LEADing Small Business

LEADing Small Business

Business Growth through Leadership Development

Stewart Barnes, Steve Kempster and Sue Smith

This is one of the first books to fully value and realise the connection between leadership and learning in SMEs. It provides a real-life narrative, encapsulating the development of business people on a leadership programme for SME managers, whilst explaining the key theories, models and techniques that underpin the leadership methods and approaches deployed at each stage of the delegate’s journey. The authors examine comprehensive data sources associated with three managers within SMEs and follow them over a ten-month period. Each chapter splits into two – an aesthetic narrative on the learning journey and a ‘theory sandwich’, which draws the reader’s attention to the theories, models and debates underpinning the learning at each stage of the delegate’s journey. A cycle of leadership learning through ‘lived experience’ is outlined and the importance of leadership learning within a community of practice and developing concurrently three key capitals - human, social and institutional capitals - are emphasised.

Chapter 1: Does everyone feel this way? Loneliness, uncertainty, self-doubts and a distinct lack of time

Stewart Barnes, Steve Kempster and Sue Smith

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour

Extract

It is lonely running a business, a company, an organization. I feel that the problems I face are unique to me and my company. How could someone else possibly understand my products, my services, my markets, my staff, the issues I face and all the things that make me and my business what we are? After all, I have spent years getting to where I am today. Even inside my company I feel that I have no one I can openly turn to. I can’t talk to those around me as they expect answers from me, not doubts, not questions. They want answers! Indeed, some of the issues that the organization faces have been caused by them. How can I talk to them about problems that I believe they are part of or that they have caused? Deep down, I know I can’t do it all on my own. I try and involve others in running the business but too regularly they let me down and I end up doing the work myself. In any case, it’s quicker if I do it myself as it gets done correctly. If not, then I only have myself to blame. Yes, that’s the best way to keep things in control, for the time being at least.