The article “When Your Business Is Struggling It’s On You” is of course meant to drive home the point that success or failure begins with Leadership. But waiting for this to happen is a little like an “autopsy”. No matter what you find the patient is still gone. And that is not the outcome anybody want’s for their sweat and efforts.
Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious when you are fully engaged in the battle and trying to avoid fatal blows. But it doesn’t take much effort for an observer to see what participants don’t. A quick step back and a brief view of the big picture can be a game changer for a leader. So let’s start with here is an extensive list of the more common signs that a battle is on and you need help:
1) You are working more hours than anyone should reasonably expect to work and doing so on a regular basis. Extra effort is often required for those at the top but it shouldn’t be a way of life. If it is you have a problem.
2) Your temperament at work and away from work are completely different. Your frustration level is through the roof. You are making all the decisions and all the problems land on your desk. You vocabulary is full of words like “too busy”, “not enough time”, “drowning in this mess”, “going crazy”, “too many problems too handle” overwhelmed and the list can go on.
3) Your employees can be just as good a barometer of how things are really going. It’s convenient in today’s world to blame employee challenges on the new generation and while it is certainly different and not what I would like to see-I’m going to have to find a way to make it work with them if for no other reason than I can’t change the mindset of a whole generation. I don’t have to like a lot of what I see but I have to figure out how to work with it, period.
4) Let’s look at employee attitude first, research today tells us that 85% of job performance is determined by attitude. Do your employees have good attitudes about working in your business? Do they show up on time or maybe even early? Do they whine about everything they do? What is the quality of the product or service you are delivering? What is their attitude toward customers or co-workers? What is the absentee rate? What is their attitude when asked to put a little extra effort out? Do they really know how to do their jobs and what results are expected of them? Does their job mirror what they were told it would be? Of course all of these questions answered in the negative result in poor bottom lines, production problems, distributions problems, constant chaos and conflict, high turnover rates, customer complaints, vendor problems and on and on.
If your work life is a composite of these and other challenges it is time to look for help. And in fairness to you most people become leaders for the wrong reasons and are then acquire whatever skills they end up with by “on the job training” or in another words, by their mistakes. With the challenges leaders face today, this methodology is a recipe for disaster.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of wisdom and maturity which are both traits necessary for success. Pride and ego in excessive proportions that prevent us from acknowledging realities can destroy our businesses and our lives if pursued to the bitter end.
I don’t know and I need some help can be a couple of the greatest phrases you will ever utter! No one has all the answers, and that includes you. Tough medicine to swallow for an entrepreneur but intriguingly most of the best medicine tastes horrible at first but boy are the results worth it. Thanks for indulging me.