Small business owners who treat their employees as independent thinkers, regardless of level or role, are well-rewarded for their efforts. Many confuse leading with the more authoritarian aspects of parenting—they push, prod, punish, and praise in order to get things done. When you operate this way, your people become dependent, needing excessive supervision, hand-holding, and validation. Resist the temptation to tell your people what to do and how to do it. They will respond with greater autonomy and accountability and need less of your time and attention.

David Peck President Leadership Unleashed Palm Springs, Calif.

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