Be a Leader. People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led by someone who has a clear and compelling vision, the power to communicate the vision, and the ability to rally people behind the vision. While we can tell the difference between management and leadership when we see it, the truth is, most of us don’t know how to make the shift from manager to leader within ourselves. There are six traits common to good leaders. Taking the time to cultivate them is a necessary first step in creating a business that runs without you.
• Leaders have a driving passion to realize their vision.
• Leaders are egoless.
• Leaders build and maintain relationships of trust.
• Leaders unleash the motivation and commitment of their followers.
• Leaders are social and organizational designers.
• Leaders act from positive beliefs about people and situations.
Create Communication Systems. A leader’s job is to communicate clearly and often their clear and compelling mission and vision so that everyone around them knows it well. Part of communication is providing employees with the information they need to meet their goals. For some reason, business owners often think they have to protect their proprietary information from everyone. Anything from account lists to catalogues to financial information is deemed so secret that no one gets access. While there are a few situations for hiding information (usually legal), generally everyone in the company should have information about sales and marketing objectives and status, quality issues and budgets, customers, competition, market share, cost of goods and of course the mission, vision and value proposition. As a leader, freely offer information, but remember to also ask members of your team what they need to know and then find a way to supply it.
Create High Performance Alignment. This is where every person within an organization is a contributing partner in the business. High performance teams are self-managing, multifunctional groups of people organized around a whole process and empowered with full responsibility for their success. They have:
• A shared mission that motivates and inspires.
• Autonomy and authority for task performance.
• Interdependence and shared leadership.
• Broadly defined jobs and many responsibilities.
• Meaningful participation in decision making.
As a result, they have a vested interest in the company and participate fully in setting goals, making decisions and solving problems. When this happens, people are inspired to go beyond compliance to commitment. They are running the business as if they owned it, whether you are there or not.
Run an Open-Book Business. Employees, for the most part, only care enough about the profits of the company to maintain their jobs. If the rich owners want to get richer, employees react by protecting themselves as workers. In the 21st century work world, this attitude must change. Business works at the speed of a nanosecond. Customers have millions of choices at their fingertips. Young workers are demanding flexibility. Labor unions are big business. The only way to run a business and survive is to open the books and each employees what it is to be in business. Everyone in the company should understand expenses, payroll, and margins. When this happens everyone in the company is speaking the same language and working towards a common vision.
Find out about the Book: The Key to the Golden Handcuffs