Why Nigerian Businesses Fail: Poor Leadership

Why Nigerian Businesses Fail: Poor Leadership

This is the third installment in our latest series, Why Nigerian Businesses Fail. Read the first and second parts here.

3. Poor leadership

A business is only as good as its leader and when the leadership is misguided, the venture will soon lose its way. Indiscipline, greed and a general lack of leadership skills in Nigerian entrepreneurs are derailing businesses all around.

As an entrepreneur, you must recognise the importance of your role in your business: you define it and shape its culture. Everything and everyone will take a cue from your actions, for good or for bad. Whether you like it or not, you lead by example. Your influence exerts itself over your employees consciously and unconsciously, setting the tone for their attitude.

More than doing what you say, your staff are likely to do what you do. For example, one of the best ways to improve customer service is to show your staff how customers should be treated. This practical style of leadership works for other areas of business, providing a model of excellence for everyone to imitate.

Beyond setting a good example for staff, you must do all you can to keep improving yourself. An entrepreneur who invests little in personal development cannot go far. Gain new skills that will make you a more effective manager and a better communicator. The effects of these improvements will be felt throughout your business.

For entrepreneurs in partnerships (and those looking to go into partnerships), know that a bad partnership can destroy your business quickly. A partnership without terms of agreement or one in which there is conflict over money will soon fall apart. Learn how to build a lasting partnership here.

The bottom line:

The traits of the person or people in charge of a business will inevitably spread throughout the organisation. If your business will do well, you must set the pace for its success.

We're taking comments, questions and tips. Post yours in the comments section below or send it to hello@margin.ng. We'll love to hear from you soon.

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