Over the last several years I have been working with business owners, entrepreneurs and those opening their own business. There seem to have been an underlying theme revolving around leadership: Social Responsibility. I recently wrote an article The Meaning and Essence of Business Leadership; I thought it would be beneficial in continuing this topic with the focus on Social Responsibility.
We know leaders are not made nor are they ‘born’; even though there are those individuals who seem to exude all the necessary qualities that make a great leader. They naturally have a set of skills and abilities which makes them a great leader. Do you posses the desire to become a great leader? These are most likely some of the questions you are asking yourself: Can you acquire these leadership skills? Both from a business perspective but from a personal one.
How to Embrace Social Responsibility
The first obvious quality is respect; individuals can easily look up to and respect you as a leader if you respect them. Their respect will be based on your ability to communicate easily and compassionately your expectations of them. This is the second quality of a great leader – compassionate communicator. Within your mutual respect, your communication style will be inspiring.
Those you lead will feel empowered by your to step out and up into their reaching for their goals. One of which will be to ‘please’ you and to live up to your expectations. So the third quality is being able to inspire those that follow you. Now that we’ve covered three qualities supporting a great leader. Let us look at what might be another quality which is less focused on and talked about. But is equally if not more important. Business leadership is based on social responsiveness.
But what is ‘Social Responsiveness?’ and how does business leadership encompass it? Social responsiveness means as a leader in business you are not only concerned with making profit but also social development. It is not all about how smartly and wisely you lead the world; it also is you are not ignoring the values such as decency, integrity, and simple morality of those that follow.
Being socially responsive means adjusting your decision making strategies to will be in alignment with your values and morals. While also respecting the values of your employees, customers and business associates – or better known as your stakeholders. Finding out what will fulfill your stakeholders both personally and professionally. How your decisions effect the others around you empowers you to be more socially responsible. This does not mean you are always saying ‘yes’ or trying to please everyone. It does mean you are willing to earn a little profit to support the greater good.
Business leaders who are in alignment with their values and morals have accepted their social responsibility. As a result they are improving their bottom line; empowering employee base and their decisions hold a higher level of respect. As their respect grows so too does their loyalty of the stakeholders. Customers today are better connected than they were a decade ago. They use these connections for recommendations, referrals and to learn about the social consciousness of a business and leadership. Initially embracing your social responsibility as a leader may provide more challenges than you think. Working through these challenges will allow your business to be stronger, more competitive.
When it comes to business leadership and social responsibility, it is not only about making the touchy feeling decisions. Remember a genuine business leader knows how to lead by integrating the business and social relations together. Make sure your business decisions are made with the best interest of every individual and not only for the business itself.