I came across an old notebook the other day where I used to write all my ideas and inspirations. There was a quote in there, related to the topic of leadership:
“If other people can do the same thing as well as you do, let them do it. If you do the same as them you add no value”.
The Essence of Effective Leadership
Over the course of the last 10 years, I’ve constantly come back to the subject of leadership as I really believe a company cannot be great without it. And the quotation above gives rise to a fundamental question about running a business; are you working ON the business or IN the business?
If an owner wants to grow a business that is ultimately saleable, they should be constantly seeking freedom from their day-to-day activities. They should then use that freedom to show how they can add value to the organisation. In essence, leaders should be working ON the business. They should be working to make themselves redundant. They should not be doing a job that someone else can easily do because that is a waste of the leader’s time and energy.
Now I know that in the beginning, this may be very hard. But you CAN find the time and space to have a vision, to decide strategy and to gradually move towards completion of that strategy, (to then design another one!) OK, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and of course small companies who are strapped for cash do take time to consolidate and grow.
But what contributes to that growth? What do employees truly value in a leader?
They want to see the following:
- the ability to motivate others
- honesty and integrity
- the ability to handle crises.
If you are running your own business, how would you rate yourself in these areas? How would others rate you? Why don’t you ask them?
There are hundreds of books written about leadership as it relates to running a company. Two of my favourites are listed below:
Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard. Prentice Hall
The Leadership Mystique by Manfres Dets De Vries. Prentice Hall