Leaders Must Be Accountable
When you’re entrepreneur, you can’t operate with a “do as I say, not as I do” mindset. You must be as accountable to yourself, your business and your employees as they are to you. Leaders must be accountable in order to demand that from staff, vendors and others with whom they interact.
How can you lead with accountability?
- Think about whether you have been clear in actions and deeds.
- Are the deliverables you promised being delivered on time and in the state in which you promised them?
- Have you clearly stated to the principles involved what the business impact or consequence of actions will be — whether good or bad.
- Do you follow up and follow through?
- Do you apologize when you’ve been in the wrong?
Today, employees and vendors have myriad choices of business owners with whom to work and interact. Make certain you are that employer or vendor or service or product provider of choice. Be accountable. Be authentic in all of your dealings. Watch your business soar when you are an “open book.”
We know, though, there is a delicate balance a leader walks between being a leader and being just one of the guys. It’s important for you to set the tone of the office and business environment. Balance your approach of being a strategic leader and being an approachable manager and your employees, staff and vendors will see that you are accountable and someone in whom they can place their trust.
Do you find yourself in a struggle with being a leader and being a manager? They are two very different styles of being a business owner. If you’re looking to grow your business in 2017, drop me an email and let’s schedule a time to talk about how coaching might help your business move to the next level of success.
Business Growth Myths
There are business growth myths that abound and I’d like to take some time to bust some of those myths before the new year kicks in. Jump into 2017 with a renewed focus on business growth and cultivate a great year from day one!
- Bigger is better. This isn’t always true. Bigger isn’t better when you’re not ready for growth. You need to have systems and procedures in place to accommodate growth. If you’re not ready to handle an influx in business it’s best to take it slow than to have to scramble to hire new people who may not be the right people. Moving to a bigger office isn’t better if you don’t have the cash flow for to pay the increased expenses.
- All growth is good growth. Too much growth when you’re not prepared isn’t good. Too little growth when you’d planned and budgeted for more is, at the opposite end of the spectrum, not good either. If growth is putting strain on your resources, you may need to scale back until you aren’t stretched at the seams. In some cases, growth that you’re not prepared for can actually lead to your business going under.
- Grow or die. There is nothing wrong with being a “mom and pop” operation. No one says you have to take on and take over the world. Work in a business space in which you’re comfortable and at which you’re excelling. Slow and steady does win most races.
What can you do to be prepared for a business growth spurt?
- Make sure you are always meeting and exceeding customer expectation. Don’t let that foundation be shaken by business growth.
- Always seek operational excellence. Make continual improvements.
- Document strategies and procedures. Learn from your mistakes.
- Keep employees engaged so they are ready and able to deal with a business growth spurt.
What are you looking for in your business for 2017?
How To Put Out Work Fires
Do you find yourself continually being the go-between with your staff and vendors or contractors? Do you ever wonder how to put out work fires so they don’t reignite and so everyone can move forward? If the fires are between what your company and staff are delivering and customer expectations, the fires need to be extinguished and new ground planted.
Here are tips to put out fires and be more productive:
- Know what your customers expect. You may believe you’re delivering Product A, but your customer was expecting Service B. If these expectations don’t mesh you will be in continual fire mode. Communicate so everyone is on the same page.
- Offer support. If your staff is struggling to meet customer expectations and demands, it might be time for you to step in and mediate. Ask your employee what they feel the issue is then take steps to resolve the miscommunication between staff and customers.
- Resolve problems. Don’t let problems linger on the hope they will resolve themselves. That rarely happens.
- Talk with your customer. Have a sit down — virtual or in person — and attempt to get to the bottom of the problem. Be aware that it could simply be that your customer and the employee working with him just don’t mesh and never will. Cut your losses and give your customer to a different employee to help provide your service. Talk with your employees first so they are on the same page. It’s not a punishment it’s an attempt to put out that fire.
If you have to spend your days being a firefighter, your own work will fall to the wayside. Step in and resolve issues before they become blazing infernos.
How have you handled work fires at your location?
Keep Your Focus During The Holidays
During the holidays it’s easy for business owners to lose focus. Between parties, shopping and the feeling that “everyone else” is taking it easy, you need to do what you can to keep your focus and to help your employees keep theirs. You want ot keep your focus during the holidays so you can finish the year strong.
Staying focused means you need to keep your eye on your purpose. Take a few minutes every morning to prioritize your day and focus your goals and mindset.
Take a break
You don’t have to be the only workhorse in the house during the holidays. Give yourself time to take a break and enjoy the season. Spend time with friends and family. Give yourself permission to step away from the office early on occasion.
Carve out “you” time
Get out and take a walk. Meditate. Read a book. Do some jumping jacks. Whatever you want to do that brings you joy, do it! Many people get stressed during the holidays simply because there is too much “doing” for everyone else and not enough “you time.”
Plan for 2017
Take time the week between Christmas and New Years to look back at what you’ve accomplished in 2016. Put your plans in place for 2017. Do you have any big goals? If so, break them down into smaller, manageable steps that you can tackle monthly or weekly until you’ve accomplished them. Do you have plans to grow your business? Write down what it will take to make that happen. Start 2017 with a bang and with forward momentum.
What is your one best habit for success? Share it with us.
Appreciate Employees: Increase Productivity
It makes sense that employees who are happy and who feel appreciated tend to be more loyal and more productive, right? Are there ways in which you can appreciate employees and increase productivity? There are many and you can even find some that don’t cost anything. Remember, cash isn’t always king when it comes to employee appreciation.
How can you appreciate employees: increase productivity? Here are a few steps to consider:
- Say “thank you.” That’s simple. Say thank you to the employee face-to-face if possible. If your staff works remotely, send a company wide email thanking the employee. Make certain you explain what he or she did and why you appreciate it. This not only helps hone in on what they did, but it gives other staff something to strive for.
- Don’t wait until the end of the year. If your company still gives holiday bonuses, that’s great. But, remember you can appreciate your employees throughout the year.
- Offer work assignments that show you understand their value to the company.
- Set up a way in which employees can “nominate” co-workers for going above and beyond. Peer recognition is as valuable as boss recognition.
- If you have to make a decision that will impact a particular employee or department, talk with them first. Don’t let them hear of the change in a company wide email. Showing concern for them and for the impending change is beneficial for morale.
When is the last time you thanked an employee for a job well done outside of the annual performance review meeting? Set up some metrics by which employee contributions can be recognized and put that in place today — before the end of the year. Give employees something to strive for other than meeting sales quotas. Friendly competition can help boost both productivity and morale.
What do you have in place in your business to recognize employees?