3 Myths About Leadership

October 9, 2019

You’re a leader, right?

If you own your own business, you’re a leader, even if you are the only person working in the business right now.

So…how much do you really know about leadership?

There are a lot of myths out there about leadership…myths that can really get in the way of your success if you believe them.

Not to worry. Today, we’re de-bunking 3 common myths about leadership and revealing the truths that can put you on the fast track to leadership success.

 

Myth #1 –Leadership is a rare talent

Leadership is not a rare talent, bestowed on only a select few. Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned…and there are good leaders all around you. Three critical skills for leadership success are:

  • Effective Communication – Leaders need to assure that everyone on the team has a shared understanding of the goal and the path to success. Writing clearly, speaking with clarity, and using active listening skills are all part of the equation.
  • Relationship Building – Success is relationship driven. Good leaders create a climate of trust and cooperation where the relationships between team members are just as important as relationships with the leader.
  • Critical Thinking – Leaders must often make decisions that do not have a clear answer. Sometimes, you must choose between several good options, while other times, the choice is among several less-positive solutions. Being able to think outside of the box or trying nontraditional solutions can mean the difference between success and failure.

 

Myth # 2 – Leaders have all the answers

When you watch a skillful leader, it’s easy to think that they are the people with all the answers. The truth is, good leaders are people who know how to find answers. If leaders rely only on their own knowledge and wisdom, they may miss the best and most creative solutions. Knowing how to ask the right questions of the right people (often their own team members), increases the chance that the best solution will be found.

 

Myth # 3 – Good Leaders don’t fail

Every good leader has had their share of failures. Big visions sometimes require big risks and not everyone gets things right the first time. Failure is an essential part of innovation. Good leaders don’t let failure stop them. Instead, they use failure as information and redirection, encouraging their team to try again. It’s important for leaders to embrace and celebrate failure as a key part of the journey to success.

 

Leadership is not some super-secret club or special genetic trait. It’s a set of skills, and a mindset that anybody can acquire.

Leadership works like a muscle…the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Now that those myths are out of the way, what are you waiting for? Get out there and lead.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha & Chris

 

 

PS:  If you’re open to learning how to exercise your leadership muscles to better the world around you, Chris is making herself available to chat about it.  Follow this link – https://go.oncehub.com/chriswideawake – to grab your spot on her calendar.  Select the free 30 minute business strategy option when you get there.

Know When to Grow

September 25, 2019

Will 2020 be the year to make a big leap in growing your business?

Should you add employees, create new products or services, or expand into a new niche?

Now is the time to make that decision. The last quarter of 2019 is the time to put systems and resources in place so that you hit the ground running even before the new year begins.

So, how do you know when to grow?

  • Your customer flow is steady and reliable – Check the numbers. If you have consistent customer flow and good customer retention, there are opportunities for growth. It’s important to make sure you are looking at enough data collected over a long enough period so that you’re not making a growth decision based on a temporary spike or a one-time circumstance.
  • Your regular customers are asking for more – When regular customers are repeatedly asking for more of your time, services or products, you know that there is a demand for the growth you are envisioning. This makes marketing and sales much easier than creating something that may get an uncertain response in the marketplace.
  • You are regularly turning down business – Are you keeping track of the number of customers you’ve had to turn away because you don’t have enough capacity to serve them? It’s leaving money on the table when saying, “no” to new business becomes a regular occurrence.
  • Your life is no longer your own – If you can’t remember the last time you ate dinner with your family, took a vacation or really enjoyed your work, it’s time for a change. That change might involve new systems, but it may also be time to grow your staff or consider outsourcing.

Many of our customers come to us when they are wondering whether it’s time to grow or to go. They’re the ones who are saying “something’s got to give.” They’ve lost sight of what motivated them to start their business in the first place and it’s been way too long since they felt the joy of doing something they love.

As we explore growth possibilities with them, we look first at whether their existing systems can be improved or if systems need to be created. In short, we work to make things easier, simpler and more profitable.

Next, we ask about those first 3 items on this list. If they answer “yes” to any of those questions, it’s time to consider growth.  When they’re ready to take the leap, we support them every step of the way.

What about you? Are you ready to grow?

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha & Chris

Five Reasons You’re Spending Too Much Time Putting Out Fires

September 18, 2019

How much of your day do you spend putting out fires?

10%

50%

Maybe it seems like it’s all day, every day.

If you feel you’re spending too much time tackling roaring issues, emergency flare-ups, team crises, customer complaints, technology failures or escalations to you that others could handle, these (and more) are clear signs your business is crying out for a pivot.

Your business is screaming at you, “Hey you!  Something must change!”

You probably already know this.  You might be struggling to read this because you’ve got a few too many fires on your desk right now.

Your big question is…what must change?

If you knew what would relieve the pressure, you would already be in action to flip something on its head for a new direction.

What is your pivot?

Examine the primary causes of your fires.

  1. Are they coming from certain reoccurring client issues?
  2. Do they end up on your desk because your team isn’t capable of handling the problem…or worse, is capable but don’t believe they have the authority (after all, you’re the business owner)?
  3. Are your fires caused by programs your Ideal Customer no longer wants (evidence: they aren’t buying like they used to)?
  4. Perhaps your programs are fine, but they need to be directed towards a new, better-suited Ideal Customer?

Of course, a strong reason fires end up with you might be

  1. Your leadership talents need an upgrade.

You’re more comfortable in the trenches than in the executive seat.

No one knows how to do it better than you.

You haven’t empowered your team…or they don’t feel like they’ve been given the authority.

When you’re tired of being your business’ Firefighter-in-Chief, examine the source of your fires.  Then imagine all the better things you could be doing with that time…like making more money or reclaiming time for yourself.

 

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams