So, are you holding your business back? Most entrepreneurs would only attempt to start a business familiar to them. If your background is shipping, it’s unlikely you’d consider starting a web development firm. It’s doubtful you’d have the connections, hours of experience, and know-how of a web developer. But knowing your product and service is only a small part of running a successful operation. There’s more that can hold your business back.

Are You Holding Your Business Back?

Just Because You’re Good at Your Job…

Unless you’re a solopreneur, recruiting, inspiring, and leading your staff will be crucial to your success. In business, not knowing how to lead or recognizing and recruiting those who can, is as big a mistake as not knowing your product or service. We may chuckle at the idea of a shipping expert opening a web development business, but what about the web developer who’s never been a manager attempting to recruit and motivate a staff?

Is the Lack of Leadership Skills Really a Problem?

If I asked what’s the biggest obstacle holding your business back from growing, would your answer be funding? In this Small Business Trends Poll, finance was the leading answer, with 718 of the 1188 surveyed responding that money was the biggest challenge. The second and third biggest obstacles were recruiting and leading, which may surprise some, but shouldn’t. Lacking the ability and experience to recruit, manage, and motivate a talented staff is a major hurdle to growth and the overall success of any venture.

How Can You Learn to Lead?

  • Let someone pay you to learn. Before attempting a start-up, why not let someone else take the risk while you learn the ropes? Take a management position in an existing firm.
  • Seek out mentors. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have a great boss, seek their advice regularly. Look to successful business leaders for help. Many are open-minded to mentoring.
  • Take leadership courses. Your local community college, most chambers of commerce, and the Better Business Bureau offer or can recommend courses.
  • Read, then read some more. There are so many great books on leadership it’s hard to pick just a few to recommend. Leaders who have influenced me include Ken Blanchard, John Maxwell, and John Wooden.
  • Learn from your mistakes. This is the toughest lesson, but we all make management mistakes. Don’t waste the opportunity to learn. Analyze what you could do differently to improve your management skills.
  • Read the Leadership category on this blog. Pick and choose titles that fit your needs.

Is your lack of leadership skills detrimental to your business? If you’ve made numerous poor hiring decisions, lost valuable employees you shouldn’t have lost, and been unable to maintain a motivated culture—you may be what’s holding your operation back. If you think your lack of leadership skills and training may be problematic, I’d happily listen to your challenges and offer advice.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Derek Coleman on Unsplash