Get out of your own way – lead less

I can’t drive enough in this house:

The biggest lynching pin in your business is you.

Ouch!

That’s true.

Many times, your great leadership means great removal, well, you.

It took me a few years, but now I realize that as the leader of my company I have become the lynchpin of my business.

I want you to ask yourself if you have become a lynchpin. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to observe everything, but it’s incredibly the opposite. When you control decisions, production stops. Your staff will have to wait to hear back from you. Not only do you have to stop the flow of what you are doing, but it is probably not the most conscious decision you make that best serves your company, team or customers.

Empowering your employees in their role with autonomy and licensing them to make larger decisions is essential to your business. As leaders, we may move away from the day-to-day interactions with customers and may not have the best measure of overall temperature. We can’t make the best decision for everything, considering the employees are in the front row. They are the ones who implement the systems you create to make your company work efficiently. You hire them for a reason.

If you hire the right people, you will trust them to understand the community you serve, how to serve them well, to communicate effectively with them, and to understand when to communicate much better than you do.

You may not be reluctant to represent. If you are, you need to see if it’s a “you” thing, or a “their” thing.

If you are concerned about delivering large projects to your staff, here are some suggestions:

Mission Alignment: First, clear your mission. Nor can it be a general statement. For example, our goal here is to “eradicate entrepreneurial poverty”. It’s a word of mouth, but there’s no question about what we want to do. If we say, “Help small business owners”, our mission statement, it will leave room for explanation. What help? Be sure to clear your mission. Another important aspect here is to understand what your employee’s personal missions are. Ask what your team’s professional and personal goals are. Then work from the bottom of the list eliminating issues that aren’t worth the fight. It’s a win-win.

Introduction Alignment: If you’ve read the blog you’ve seen before, it’s for good reason. Everyone is good at something. If you find an employee who is dedicated to the mission, but has a skill that can add value to your company, create a role for them, or better fit their role for them. Yes, work will give challenges, but when you think your team is fit, their sense of ownership, creativity and work ethic come together to be a big productive force of fire.

Reciprocity: Great loyalty is born from reciprocity. When you, as a leader, put your trust in your team, they will probably work to continue to achieve it. And, in return, they will offer their devotion and trust in you.

Lead as a human being: I can’t stress it enough. You are a leading human being. It’s not about the headcount and the budget. Allow for errors. You have them. Allow for mistakes. You make them. Allow learning in your business. You still. This is so important that while running a business, you acknowledge that the search for perfection can be a stick in the wheel (and terrible for morale). When you give grace to yourself and your staff, beautiful things begin to happen. I see it in my office. People are less concerned about chaos. And ironically, nowadays there is less clutter, and more laughter and employee satisfaction.

Remember: Empower your employees with some licenses to make decisions for your business. They will make you proud.You got this.

-Mike

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