Leadership – Being a Master of Your Circumstances as Opposed to a Victim of Them
Here are five of the top ways business owners and even business leaders and executives can run themselves and their businesses into the ground. And, if they are guilty of any of these five habits, more than likely they will be unable to retain good employees they have working for them – an accelerant for burning the business to the ground.
As you read this list, be honest with yourself. If you are guilty of having any or all of these five traits, then stop what you are doing as soon as you can! You are making yourself a victim of your circumstances as opposed to being the master of them.
Here we go:
Don’t plan each day. – This is the #1 cause of wasted time, money and energy. Now why should you plan each day? It’s more fun to live on the edge and operate in a defensive and reactive mode. You know who you are. You’ve convinced yourself that you can handle any crisis that comes your way. Let me let you in on a little secret – your lack of planning makes you the likely cause of the crisis! Want to know what you should do? You need to develop your business planning skills and learn to set and work with business goals. Watch my rant entitled “Show me a man (or a woman) who excels at putting out fires…” I’m talking about you in this rant. Having a daily plan, or even one for the week, gives you an edge. It gives you more control of your destiny. And, if a distraction pops up, your plan gives you the new starting point after you have eliminated the distraction. Plus developing and following a plan is a key leadership trait.
Don’t train anyone else to do the tasks that you should NOT be performing. – Here’s what you’re thinking – “Come on Chris, get real! I am great at announcing “it will be easier if I do it myself”. Well, that may be the only thing you are good at. You’re not good at planning, delegation or developing your employees. Want to know what you should do? For starters, let me suggest that every time you feel the need to “do it yourself”, ask yourself if that would be the best use of your time? Ask also what would be a better use of this time (Hint – grow your business; look for new customers, etc)? If you have the time, I would urge you to read “The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey” by Ken Blanchard. There is a very important message in this book for you. Stop doing others peoples work… for them, especially if you are also paying them.
Don’t have any clue as to the description of your ideal client”. – Admit it; you really enjoy working with those customers who suck every bit of life and energy out of you. Plus, they probably want a discount on every sale and (here’s the best) they pay you very very slowly. At night, you pray that the earth would open up and swallow them. If you don’t have a description of your ideal client, how will you know where to look for them? If you don’t know where to find them, then you are probably wasting valuable marketing dollars and time. Want to know what you should do? Ideal clients will inspire you, make you feel confident, pay you what you’re worth, praise you, and refer other clients to you without being asked. One way of defining your ideal client is to look at past and present clients. Which of these clients did you enjoy working with the most? Pull those client files and list their common characteristics. Stop being a client victim!
Don’t deal with your poor performing employees. – It’s easier to ignore them and ask your better employees to pick up the slack. Forget about the feelings of the better employees who are carrying their own weight plus the weight of the dead beat! Some of you, to avoid dealing with them, will give them a lousy raise so they will quit (I never understand why you give them a raise anyway). But, you do and they don’t quit do they? Why should they? They are doing the least amount of work and still getting paid! Want to know what you should do? Start learning the meaning of – performance appraisal tools; setting performance expectations; holding people accountable to meet your expectations and, following through with your team on the consequences of good performance as well less than acceptable performance
Don’t tackle the tasks you must do on a timely basis. – Be bold. Let the work pile up. It’s more of a challenge to be a “super-procrastinator”. Why? So you can complain about how busy you are and have all these things to do. This approach is especially damaging when you put off working on big projects that require several steps to complete. Your response –
“Hi honey, have dinner with the kids and kiss them goodnight for me. Don’t wait up for me either. Have to burn the midnight oil tonight to get a big project done that is due tomorrow. Boy, I just don’t know where the time goes. I’ll probably have a burger at my desk and wash it down with some Red Bull”.
Want to know what you should do? Learn to break these big projects into smaller pieces. Tackle each smaller piece one at a time. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy is an excellent source on how to stop procrastinating. Go buy it – Now. You will be happy that you did. Next develop and strengthen your self discipline skills. The best definition of self discipline that I have seen goes as follows – “do what you are supposed to do; when you are supposed to do it, even though you don’t feel like doing it.
All of these examples, if you do nothing about them, will run you and your business into the ground – literally. You can always fix a business or start a new one. There is only one of you. Want to know what you should do? Stop the madness. You can if you want to. The next step is to contact me so that we can transform the chaos in your business and your life into something that has value and you enjoy (yup have fun) making it grow.