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You are listening to episode number 12 of the Grace-Filled CEO. Today's episode is about leadership and what are arguably the top three ways to be the best leader for your team. this episode is about growing yourself as a leader I would also say that it's not about you or me at all. It's more about the people that we lead and how we can serve them well. Let's jump in!
Before we jump into today's episode I wanted to speak to those of you who feel like maybe you're ready for some management help in your business but not fully ready to commit to having a long-term OBM. I have an offer called the strategy boost. It's a total of four calls over the course of three months where we dig into the ins and outs of the organization of your business. It's basically like having a strategic partner in your business for a short period of time so that you can accomplish some quick wins in your business without the commitment of hiring someone for a long-term retainer. In addition to the call times you have ongoing support for me throughout the week as well as access to my vault of resources that I use for all of my retainer clients. If this is something that you are interested in head over to the website and check out more details. I would love to chat with you over a discovery call.
I have a couple of non-negotiables for my business.
One is that my business will always need to be flexible.
I am a mom of two, my family is always juggling appointments and logistics and trying to stay sane! So, flexibility is key.
The second one is that my income not be capped.
Ever since I have dreamed of having my own business it's always been really important to me that I be able to grow it in a sustainable way that there is no ceiling to how much money I can make. That does not come from a love of money or a greedy place but more so in a place where we can continue to grow and give and make an impact.
The third one is that it has to use my God given gifts
as well as support others' God-given gifts.
It has always been a passion of mine to identify where people are gifted and help them thrive in that area. This looks like providing them with opportunities to use or grow those gifts. This feels like forever ago now but when I was working in corporate, I had a supervisor who did this. It was so subtle, but the impact it made on me was that I always felt like I could go to him with ideas or requests. Or that if I felt newly passionate about something he would provide resources for me to grow in that area. In my opinion that is what a good supervisor does.
As we grow our businesses and move from a solopreneur to the CEO where we lead a team, these are all things that we want to put emphasis on. Not just for the sake of our business and the effectiveness of it, but for the sake of people. It's so important that when you prioritize people in your business that you're not just doing it in a way that supports your business, but that you're doing it in a way that supports them as human beings.
This looks like different things in different situations to different people. It could mean being really clear about expectations. It could mean giving someone grace when they really screw up. It could be letting someone go because they are no longer the best fit for your business and by holding onto them, you're keeping them from their next best opportunity. While a lot of these things can be situational, I have three things you can do today that will make a huge impact in the way that you lead your team. Not only will it impact how you lead but who you lead. That's the point isn't it. I know not all of us are like this, but I have been so fortunate to get to know a community of women business owners who are in it to support their family but are equally as in it to support other women.
As we walk through these if you're in a place to write some things down I highly recommend you take a couple of notes with some action steps. But if you're not able to do that in this moment, no worries – come back to it at a later time or just think about it as you're listening.
The first thing I want to touch on is one of the ways to be a great leader is to
invest in your people.
This could mean investing time. It could mean investing money. Or like the example I'm going to share with you, it could mean investing in them through feedback and clarity. We know what it looks like to invest time into something or someone or investing money, but what we don't always realize is that a way of investing in someone is informing them of ways that they could do better. I don't mean reprimanding someone or being harsh or abrupt about delivering this feedback. Intentionality is required to do this well and you really have to think about the impacts of sharing this feedback versus not sharing it.
In my experience there is nothing more frustrating than to be blindsided by negative feedback or a negative review. Nothing that we deliver in our reviews or feedback should be surprising. Therefore, when we share with our team ways that they can improve their work we are not only showing them clear direction and steps, but we are empowering them to take those steps well and be successful in their role.
An example of this is that if someone on your team isn't doing something the most efficient way or you see that they are making mistakes in what they're doing, the wrong choice would be to avoid the conflict, not say anything to them, and fix it yourself. That negatively affects your team member because it deceives them. They walk away from that task thinking they have nailed it where you have a very contradicting perspective. If you were to do this time after time and you just go around that team member to correct what they're doing behind their back without informing them of how they could be better, you're hindering their growth and success. Not to mention you're hindering the growth and success of your own business.
I feel like you might need this reminder, so I want to say it very clearly: everyone's time is valuable. But when it comes to outsourcing, your time is the most valuable.
So, when you have said to yourself “it would just be easier if I took care of it”, you have actually cost your business more money by taking care of that thing yourself rather than asking your team member to do it the correct way and empowering them to do it the proper way from there on out.
