21 Oct 2019

Maximizing your leadership

Before we delve into discussing leadership, let’s define the word. What is leadership? Can you define it? I suspect if you ask ten people, you will get ten different answers about what it really means.

Conversely when asked to think of a good leader – the image of someone from your life pops into your mind. And certainly, if asked about a bad leader, I suspect that multiple images and scenes run through your mind.

I recently gave a short talk in Fishers to a small group of professionals about leadership, and I asked these same questions. As they discussed what it means, some agreed with the definition they derived, yet some didn’t agree with examples they came up with for great leaders.

Here’s what we know to be true about leadership

Great leadership is hard. It forces you to put yourself last. Great leadership forces you to be a positive force of change. Bottom line, no one follows a negative leader to greatness. Great leadership drives you to operate from a place of calm understanding (empathy and self-control). Great leadership recognizes everyone is not alike and can be different.

You are 100% responsible.One thing any great leader will tell you is this: you, as a leader, are 100% responsible. Blaming others, market conditions, tariffs, politicians, company policy or whatever it may be isn’t an option. In the end, you are 100% responsible for your business and every part of it. In the book Extreme Ownershipauthors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin outline their leadership philosophy learned during their battlefield experiences:admit and own mistakes; develop plan to overcome them; and blame no one else.

It is your role to create the vision for your business.Not someone else’s job. No vision for your business? That’s on you. Does your business lack focus? Why? Simple, it’s on you! Don’t blame others. Are you making bold decisions while managing risk? Are you sharing your knowledge with your team? Are you being a steward of your business’s finances or are you delegating that off to someone else? Again, it’s all on you. And honestly, some owners just can’t deal with this reality. I hear it almost every week in meetings with business owners. It’s frustrating to hear. They blame others instead of owning it all. The sooner a business owner faces reality, the sooner they can decide to be a 100% owner of the leadership of their business and make progress.

What Impact do you want to have? You own a business, you’re providing for your family, your employees and your customers. But what impact do you want to have in terms of their lives, your community, your state and our world? Great leaders can tell you the “why” that drives them, and typically those “why’s” involve having an impact, whether close to home or around the world. People follow great leaders. Do the hard stuff, be a great leader and just watch what happens to your business.

If you need help with improving your leadership or that of your team to prepare your business for positive change and growth, contact us at The Growth Coach at any time. We are here to help.

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