Last night in a conversation on a treadmill, a friend was rehashing her take on management and questioning why certain efforts were made with no regard to cost, effort and effect. It was an interesting conversation and as a business owner it was nice to see the other side of the table. As owners we sometimes forget how much our decisions influence our staff, so here are the nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from the conversation
My friend mentioned numerous times that the situation made no sense and it was clear that her boss was creating the situation for exposure not for an actual purpose. As leaders our own interest should take a backseat to the interest of the company. If we want our staff to become engaged in our vision, we have to show them that everything we are doing supports that vision.
Not taking advice hurts your credibility
We are often in the unenviable position of having to make a decision and sometimes we make the wrong one. My conversation highlighted that it is not the fact that we as bosses make wrong decisions, it’s that we didn’t listen to another point of view before made a choice. That lack of clarity affects more than morale, if you are not likely to listen to another point of view you risk making decisions based on emotion. That’s a huge Achilles’ heel in business.
Your attitude is their attitude
There was an issue with contractors being paid twice because the boss hadn’t done the necessary research and as a result the entire department has an attitude of just do it, if it’s wrong we’ll just pay to have it redone. What you do matters in a fundamental way. You model you company’s behavior whether you like it or not. If you are engaged, they are engaged. If you are wasteful, they are wasteful.
Owning a business is like being a foster parent, you are responsible for so many things but there is a limit to the resources you have. This disadvantage does not absolve you, but with a little more effort and attention you can create on so many levels.