How can I become a better leader?
3 Pieces of good news about becoming a great leader in your business.
Business change always follows personal development
Personal development and leadership growth are integral to developing your business. The two always go hand in hand. It’s the reason I refer to myself as a business-life coach, rather than a business coach.
Most business owners, in the deepest dark reaches of their mind, are afraid they’re not quite cutting it as entrepreneurs. Oftentimes, we start our businesses on the back of a profession, a trade or a skill we have learnt (plumber, architect, accountant, software developer, designer, mechanic, chef, retail manager) and we feel confident in that specific skill.
Starting a new business is an enormous buzz. However, once we get stuck in, we realise we have to become great leaders. It’s suddenly no longer good enough to be a great plumber to build a great plumbing business.
Where’s the toilet paper?
Few business owners have studied to fulfil the role of leader, and even those who have attained an MBA or similar qualification find they’re not prepared for the realities of life as a small business owner.
Suddenly everything is down to you: the big decisions about whether to bid for that contract,
hire that expensive employee or lease that new office, as well as the small decisions, like which type of toilet paper to buy. To top it off, your people look to you to hold the vision, have the answers and be the leader.
The 7 Big Questions of Small Business
This page is all about the first of the 7 Big Questions of Small Business about building a beautiful business and life. The Big Questions are:
- How can I Grow my business? (this page)
- How can I make more Money in my business?
- How can I get Unstuck in my business?
- How can I create a better Work-life-balance in my business?
- How can I become a better Leader in my business?
- How can make my Family Business work better?
- How can find the right support in my business?
Follow the link to an in depth explanation on how I help business owners in the Fun in Business program to build their own beautiful businesses and lives. There is also a page with a full explanation of all of my business life coaching programs.
Three pieces of good news about your leadership
It can be a frightening place to stand, but there are three pieces of refreshing news about leadership and personal development I must share:
- You’ve got this far and you’re still standing, so you must be doing something right.
- Your people really want you to be the leader, and they’re ready to forgive you for just about any mistake you’re going to make along the way.
- Leadership is something you can learn, practice and get better at.
What is leadership?
Leadership starts with this statement:
Your business is what it is today, because of WHO you ARE today.
That may seem obvious. But what not be so obvious is that if you accept that statement is also means this:
If you want SOMETHING you’ve never had before, you must
be willing to become SOMEONE you’ve never been before.
Systems and knowledge are never enough
Many business coaching companies sell a “system” that will supposedly deliver a business that generates a million dollars of profit every year. Those systems are often well thought through, well presented and well worth looking into, but they rarely work, at least not by themselves.
The reason they don’t work is that change (business change and personal development) is never about systems and knowledge.
Just because we all know the system for losing weight (eat less and exercise more), doesn’t mean we will lose weight. Losing weight means becoming the kind of person who commits to a regimen of eating less and exercising more.
Similarly, most of us business owners already know how to change our businesses. However, making that change happen means becoming the kind of person who commits to a regime of developing as a person, manager, communicator, coach… in other words, a leader.
We must become great leaders. We must become the kind of people who do what needs to be done to build the kind of businesses that make a million dollars net profit (or substitute whatever figure is relevant for you).
It’s often referred to as the Be, Do, Have model.
Can’t I just flick a switch?
Becoming that kind of business owner who builds that kind of business doesn’t happen overnight. Leadership is not about flicking a switch and suddenly becoming that person.
Personal development, change in other words, is a process of growth. It takes time and commitment. Nobody can know what your adventure is going to look like or what the outcome is going to be. Every business owner has their own journey to make, and every journey is different.
Being in the harbour
Do take a few minutes to watch this gorgeous TED talk by David Whyte on the past, the future and journeys of change.
The one thing we can be sure of is this:
Change won’t happen unless you get on the Journey.
Personal development means leaving the harbour
Getting on the journey of personal development means stepping out of your comfort zone and staying there. You must push off from the shore, set a course for the horizon and never return. Why? Because change never happens in the safety of the harbour.
You know this already. Look back over your life to date: it’s all been a journey. Ten years ago, you couldn’t have done what you do today.
