Many businesses these days focus a lot of time and energy on leadership training and working out what makes a good leader. Why then, does it seem as though the gap between good leaders and great ones is widening?

If you run a small business and would one day like to become a leader, it’s a good idea to ask yourself these three questions. Use these as a litmus test on your leadership strength and see whether (with some small adjustments) you can go from being a good leader to being a truly inspiring one.

1. Where am I looking to anticipate change?

Change is something a lot of us might fear, but it is, nonetheless, inevitable. Being able to anticipate what swings and roundabouts might be coming up in your business landscape will keep you prepared for the future.

Without sounding like the end of the world is coming, if you have taken time to consider the potential risks and opportunities that may arise, this could keep you ahead of the pack.

Put yourself in uncomfortable situations and understand that complacency is the enemy of growth. If you are a leader who sees around corners then you can shape the future and pave the way for a successful career in leadership. Tomorrow is only a day away, after all.

2. How diverse is my network?

Think about your network and all the people you are in contact with. It is true that birds of a feather flock together, but it’s also true that opposites attract. By having a genuinely diverse network around you, you give yourself the opportunity to see the world (and your business) through many lenses.

Your capacity to develop relationships with people different from you lends a lot to your success as a leader. If we connect with others to achieve a shared goal then good things happen. It has been proven that more solutions to a problem are found when there is diversity in the people thinking about that problem.

The more people in your network who are unlike you, the more diverse are the ways you think about your business and the stronger your business can be. Don’t follow the crowd, get to know everyone in it instead – it’s amazing what you’ll learn.

3. Am I courageous enough to abandon the past?

If you consider yourself capable enough to be a successful leader, then chances are you’ve had successes in the past. The real challenge here is being able to step away and change a practice that has made you successful in the past. You mustn’t be the old dog who can’t learn tricks. A great leader is one who dares to be different.

If you are able to withstand others questioning your ideas and you are willing to try things that might seem contrary or peculiar, then your success is going to be pioneering – and this paramount when we know that timing is everything.

If you’re the type of leader who goes against the grain, tick.

If you’re the type of leader who is not afraid of change, but instead seeks it out, tick.

If you’re the type of leader who mixes with people from all walks of life, tick.

If you ticked all of the above then your success won’t be stagnant and short-lived. In this fast-paced world we find ourselves in, adaptability and asking lots of ‘what ifs’ will correlate to lots of success.

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