Bristol area, shares his insight on how to reinvent your leadership.

Learn how to delegate. As your company grows, you need to free yourself up to move your business forward. If you do not have the headspace to see where you are going, who will? Hiring a personal assistant or a site manager can make all the difference in giving you the capacity to make the decisions needed for a developing business.

Learn how to predict. As a leader, you should have a “winter is coming” mindset. Anticipating what could happen to your business ensures you are prepared for the worst. Do not focus on the things you cannot control but on the steps you can take to make your business more resilient. For example, have you got an online infrastructure in place so you can carry on operations if there are any more disruptions to normal trade? Being aware of what could impact your business and how you are going to navigate any issue is a vital part of being a great leader.

Turn your staff into a system. As a leader, recruiting excellent staff is vital, and retaining them is key to your long-term success. However, it is just as essential to make the job roles of your company a learnable system. Otherwise, if a staff member eventually moves on from your business, how do you get their replacement up to speed quickly? It is pivotal to work out what makes your staff so impactful in their job role, and then to have a system in place so that role can be emulated with the right training and structure.

Learn the language of business. Business is a language you must learn to lead effectively. It has different dialects that you can use to manage different teams. Corporate language and strategies won’t necessarily translate well when leading a developing SME. Reading is a fantastic tool in developing this language as your business grows. One of my favourite books is The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber, which gives a great insight into why most small businesses struggle to make it past the first five years.

* Bristol GOV Key Facts 2021