In today’s competitive business world, dynamic leadership has become more important than ever. Business leadership has long been the force that keeps everything working together seamlessly and the company continuously moving forward, but these days it can mean the difference between business success and failure. So how do you approach your role as a small business owner? Here’s a roundup of some recently published articles that highlight important ways in which you can step up your leadership and move your small business forward.

Listening to Other Owners (Small Biz Survival)

One of the easiest ways to step up your leadership is to pay attention to what’s going on around you. What are other small businesses in your industry (i.e., your competitors) doing that’s working, and what is clearly not working? Approaching your business this way can keep you from going down a path where others have already failed. And in addition to observation, don’t forget about networking. Networking is not only good for business, but it can yield key information that will help you keep your business on the right track.

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers (TED)

Creative thinking is at the heart of innovation and an important part of business success. So how do creative leaders come up with all their great ideals? Here’s a short video to check out, in which organizational psychologist Adam Grant looks at what makes original thinkers tick so that you can step up your creative game.

Taking Care of Your Business Means Taking Care of Yourself (Small Business Trends)

Self-care is more and more being recognized as an important key to small business success. While the business world has long called for a “selfless” approach to business management, researchers have found time and again that this can often translate to reduced productivity, weaker engagement, and poor health over the long term. In this article, Larry Alton urges business leaders to maximize their leadership potential by taking simple steps in their personal lives: improving the diet, increasing nightly sleep, taking time to meditate or quietly reflect, exercising regularly, and building and strengthening relationships outside of work.

Why Employees’ Ideas Go Nowhere and What Needs to Change (Superinnovators)

No matter what industry you’re in, innovation has become more important than ever. And often, it’s your employees (who spend day after day on the front lines of your business operation) who have the ideas needed to really take your business to the next level. The psychology of why employees won’t always share their ideas is complex and often fear-based, and it could be what’s holding your business back. Here are some key insights into how to get your employees’ innovative ideas out of limbo.

The Best Time Management Apps for Small Business Owners (Huffington Post Business)

One of the biggest challenges faced by today’s business leader is a lack of time. It’s up to small business owners to innovate and find new ways to streamline operations and boost efficiency to ensure you have time for the critical aspects of leadership: key decision making, growth initiatives, and so on. Fortunately, technology is available to help with laborious tasks like employee tracking. In this tech article, Jared Hecht (CEO and cofounder of Fundera) shares the most effective time management apps out there.