Still, sometimes we get stuck in the harbour for a while. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Of course, we need to make sure the ship is seaworthy and safe. We must also learn know how to sail and navigate the ship. The harbour is a great place to do all those things.
When scrubbing the decks is all there is
The trouble is, often the day-to-day of scrubbing the decks, repairing the sails and polishing the brass work gets in the way of leaving the harbour. And before you know it, the day-to-day is all there is.
For most of us, there comes a moment when the pull of the wide-open ocean becomes irresistible. That’s when it’s time to go. So, when you feel the nudge: hoist the sails, get out onto the ocean, put your gaze on the horizon and don’t look back.
All about leadership habits here:
The 7 Habits of Highly Chilled Small Business owners: #1: Successful businesses are dependable. They deliver on their promises, alwaysRead more Highly Chilled Business Habit #1: Be dependable ›
To build a Fun business, means we must change ourselves and our business. And the best thing to do then is to accept that we cannot do it aloneRead more The Truth about Change in business (and life) ›
Leadership is key to build a Fun and sustainable business. But to truly build a Fun business, you have to become a leader of a special kind.Read more The Truth about Leadership for Building a Fun Business ›
All other articles about leadership habits and personal development on this site
The two questions you need to answer:
This leads us to two questions:
- How do you know you’re ready to get on the journey?
- How do you get on that journey?
The first question is the easiest as well as the hardest to answer:
You’re ready when you feel you’re ready.
Getting on the journey of personal development.
In answer to the second question: One way to get onto such a journey of discovery is by working with me. I take my clients on inspiring journeys all the time. You could think of me as the captain of the ship: I know how to keep the ship safe, navigate stormy seas, avoid reefs and get back into the harbour at the other end.
And I’d love to come on your next adventure with you.
This is what the journey looks like with me:
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to push off and get underway, the process I will take you through is this:
- We’ll get very clear about the current state of your business and life. What are the strengths of your business? What are your strengths as the business owner? What are the stressors in your life? What areas of your business are falling behind? What leadership skills do you need to develop?
- We take several small steps first. You’ll get to dip your toe in the water and feel what it’s like working with me. It’s called the “Five Steps to Discovery Process”, and it’s mostly free.
- We’ll get equally clear about what we want the other end of the journey to be. In 6/9/12 months, what do you want your business and life to look like? We’ll develop an enormous set of goals (tangible and intangible) and a detailed picture of your desired future. This will include financial targets and KPIs across all areas of your business and life, including your state of mind, your wellbeing and everything else required to build the business and life you dream about.
- We’ll develop a strategic plan for the achievement of the goal with a wide range of monthly milestones.
- We’ll shake hands and commit to the journey, get on board, set the compass course for the goal, push off and decide never to come back.
Ultimately, deciding to change and get on the journey is a lot of fun. It may not always appear that way when looking out onto the vastness of the ocean, but it will be the most satisfying decision you’ve taken in a long time… I promise you.
All about getting the right things done in your business:
Procrastination is a curse. Most of us struggle with being distracted from our tasks. Here are some ways past the hurdles that might help you.Read more Time Management, Procrastination and Laziness ›
Productivity, time management. Business owners often feel that life would be better if only they learnt how to use their time more efficiently.Read more Productivity Tips: How To Get The Important Stuff Done In Your Business ›
Time is the most valuable and rare commodity in your business. Time management skills are therefore the most valuable skills any business owner must learnRead more Highly Chilled Habit #4: Be Thrifty With Your Time ›
More articles about time management and getting the right things done on this site
Leadership and change elsewhere:
- To build a better business, become a better business owner first, in Inc Magazine
- Better person, Better Business, Entrepreneur Magazine
- 7 Days to being a better person, Business Insider Magazine
- 11 Simple ways to become a better business person in Bustle Media
Three pieces of good news:
1. You’ve got this far and you’re still standing, so you must be doing something right.
2. Your people really want you to be the leader, and they’re ready to forgive you for just about any mistake you’re going to make along the way.
3. Leadership is something you can learn, practice and get better at.