I used to be petrified of failure, but being an entrepreneur cured me of that. I used to think that business owners knew some magical formula for success, but being an entrepreneur cured me of that too. The secret is in knowing that separation breeds indifference. When you aren’t close to your customers, you don’t care how they are treated. Or if you do care, you care too late to make a difference. If your staff only sees you at Town Hall meetings or annual reviews, it’s easy to adopt the ‘I pay them that should motivate them’ point of view. Here’s are the nuggets I was lucky enough to learn about leadership, maybe they will help you too.
Leading from a desk is Really Hiding
You can’t lead from a desk and you cannot motivate from one either. What I do know about leaders that practice armchair leadership is that it really boils down to fear. They don’t get out there with their staff, because there is a very real risk of failure. There is a chance that they may not know what to do and having someone discover that is more dangerous to them than failing to lead.
You can’t delegate leadership
I appreciate a capable lieutenant as a matter of fact if you know one, can you send them my way? But seriously a capable member of your team is not you and people need to know that you as their leader are just as invested as they are. You can’t fake motivation and you can’t fake involvement, you are the boss so you have to show up.
If you are not scared, you are not doing it right
Look I am a lot to take and not everyone has a rosy picture of me. Do I walk out of meetings scared that I blew it? Yes, all the time. But that fear as paralyzing as it is, let’s me know that I am still invested. This company is still something that I want to do, it’s still something that I care about. I am scared every day of the business decisions I make and don’t make and that fear makes me prioritize.
Being a business owner sometimes feels like you’re pretending to be an adult, but leadership demands that you suit up or shut up. You can’t give great speeches and then disappear. You can’t expect your staff to do things that you wouldn’t do and you can’t be the boss that only comes out of her office to scream. If you do it right, leadership is a journey. So where will your path take you?