Be the Leader
Do you think it’s difficult making the shift to leader rather than ‘doer of everything’ when you grow your business?
When I inherited my very first team to manage – 5 people – I didn’t know what to do with them at first. All I’d ever had to manage was myself and my own role. I wasn’t even entirely sure what they all did or what they were all good at.
That’s sometimes a trap that business owners find themselves in. Still being involved in everything because they’re focused on doing rather than leading.
But that mindset must change if the plan is to grow a business from 7 figures to 8 figures. A two million dollar company is very different from running a ten million dollar company. One of the most difficult shifts on this journey of upscaling is to become the leader. Difficult, but essential.
Do you remember when you first started to lead in business?
Whether you have inherited a team, or you have employed them yourself, here are some tips to get started:
- Get a clear understanding of what everyone does. Refer to their Position Descriptions, and if they don’t have one, ask each person to draft their own. You can fill them in and finish them together.
- Get to know their strengths and weaknesses – essential to knowing who to delegate what to. Nothing better than when everyone in the team knows each person’s ‘superpower’. That goes for the leader too.
- Make sure your team members have KPIs – makes it clear what they are accountable for and what value they are expected to bring to the business.
- Learn to listen and ask questions. Nothing worse than a leader who flies off at the handle and puts everyone on edge.
- Be reasonable. If someone makes a mistake, find out what happened. They will be more likely to let you know when something has gone pear-shaped. If you know you can address it. If you don’t know and nothing is done about it, the situation will likely be worse.
- Be human. Laugh with your team, celebrate the good stuff, have a joke. Let them share any problems they are having and be understanding of what they may be going through.
- Be decisive. It’s your job as leader.
- Protect your team when things go wrong with customers. They may have made a mistake but it’s your company and ultimately your responsibility.
- Commit and deliver. If you commit to do something, do it. Your team will learn to trust your word and value it.
- Be the person you would like to have as your leader.
We all have bad days, and sometimes this list of 10 can be a challenge, not to mention all the other characteristics of a good leader. But it’s a start and a good set of principles to work to.