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If you were asked to give an example of a person you believe to be a true leader, who would you name? This question is the key to a successful and sustainable business, ecause there’s no replacement for good leadership. An effective leadership is key to solving critical challenges that might threaten the existence of the SME – examples being, insufficient cash flow, rising costs, turbulent markets, impulsive customers, and compliance issues. Leaders in SMEs need to manage things, both big and small. Consequently, it is the mental framework and strength of the leader that decides the fate of the enterprise, very much like any other organisation. However, unlike other organisations, an SME leader does not have the luxury to hide behind titular roles, like in a big organisation; nor can they give up, as the stakes are really high than a start-up and failure isn’t an option. In spite of constant struggles of employee engagement and retention, and seeking validation amongst a sea of competitors, SMEs have a strong sense of purpose and the ability to innovate coupled with underlying values that the leader needs to leverage effectively. This is especially true now as the UAE economy is extremely dependent on the relentlessness of the region’s SMEs.It is important for the leaders now to strive on while keeping the employees motivated enough so that when opportunities present themselves, each one is in the right frame of mind to realise it, grasp it and utilise it to the fullest. Leadership is no doubt a tricky domain; leaders need to be practical yet empathetic, strict yet trustworthy. But, once a leader has identified their leadership style and has the willingness to adapt to the situations and challenges, propelling a business can be thoroughly educative, awarding and excitable experience in itself. Happy Reading!

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