Stop managing. Start leading.

leadership small business startup Oct 05, 2021

The great Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.”

Business owners that are hyper-focused on surviving get caught up in managing. There is a sense of security when they are involved in the day to day operations. They feel connected to the business, but they are living the E-Myth (as described by the book written by Michael Gerber). Arguably they have a vision and mission that prompted them to start the business, but they aren’t sure how to accomplish their dreams. Leadership is a struggle for most small to mid sized businesses.

Good leaders know that they are the best when they help others reach their goals. Leaders create more leaders because they are really good at educating, delegating, and course correcting when things don’t go as planned.

Lo Kidd, the Content Manager at Trainual wrote an excellent article titled “5 Steps to 5X your team” based on a interview with Bethany Babcock, the founder of Foresite Commercial Real Estate. I believe Steve Jobs would agree with all of the steps that the article lists. They are critical to the success of any leader, and organization.

#1 Stop Doing, and Start Delegating

  • This is so appropriate. As advisers, Klark & I say this probably more than anything else.

Wow. Incredible wisdom and insight. Its so easy to see on the screen as you read it right? But what does it look like in person? I can assure you; it is incredibly uncomfortable the first few times to truly hand over the reigns. I’ve done it in my own business. But like Bethany in the article is quoted as saying, “... people who are much more capable than me”... “we could grow a lot faster”.

#2 Hire People who are value-fits

  • When properly instituted in your business, core values are more than advertising and marketing words. They become the filter by which all decisions are made. If you have someone who is not a good fit for your business, you’ll soon realize that they aren’t a fit because more of their values conflict with the companies than they have that align.
  • Developing these systems and processes comes with time, and time is gained when Delegation (here is a great article titled “How to go from DOING to leading with DELEGATION”) is instituted throughout your organization. 

#3 Align on their company philosophy

  • “... philosophy is what really attracts clients and grows the business.”

Incredible. In the beginning of the journey of business ownership its easy to take any and all customers (like employees). But what we’ve found is that successful companies often have a specific type of client that they work with. Clients that don’t align are often inefficient to the operation of the business. The same way employees don’t align with the organization cause inefficiencies… clients are often the same way. 

#4 Prepare for future hires early

  • This is a step that we encourage, but its so difficult. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. But a phrase that helps goes something like this: Think with the end in mind.
  • The day you open the doors of your business you should be constantly seeking to create repeatable systems that a employee can learn so that you can delegate and elevate. 
  • At some point you’ll realize that you need to hire someone that compliments areas that may not be your strengths. 

#5 Not all business all-the-time

  • “Our office motto is that we take our jobs really seriously – but not ourselves,” she explained. Meaning, the Forcite team isn’t afraid to goof around and have a good time when there’s time to do so. 
  • “Instead of giving trainees a boring wall of text, Bethany quick embeds memes and gifs to engage people in their training. That way, her team actually retains the information instead of just skimming over it.”
  • “With Trainual, she can do all that internally without sacrificing her company culture. And she can start scouting for new talent to set the company up for future success.”

If you aren't ready for a easy to use program like Trainual, feel free to click this link for a free SOP Template to use to jump start your business playbook. 

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