Owning and operating a small business is a tough gig – everyone (clients, staff and suppliers) wants a piece of you. Everyone expects you to operate to a higher standard than they expect from high brand organisations, where occasional lapses are viewed as the norm.
You also have to be both a leader and manager and these are two different functions. You need to lead the people and manage the processes. Here are some tips that might help you do this.
You provide leadership by showing your team that you live the Values you set for your business (eg. Integrity, Respect, Collaboration) and by providing a compelling Vision of what you want your business to be.
You manage the processes by establishing effective systems, setting clear goals and holding your people accountable for achieving these.
Leaders who have lasting success in achieving high performance tend to share these seven behaviours:
Sell your Vision and set clear goals that get results.
Create stories about what the future can be like and how we can make it happen for ourselves.
Trust and respect your people.
Show trust and respect in the way you treat them. If you can’t trust them why are they still here?
Recognise and reward people’s efforts with incentives.
It’s not all about money; a handwritten note of appreciation does wonders.
Give regular feedback to improve performance.
Always connect feedback with how the action or inaction impacted business goals – i.e. play the ball not the person.
Provide the support and development people need to perform well.
Ask what your people need from you as leader to help them perform and then deliver it.
Be self-aware, authentic, lead by example and live the values you expect others to exhibit.
The way you treat your people is the way they’ll treat your clients.
Take the blame for mistakes and share the credit for achievement.
Treat mistakes as learning, not blaming, opportunities.
Individually these behaviours are not difficult. The challenge is to act on all of them consistently every day. When you do you will see your team moving to higher performance.
Guest Writers John Dawson & Carmel McDonald are the co-owners of Dawson McDonald Consulting. They’ve helped hundreds of organisations and their people improve performance, to increase business results and customer loyalty. They can be reached at email@example.com
This article featured in the June 2016 Edition of Paeds Biz