Archive for August, 2014

A Company Needs To Be A “We” Enterprise

August 27, 2014

Based on our research and the experiences reported by many small business owners, there are two axioms of leadership that work best in enterprise environments.
• All anyone needs is someone to believe in them.
• Success is best savored when shared with others.

Building an enthusiastic staff requires a demonstrated ability to strongly communicate to employees’ the leader’s faith in their ability to get the job superbly.
In business, delegating authority to make decisions is the ultimate demonstration of believing in an individual.
While difficult for small business leaders who have built successful enterprises, it is necessary for the company to grow beyond its initial success.
However, because entrepreneurs usually are the driving forces behind their company, delegating authority is a difficult transition.
Entrepreneurs and business owners invariably think they are the best person to make large and small decisions about their company.
Successful small business leaders invariably list their delegating of authority to subordinates as a major reason for their company’s growth.
Many leaders admit this is often a difficult process to develop and implement.
As one owner, Joel Trammell said on our recent broadcast; “I was a hands on manager who micro-managed all aspects of my business. This was causing my staff to feel unappreciated and not trusted. We were growing but not to the levels I wanted. Then two key staffers came in and said if I didn’t change they would leave.”
Trammell said it was an epiphany for him and he began to change. Trammell reported this transition was difficult for him but overtime he saw a change in how his staff was working and sales started to increase dramatically.
Experts tell us delegating decision making is often the most significant factor in long-term success of small businesses. Some experts argue it is second only to cash flow management as the most important factor.
The corollary to this axiom is the need to acknowledge employee contributions to success.
Eleanor Roosevelt had a way of judging people. She marked how long it took them to use the pronoun “I” as a test of their character.
Many of the small business leaders interviewed often used “I” when talking about the success of their company.
Invariably, the most successful business leaders use “we” to describe their company’s progress.
They used such phrases as:
• “We found this to work.”
• “We tightened our belt.”
• “We found new markets.”
• “We better managed our cash.”

One small business advisor always asks his clients to describe the company’s success. When the respondent owner talks in terms of “I” instead of “we” he knows there is much work to be done.
If you are a business leader, take this simple test. The results may surprise you.