If you’ve led a team and operated a business for any length of time, you’ve probably learned that having systems, processes, and certain principles are essential for success.
What I’ve found in 3 decades of leading is that even the best systems don’t matter when the leader struggles with fear, faulty decision making, task saturation and overwhelm, and lack of leadership skill.
I mean have you ever calculated how much money you lose because of poor culture, drama on your team, conflict between people, people not working well together, and lack of time to lead, cast vision, hold people accountable to their job, and develop and execute strategies to grow?
If those things aren’t solved, scale those!!! We’re talking about major frustrations and missed opportunities!!!
Here are 5 keys you MUST master to become a better leader and run a constantly growing business.
Better Decision Making
Great decisions are made when you have great perspective, not only on what you’re making a decision on, but on HOW and WHY you make decisions the way you do.
Your decision-making, your life, and your leadership are the sum of what has happened in your past, and what you’ve allowed to influence you … This is what we call the Root System.
All influence you’ve allowed in shapes your Root System, and this is FROM where you make decisions.
This could be influence from past bosses, parents, mentors, friends, coaches, siblings, and anyone else you’ve allowed to influence you.
It shows up in how you lead people, decisions to leave work on time or stay late, to pursue new opportunities in your business, fear of failure, and how you respond to fear, and so much more.
We all, leaders and team members, bring our Root Systems to work with us every day.
When you learn about your Root System and WHY you make decisions the way you do, it not only changes your leadership, it changes your life and no relationship will ever be the same.
A key to learning how and why you make decisions is gaining great perspective.
Most people aren’t great at this. Why? Because you have to be taught how to do it, and then practice it a lot.
My challenge to get you started down this path is this: All day today, focus on asking people more questions instead of making statements.
Create A Culture of Champions
Do you create your culture or suffer in whatever comes to work every day?
Culture is summed up by two things: actions and attitudes. And it starts and ends with you – the leader – in what you intentionally set and what you choose to allow in your company.
Each day, deposits are made into creating great culture or withdrawals are happening, leaving people feeling unsafe.
In our culture, no topics are off limits, and no action is below anyone. I’m crazy intentional about having a great culture that champions are drawn to and thrive in!
To the extent you shape culture, you swim, and to the extent you ignore it, you sink.
Force what’s necessary, Teach what’s expected, Recognize what’s right, Attack what’s wrong, and Repeat the actions and attitudes you want.
Tackle Tough Conversations Head-On
Have you ever delayed or altogether avoided a tough conversation with a team member?
That happens when you’re concerned about knowing exactly what to say, how the person will respond, how you’re going to feel during the meeting, if the talk will even help, and you make a ton of assumptions about how it’s going to go heading into the talk.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Tough conversations are something to dread…until you learn a better way to have them.
Going back to Root System above, how you think about, enter into, and have a tough conversation has everything with your Root System.
Keys to having tough conversations are:
- Understanding your personality style and how you contribute to conflict
- Understanding how other personality styles contribute to conflict
- Understanding how to guide a person to self-discovery of a bad choice they made
- Understanding how to hold someone accountable for their choices and not worry about “being the bad guy”
- Knowing the words to use, or for lack of a better way to say it, during the conversation (i.e. how to begin the talk, what questions to ask, etc.)
Kill The Leadership Crazy Cycle
Successful leaders with good work-life balance control time rather than letting time and tasks control them.
Those who don’t do this well are in what I call the Leadership Crazy Cycle.
Basically, that’s when you have so much to do, and feel so overwhelmed you don’t have time to even manage your time…You don’t have time to delegate…You don’t have time to hire anyone to delegate to!
The good news is the Crazy Cycle can be destroyed.
Here is 1 huge step you can take today – Set healthy boundaries with team members who pop into your office constantly with problems or clients who email you at all hours and expect an immediate reply.
Have you ever felt fear about a product or service really delivering results, landing a big client, setting direction and your team actually seeing it through, growing your company into “unknown” territory, or fear of failure and what people will think if you do fail?
People who aren’t entrepreneurs or leaders think we’re fearless. How else could we “risk everything” and go out on our own?
Years and years into being an entrepreneur and coaching entrepreneurs, I know fear, especially fear of failure, runs rampant with entrepreneurs and leaders.
Fear and how we respond to it comes, again, from your Root System.
For example, let’s take fear of failure.
Failure isn’t the problem. Failure is a part of life.
It’s the fear of failure that jacks a person up, and it’s a lack of perspective on WHY it’s jacking you up and where it came from in your life that holds you back.
One place it can come from is a parent who always gave you a reason to not do something.
“Don’t do that, Paul, or you’ll get hurt.”
Another place it comes from is how people responded to you when you failed.
“Paul, you’re such an idiot! Don’t you know better than to do that!”
Either of these scenarios and so many more can train you to fear failure.
Mastering these 5 keys of leadership will create constant growth momentum in your business. Left unchecked, they will operate like brakes.