One of the most shocking moments for business leaders is when they realize that they have a business to lead, and not just doing the technical know-how of what got them there in the first place. Let’s face it, most of us didn’t consciously go into the leadership business. We were accountants, doctors, real estate agents, contractors, IT developers, marketers, and had the sense that we could do it better, make more money striking out on our own, and have more time.
As most business owners know, this is often not the case, and is what the EMyth, the ‘entrepreneurial myth’ perspective was founded on: that the doing of the business is vastly different than the leading of your business.
The Leadership Business
What many entrepreneurs are beginning to realize is that the intangible factor that truly grows a business is how they embody leadership. While most of the business world focuses on how to get more leads and sales which is of course important, the common blind-spot here is the lack of attention on how the leadership team steers the ship. Nothing else impacts your brand and your company culture, and thus your customer experience more directly than from the top of the Org Chart. And if you’re brand and company culture isn’t clear in its intentions and applications, then your sales will suffer.
Do you lead with realness, transparency, confidence, calmness, challenge, and motivation? Do you lead with scarcity, fear, insecurity, over-compensations, and manipulation? Do you lead by taking a backseat, outsourcing your authority, or delegating to others but not following-up? Or do you tend to micromanage, not let go of control, and be involved in every step of the business? When’s the last time you did a self-audit to see how you are getting in your own way as as a leader and how to grow into the next version of your leadership?
Real Leaders Challenge Themselves
One time I was sitting in a company-wide meeting and the CEO stood up in-front of the room and said (paraphrased), “I’m not qualified to be the CEO a year from now. If I relate to my position as something to get comfortable in, if I’m looking to find my groove and if I ever feel like I’ve got it down, I’m in-trouble. I need to get even bigger than who I am today a year from now if I’m going to lead this business to where I want it to go. And the same is true for all of you.”
Wow. That’s leadership. I felt the collective throat gulp in the room as his words pierced through. He led by example and set the tone for all of us at the time to do a reality check with ourselves as to how we each were relating to our position, whatever it was.
We All Need Mentors
A real leader cultivates others leaders. And that means, as leaders, we also need to continue our own growth, and a willingness to be challenged and tolerate discomfort if we are to get bigger than today’s business challenges. For me, a real leader is willing to look at themselves, and bring their curiosity as to how they are relating to their business and to embody the company values that you created to the next degree. To lead the business to where you want it to go, you’ll have to get bigger than today’s standards.
Upcoming Leadership Workshop
I’m offering a leadership workshop this August 2nd in San Francisco that addresses your leadership challenges and is dedicated to helping you get bigger than today’s frustrations, as well as supporting you in getting clear about where you want to lead your business.
If you’re now getting, or have been getting just how crucial the leadership business is to your business, then why postpone putting attention on the most important aspect of your business: You.
It’s time to carve out a day to work ON your business and prepare to lead it to where it needs to grow. Follow the link for more information and I hope to see you there: