It’s Not You, It’s Me


It happens a lot. Someone is an expert in their field, their customers love them, and they think, “I’m so good at this, I should start my own business!” It’s a great notion, again, it happens a lot, but even though passion and expertise may be what so often starts a business, it’s definitely not what keeps it running and eventually thriving. For that, you need real leadership capabilities.

Some people may be born leaders, but for the rest of us, we need to work at it a bit, and that’s OK! Here are my top four tips to start transforming into the leader that your business needs you to be.

  1. Be a proactive planner

Create clear mission and vision statements and use the values within them to help you plan ahead for any possible issues that may arise. You certainly can’t prevent everything, but you should think ahead to determine how to approach and thoughtfully solve problems, instead of just reacting to them. Make sure you clearly communicate your values and your plans to the staff so everyone is on the same page.

Being aware of future plans and having a solution-oriented mindset also helps everyone to be a cohesive team, instead of disparate employees who are only there to punch the clock.

  1. Hire smart and delegate smarter

It’s certainly no secret that people don’t like being micromanaged, but that doesn’t make it any less of an epidemic in the business world. Many business owners cling to control out of fear, but if you put the work in and hire the right people for the right jobs, then you can feel secure knowing that you’re still growing your business, but now it’s based on your decision making instead of just your labor.

Find people whose talent is the right fit for the position, but also fills any gaps within your own knowledge or skills, as well as your company culture. And, of course, don’t just hire them, delegate. You can’t take on everything yourself, but this also means that you can’t be greedy with the glory. Give credit where it’s due and you’ll inspire your staff to not only work harder, but become more invigorated about coming to work and focusing on creative, innovative ways to benefit the business.

  1. Set the example

No one likes a hypocrite, especially when that person is their boss. If all you do is talk the talk without the effort to back it up, then you’re just throwing your credibility out the window. Employees should work to prove that their skills are at the level they should be and gain your respect, but you need to do the same thing.

Never ask them to do anything that you haven’t done yourself. If you have high standards and expectations, then you need to be right there alongside your staff, leading the charge and inspiring them to push themselves.

  1. Communicate clearly, consistently, and calmly

We talk about communication a lot, but that’s only because it’s so important! Parents dream that as their children grow, they will still come to them and feel comfortable talking about their lives, and while daunting, it’s doable. The key is for parents to have open, non-judgmental lines of communication from the very beginning, and the same holds true for leaders.

No, you’re not expected to be someone’s parent, or even their friend, but you do need to develop and maintain open lines of communication, which begins with you being honest and transparent to set the tone. This is another case of leading by example; your employees may not feel comfortable opening up about problems that could cause them to quit or sharing their new great idea that could help your business if you haven’t already developed a solid rapport with them.

Want one-on-one help honing your leadership skills? contact me and I’ll give you the personal guidance you need to thrive in your role.

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Phillip Paris is a dynamic business coach, mentor, and consultant with over 23 years of experience in the pet industry!
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