You may have been a business owner for years, but just never understood that what and how you’re doing things is actually hurting your business, possibly even sabotaging it, rather than assisting it. All this affects your bottom-line. If you didn’t know how to ask the right questions of yourself and your business processes, you may not realize you’re incorrectly relating to your customers/clients. This would then result in not providing for their needs, therefore loosing them as customers. Or, you may have poor people skills, that have become habits, and you don’t even realize it is the reason for constant staff turn-over. What you thought was normal for all businesses, because it’s normal for you, is hindering your business growth! How do I know? Because I have been there myself. I too have experienced problems in business, asked the wrong questions, and therefore came to incorrect conclusions. And because I didn’t ask the right questions, I couldn’t address the “REAL” problem. Why, because I didn’t know it existed. So how do you change this? Most of us need an outside view. Someone that doesn’t have an ego attached to the business. They can provide you with a “Needs Analysis“, something I’ve spoken of in past posts on this blog. After you discover, through the Needs Analysis, what is needed, then you can strategically create a plan to “CHANGE” those things that are sinking you. Now remember, it takes 30 days to change or form a new habit.
TWO: STEPS TO CHANGE A HABIT:
1. Take responsibility for the way you are, and the way your business is.
2. You must link PAIN to the behavior you want to change.
3. Link PLEASURE to the new behavior.
4. Repeat this over and over to condition your mind, your feelings, and your actions.
A. You must believe that, as a leader, change begins with you, and that it is necessary. You have to come to the place where it is more painful staying like you are, than it is to change. If not, you won’t change.
B. Believe that no one else can do it for you, and no one else is to blame for it. Take responsibility. Rise to the occasion and trust yourself that you CAN and WILL change.
THREE: Picture yourself five years from now still perpetuating whatever habit you need to change. If you don’t change:
• What does your life look like?
• How does it feel?
• Who will this habit affect other than yourself?
• What will it keep you from doing or becoming?
• Are there any physical or mental consequences as a result of this habit?
Meditate on this until you have strong emotions attached to this picture. Once this habit is seen and felt as being deplorable, and you have engendered strong negative emotions to it, make the decision that NOW is the time to change. Refuse to allow yourself to be dictated by this habit any longer.
Next do the same exercise, but picture what life would be like being free from this habit. See yourself reaching your goals, feeling confident and in control, not ruled by this habit. Feel the positive emotions. Experience the sense of success, the admiration of others.
Here’s the question: Do you believe that leadership expertise can be learned, acquired? Can people gain the influence necessary, with teaching, training or coaching, to grow an organization, if they don’t have the natural personality to do so? What’s your opinion?
I asked this because it is my passion to provide training, support, and coaching to those leaders who “fall” into the role of “leadership”, and find themselves ill equipped to handle the demands of the position. This was something my husband and I faced over 30 years ago, while leading a prosperous area in a non-profit organization. It never fails to amaze me when I watch leadership transformation take place right in front of my eyes. I’ve found THE two most important competencies for growth are: 1. A willing heart to try things, while people try to break out of their comfort zones; and, 2. A teachable spirit. Through trial and error, as well as with the support of a coach to re-engineer, train, and apply assessments for self-discovery, (while supporting and cheering the executive along,) I’ve seen change occur over and over again; even in those who had staff that pulled me aside to let me know there was absolutely nothing I would be able to accomplish with so and so. For me, this is music to my ears. Let me at them, to work with them. I’ve observed leaders who were incompetent, egocentric, insecure, lacking motivation and vision, harsh and hard hearted, as well as those who were clueless as to the needs around them, make complete transformations! I can genuinely say, wholeheartedly, and with an emphatic resounding “YES” . . leadership expertise CAN be trained and acquired by anyone who is willing and teachable! In fact, the book that revealed the necessary stages, opening a whole new world to us was, Dr. John C. Maxwell’s book, “Developing the Leader Within You“. Between this book and “Be a People Person“, by Dr. Maxwell, we began our assent into a new realm of servant leadership, learning to take our eyes off of getting people to do what “WE” wanted, and onto assisting, equipping, coaching, and motivating people to become all they could become, in the position they were in, thus fulfilling the company mission as they grew. It is now an honor to work with the many gifted, highly qualified people who have touched so many others and been willing to learn the lessons needed, and skill sets necessary, to become a servant leader. It is with this motivation that I hope those I coach will find the same great reward. It’s worth the effort to acquire and deal with a right heart motivation. And in the end, the employees will continue to make their bosses rich in every way possible!