Most of our clients are owner managers and that is no coincidence. We want to work with these people and actively seek them out.
It’s an oversimplification but typically, they are of a certain breed, driven by the belief they can do better than the competition and a desire to be in control and make the decisions. They are fun, engaging and challenging to be with, and we like that!
But,and there is always a but, many find the leadership part of the role really tough at times.
Other people see the rewards of their success but do not always see the difficult choices, daily demands and personal sacrifices made. Despite being around people all day, many owner managers often feel isolated and alone.
Now some of us are lucky to have family and friends to turn to for guidance and support when we need it but this can be troublesome from a business perspective. Surely, the boss is expected to know what to do at all times, aren’t they? Frankly many employees assume and demand they do.
A client recently shared that he didn’t have anyone to turn to when wrestling with difficult decisions His management team weren’t up to scratch, he didn’t want to burden his family (many are employed in the business) and he was a success amongst his peer group, and didn’t want to admit he didn’t know the answers!
Loneliness of command’ is not a new concept; it is real and experienced by many. However, it is something that can be managed.
The first thing to admit is you do not have all the answers and you cannot do everything. I remember my sister, who ran and then sold a very successful business with her husband, saying she viewed knowing her limitations as one of her best strengths and not a weakness. She’s now retired! The truth is, no one is perfect and we should treat people with caution, when they say they are.
The next task is to start to build a trusted team and let them shoulder some of the responsibility that falls to you. Work out what they will do and equally, what you will stop doing.
Lastly, seek out people who will listen, consider your position and help you work through the critical decisions that you face. This could be an intelligent outside mentor, advisory board member or a peer outside of your industry. In fact, the process of just talking it through is enough for some.
Some of the above will resonate and some won’t. But if it does, the one thing that you must do, is to do something. It is unlikely to change unless you take steps to change it.
If you are looking for some further reading on the above and other related matters, have a read of our new report https://www.hwca.com/for-love-or-money-tool/one_plan_report.pdf