By Jason Thompson, CPA/ABV, ASA, CFE, CFF
Partner, Director of Valuation and Litigation Services
Many business owners may believe they are good managers, but they often become frustrated that the progress and success they are seeking is only experienced by other owners of enterprises. They may toil investing many hours in their respective business operations, but that “next level” is fleeting to them.
One possibility may be that they are managing their business well, but they are not demonstrating the leadership to attain what they seek. In his book, The E- Myth, Michael E. Gerber refers to this in another way: You should be working on your business more than you work in your business!
Leadership is about your vision for all aspects of your business that, when applied in the aggregate, results in a growing, successful business. It is not an easy assignment and one that requires significant, intentional perseverance. As the leader, you will be challenged at every corner, but allow that vision to carry you through. Many managers show up every day to do their job, but the leader has that vison thing — looking months or even years down the road to the success for what she is creating! A leader is willing to make investments that may dent profitability in the short run but will result in exponential benefits to the enterprise in the long term.
We know it’s easy to get lost in the daily grind. But that’s management, NOT leadership. While managers operate in the trenches of the business, a leader takes a bird’s-eye view and maintains a vision for the future.
Excellent managers can become great leaders when they apply their many work experiences to provide solutions with a clear picture in their mind as to where they will end up.
While day-to-day operations are obviously important, sharpening your vision for the future is how leaders keep their businesses thriving. It is important to sustaining your desired culture within your team.
Confidence is also key. If you enter your workplace with an assured attitude, your demeanor will likely rub off on other stakeholders, and everyone’s spirits will lift up the company. Move forward cautiously and with prudent skepticism, but hold your head high as you do so. When challenges create darkness, allow your leadership to shine bright with solutions that deliver! Persevering through tough times can bring out the best in us.
Don’t discount your impact on your team and individual members thereof. A leader’s positivity can go a long way, not only in motivating team members to be more productive but in helping them through personal struggles outside of work as well.