When you feel like you have to let someone go because they're not doing a good enough job, you don't ever want them to say “I wish I had known that I wasn't doing it the right way” because that is a sign that you have not accurately given them clarity and truth.
Invest in your people by giving them clear, proper, true feedback. Think about who is on your team today. Is there anyone that you feel like you have to micromanage? Is there anyone that you feel is not the most efficient at their job? What kind of feedback can you share with them? What is the truth about that feedback? What is your goal for sharing that feedback? And when will you share that feedback?
The next one is
setting clear boundaries and expectations.
I talk about this all the time so there's probably no surprise here that this is a huge value of mine personally and professionally. In Episode 2 we talk about setting boundaries with your clients and your team. There's honestly probably a little bit of boundary setting in every single episode I record. It's that important. And the way I want you to think about this with your team is they need to know what to expect from you as their leader and what you expect of them.
When you've been working with someone for over six months, it's always good to revisit these expectations. In my experience in working on multiple teams as well as building my own, you cannot communicate expectations enough. If you've been working together for a while, make sure that you have some type of meeting to realign with what they expect from you and what you expect from them.
Professional relationships only work when both people feel like they're winning. Otherwise, either of the people are always looking for something else.
Boundaries and expectations can be communicated in a multitude of ways but a couple of things I would recommend for your business are two things.
- Have regular reviews scheduled. These don't have to be every quarter, they don't have to be every month, they can be on your own schedule. But I do highly recommend that they be consistent. So, if you do it every two months, make sure it's on the calendar for every two months. If you're going to do them every quarter, make sure it's already on the calendar for every quarter. This is going to hold you both accountable and make you have these conversations. These are not always fun conversations to have, so the more accountability you can have for yourself as the leader is going to be beneficial.
- If you don't already, create a 5R Work Plan for this person in your business. The 5R Work Plan is an in-depth job description that reviews the role, the relationships that the role has with other roles, responsibilities of the role, requirements, and the expected results. Breaking something like this down for your team member is going to be highly effective for them. In fact, I find that it helps you take a lot of the discomfort and emotion out of having to deliver negative feedback because it becomes black or white – if things are going the way that they should be or not. If delivering hard feedback is difficult for you, I highly recommend doing what you can to pull the emotion out of it. Clarity is kindness and if our fears as a leader are keeping us from being clear then we are no longer being kind.
Who on your team needs a review scheduled? Do you have review scheduled for the people on your team? Who on your team needs a 5R Work Plan?
A question you may be thinking is: “do contractors need a 5R Work Plan or is that only necessary for employees?” I highly recommend anyone on your team who you have created a job description for have a 5R Work Plan. That could be a contractor, or it could be an employee.
The last thing I want to share with you about being a good leader is
affirming the gifts of those on your team.
I can't tell you how many times I have started working with someone in a specific role only to learn that they might be better suited for something else, or they're a great fit for the role that they were hired into, but they have gifts that surpass that role. When you take time to invest in your people you learn these things about them. By learning these things about them you are given an opportunity to not only support your own business by utilizing this person's magnitude of gifts, but you're also building up this team member in confidence, to believe in themselves.
My business today is a result of someone doing that for me. Very casually she said you know you could do this right? She made a point to say you were doing far more for me in this area of my business that is different than the role that she hired me for. Her confidence in me proved that I could have confidence in myself. When we invest in people of course it has an immediate return. But it also has a long-term effect that sometimes we don't get to see the end result of. We want to be a part of that, don't we?
Think about the people on your team today. What gifts of theirs have you seen that have maybe gone unnoticed or that you haven't addressed before? Make a note of those things and share them with them. You could do this by mentioning it over Slack, it could be a casual conversation, it could be attached to a five-dollar Starbucks gift card, or it could be more formal in a review type setting. It doesn't really matter how you do it, as long as you do it.
You could be a casual conversation away from changing someone's confidence level and impact. That is not something to take lightly but it is something to not be reserved about. You will never regret being clear. You will never regret sharing truth. And you will never regret pointing out someone's gifts. It doesn't matter how minuscule it seems in the grand scheme of things; these are the moments that we have opportunities to make a greater impact that could seemingly go unnoticed.
All of these things we've talked about are things that can go under the radar and be missed with a really busy schedule. So, I recommend you pausing for a moment, writing down what you need to remember from this episode, and take action on it. Not just for the sake of your business but for the sake of the people on your team.
Leading people is not easy and running a business is certainly not either, but we've been given this gift and I know that it's been charged with this opportunity to steward properly and wholeheartedly. I know that's what you want and so I encourage you today to take a step in making sure these things are in place in your business. You will not regret it.