April 1st, 2024

As a small-business owner, it’s safe to say, you never set out to fail as a leader. The majority start off with the best intentions and want to grow a team and a company they can be proud of for years to come. But somewhere along the way, things start to get fuzzy. You start working 80-plus hours a week, and you find yourself in situations that you have never been in before and are forced to make decisions that you don’t have a lot of experience making. So you make mistakes, and your team starts to suffer. Thankfully, for the majority of businesses, those mistakes can be corrected and the business can grow stronger because of those trials and tribulations. The key is to first admit that there is an issue, and then take the necessary steps to correct the action. So today I wanted to talk about some of the ways that you could be failing as a leader and discuss ways that you can right the ship before it becomes a much bigger issue.

1. You Need To Have a Hand in Everything

Your company grew fast and at first, you had to take on a lot of different roles within the company. And as you grew, you continued to have a hand in everything, despite hiring talented individuals who can handle many of the tasks that used to fall solely on your shoulders. This behavior will not only limit your ability to grow further, but can cause you to lose talented team members who feel undervalued within your organization. So to stop this one in its tracks, you must get to the root of why you feel the need to have a hand in everything. This behavior unusually stems from the fear of being left out or the fear of having no power to change or impact something. It could also come from your need to feel important within your company. Once you can identify your triggers, you can start the deliberate practice of handing over responsibilities to capable team members, starting with smaller tasks and moving up as your comfort level increases.

2. Poor Self-Management

You weren’t born a leader. (Most people aren’t.) And as such, you aren’t perfect. You have bad habits. You struggle with self-management. You are often late, you fail to follow up on tasks that you promised to others, and you struggle with delegation. All of these behaviors are correctable if you make a conscious effort to acknowledge them and work on a resolution. Because if left unchecked, your team will start to pick up on these bad habits and start doing the same. Remember your actions speak louder than words, and your team is always watching.

3. You Are OK With the Status Quo

You are busy and you have a lot on your plate, so in your eyes, it is easier to just let some things slide. The employee that is consistently having issues and costing your business money? Not worth the effort to have an adult conversation. The vendor who is always delivering late and over budget? Again, it’s just the cost of doing business. And the list goes on and on. You should be growing and building your business through deliberate effort, not by accident. Focusing your time and attention on the things that matter in your business is the best investment you can make in your future.

With a little bit of effort and some deliberate practice, you can help guide your team and help grow your business into something that you can be proud of for years to come.