8 Mistakes to Avoid When Driving for Growth to make sure your team are with you on the journey
These are often well known by the MD and also some key colleagues but are very often not shared with all of the team across the business. If People don’t know where you are going and the route you want to take to get there it is very difficult for them to follow or to arrive at the same destination.
The net effect is additional costs, lack of efficiency, duplication of effort and potentially de-motivation of your team.
How much does your team taking the long route or the diversions cost your business?
How much would it cost to have everyone on the same route heading to the same destination and what benefits would this bring?
What is your role in leading the business?
Is this really clear to you?
Do you have a defined role with clear responsibilities and clear reporting and communication lines?
If not this is very likely to cause confusion within the business and at worst undermine the other leaders and managers within the business.
So it’s your business or you’re the boss but this shouldn’t mean that you can change your mind at the drop of a hat or that you can interfere or “help” in other people’s roles or responsibilities.
If you really want a great business you need to understand the impact that you can and do have on other people and how to use this for maximum benefit for all within the business. You have a good team your role is to support them to be great in whatever context that takes. This helps everyone else to clearly understand their role and take responsibility for it.
When you own or run a business and have built it from a small seed it is effectively like your child and a huge part of you. You need to understand that no one else is ever going to care about this business quite as much as you do.
They hopefully care about it a lot and are willing to go the extra mile for you and the business, but they are not you and they have not invested their heart and soul.
Let’s be honest why should they, they are not going to get the same rewards as you at the end of the day.
To have your team care about the business and to want to be a part of it and its success and to continually improve is the best you should want and that is a lot of commitment.
You should not compare yourself to your team, or the effort of your team to your effort, these are your choices.
If you do, you will always feel disappointed as opposed to delighted with your team which could, in turn, lead you to de-motivate your team and certainly not get the best from them. Be realistic in your expectations and set goals that your team think are realistic. They are much more likely to be driven to exceed something that is realistic than strive for something they believe is out of their grasp.
Nobody knows what is going on inside your head unless you tell them.
Importantly sharing regular updates, being open to receiving feedback and really listening to your team on a regular basis is critical to the future success of your business.
People like to be well informed and know what’s going on. They don’t like surprises. They also want to feel valued and that they are being listened to.
One of the most important things for people to be able to feel free to make decisions and take responsibility and ownership for their role is to feel trusted to do the right thing and make the right decisions.
How you react when things go well and as, if not more important when things go wrong will either reinforce the fact that you trust your team or will make them feel doubted and second-guessed leading to erosion of their confidence and self-belief and a lack of motivation.
If you spend time with people understanding what led to a mistake and listen to their solutions, mistakes are much less likely to recur and more importantly you haven’t had to fix the problem the owner of the problem has fixed it and it is extremely unlikely to happen again.
How often do you tell people they are doing well and thank them for a great job?
Or are you more likely to be the one to notice all the small annoying things that haven’t been done or how something could have been done better?
Which of these two options would make you feel good if you put yourself in the position of your team?
This one works alongside number 2 if your own role is clear and communicated well this will help you to build a good structure within the business.
Yes, when the business is very small an all hands to the pump approach is often very successful. As you grow the business however it is important that people have clearly defined roles and reporting structures and also understand the level of authority that they have to make decisions and take action.
Without these, the amount of unnecessary work that you the leader will retain will increase. By putting these processes in place, it will support your own role and allow you more time and energy to work strategically on the business and you will be less likely to be drawn back into the day–to–day activities that you have employed others to manage.
No-one in business makes the right choices all of the time.
This is often the case when we recruit new people and experience to a business as it grows or to support future growth. Often the experience the leader seeks to enable them to grow the business is sought from individuals from larger companies, which often works.
However a number of times this is not the case and the person recruited is not necessarily a good fit for the culture of your business, they are used to being supported by more peers and better systems than you currently have in place.
This can potentially lead to under-performance and often you as the leader avoid these difficult conversations seeing them as unwanted conflict.
Is it not better to face up to the reality of the situation and ensure everyone retains their dignity and self-confidence than to let it fester away until it becomes untenable and is affecting the wider team.
In this situation as in any situation where a difficult conversation is required it is better for all concerned if this is done as early as possible when it can very often be easily resolved and any misunderstanding dealt with.
In these situations, it is always better to think through what you want to say in advance and be aware of the feelings of the other person. However, it is equally important to really listen to what the other person is saying to ensure that you understand their point of view if a true resolution is to be found.
Remember conflict is not confrontation and conflict is healthy. It is extremely helpful to be constructively challenged as the leader. Get in touch to learn more.
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