The developing business
Okay so you’ve started your own business. Whilst you’re the business owner, in reality you function as an employee in those early days; working for a wage by trading time for money. You possibly still think like an employee. But over time your mindset changes as you become more acutely aware of your role and responsibility in the business; the importance of leadership and how it can impact growth.
One of the greatest challenges faced by many in small business is the need to work effectively with a wide range of people. While it would be wonderful if everyone were like us – the reality is the world is not like that!
To get the best out of your people you need to provide the right sort of leadership – model the behaviours you expect others to follow.
As a leader you need to:
1. Set a clear vision for the business
2. Articulate that vision to your employees, suppliers and other key stakeholders
3. Ensure the elements are in place that will ensure the vision can be realised
4. Model the behaviours needed for the vision to be realised
5. Be consistent in all your behaviours and actions
6. Frame everything you do in the context of your vision – with everyone you come into contact with
The pack should be following you!
Be assured, if you’re not consistent nor do you model the right behaviours – your employees will follow by example and the business will suffer accordingly! For example, if one primary value of your business is “great customer service”, (if it isn’t it should be!), then as the leader you need to:
A. Demonstrate that you are committed to that end, in the way you personally deal with customers
B. Support your employees so they can deliver “great customer service”
C. Ensure the decisions you take on a day-to-day basis are not in conflict with this value
The one you feed is the one that will win
Taking your business from ordinary to extraordinary means understanding and embracing the difference between management and leadership. According to writer and consultant Peter Drucker, ‘Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.’
The best leaders consistently allow different team members to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves!) to the next level.
One of the most powerful actions a business owner can take to attract and retain good employees is to create a positive work environment. This is not about forced or fake “positivity” but rather an environment where people enjoy coming to work, where their contribution is acknowledged and valued, where they feel both challenged but supported, where they can grow both professionally and as a person.
None of this happens by magic, there is no silver bullet but the payoff for a business can be enormous!
Shawn Accor in his excellent book ‘The Happiness Advantage’ quotes research that has shown a positive work environment can improve productivity by 31 percent and sales by 37 percent.
And finally, the leader always remains focussed on the end goal - the vision. So what role do you play in your business? Leader? Manager? Boss?
With you in every success,