We like to avoid telling people how to be, as we believe that all business owners have their own individual management styles and process. However, as business development strategists, we thought that we would take the time to write this article on some of the characteristics that may be holding your business back.
The aim is to propel yourself away from falling victim to developing these set-back traits – or if possible, avoid them altogether. Not only will this allow you to direct your business forward, it will also help you to transform into an admired leader, maximising staff retention you’re your professional reputation.
When reading this article…
One thing to understand we are all fallible and it is completely okay to have flawed approaches in the operations of your business. When reading through the list, be honest about if you embody elements of these qualities? If you do and you are feeling the need for a change, you are already one step closer to becoming a better business owner.
Don’t be hard on yourself. The stakes are high – it is incredibly hard work to be a business owner. Accepting that change may be needed may just provide you with new hopes and motivations, to continue bettering yourself for the business. Here are three key characteristics worth avoiding, to bring your business forward.
1 – Rigid Values and Ideas
Having a focused vision and plan on where you want to go and how you want the business to unfurl is excellent. However, this type of attitude amplified can become a major set-back in a business landscape. Why? Because business owners need to be more versatile than ever before in order to evolve at rapid rate ahead of the competition. Believing that there is only one best strategy and refusing to give any other options the time of day is exactly what we are taking about. The beauty of business enterprise is that there is always going to be more than one way to get to where you want to be, so explore your options and make thorough calculated decisions.
Nobody is one hundred percent free of blind-spots in business strategy, this is why it is a good idea to keep the open-communication flowing to gain a wider sense of perspective. Having this level of open-mindedness and adaptability also creates a better work environment. It creates room for a debate exploring multiple options, rather than a command without question. Not only this but your staff will begin to feel validated and open, creating a healthier judgement-free working environment.
“It’s not rejection, it’s redirection”
Perhaps the reason why business owners begin to engage in one-way communication, is because they are afraid to have their ideas questioned and rejected. A simple way to overcome this is by understanding that is better to have your idea rejected internally first, before releasing it to a customer/client base that will be ten times harsher. As the quote says above, it’s not rejection, it’s redirection.
2 – Close-mindedness
Referring back to Characteristic Number One, some business owners do not enjoy being challenged.
This is an incredibly problematic mindset to adopt because, as a business owner, you become shielded from honest communication. You create an environment where you only accept employees who pander and enable your ideas (good or completely awful), or employees who simply bite their lips. The idea that you cannot learn anything from your employees as a business owner is something that we urge you to scrap. If you are not continuously learning, your business will become stagnant.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do” – Steve Jobs
It’s important to have a solid sense of self as a business owner to show strength, however, it will be impossible to do this when you create an environment that does not respond well to honest feedback. Development is painful sometimes – it may be hearing a suggestion about your idea that doesn’t sit well with you but it is important to not take this personally. Even enter into a debate rather than dismissing ideas. See it as a pin point for improvement and ensure that the idea outside of your perspective is received graciously in order to create an atmosphere of honest communication. If you aren’t doing this, you are closing the door to a wealth of potentially game-changing opportunities.
3 – Becoming ‘The Blamer’
We can all fall into the blame-game, it’s actually incredibly easy to want to divert these feelings of disappointment and failure onto other people. Many business owners adopt a ‘learned helplessness’ attribute which results in an inability to take accountability, further resulting in an inability to learn from mistakes. It also prevents your ability to take accountability.
Once you decide to take full ownership of your business, you will stop making blame and start making decisions. Mistakes are made but the least productive thing to do in this situation is to ‘witch hunt’ for the person who has made the mistake. Not only does this create a hostile environment, you also waste time in casting blame rather than searching for the solution.
Of course, disciplinary action is important in business for repeated mistakes, however, next time ask yourself, am I casting blame without first presenting a solution as the business leader? Perhaps you miscommunicated what you needed from the employee or client – telepathy wasn’t in their job description. Or perhaps this is telling you that they required more support from you and you’re trying to avoid this portion of the blame. The main aim is to understand that mistakes are made and we can either learn from them or blame other people.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article on Business Owner Thought Leadership. We aim to extend messages such as these to improving businesses across the UK. If you found this interesting as a business owner or entrepreneur, we invite you to connect with us on social media and watch some of our weekly live interviews that we conduct with leading business owners across the UK HERE
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