Many people start their own business because they want to be their own boss.
They imagine having the freedom to do things differently, the autonomy to make a difference, and the reward that comes from being a business owner.
On the surface a business can be growing and doing well, but on the inside things might not yet be quite how you hoped they’d be.
We often talk with business owners who have the fire in their belly and are successful on most measures, but some niggling frustrations are becoming a barrier to their progress.
Mark and Jenny put an enormous amount of energy into their business.
They wanted to keep growing the business, and at the same time regain their sense of control, grow their confidence in their people, and the trust of their customers.
They worried about how they'd continue to find the energy. Their own effort could only get them so far.
Mark and Jenny realised that their business was partly allowing them to be free and independent, but they needed to grow their leadership to enable others to step up and help them achieve their goals.
From the outside, Mark and Jenny appeared like successful people who were doing really well. Their business was busy, growing, and profitable. Yet, inside, they were concerned about how to build on their growth and truly attain their independence.
They were exhausting themselves, trying to do more.
Mark especially wanted to be driving his own future, but it just seemed like the thing he’d created was actually ruling him.
Looking back on it, Mark and Jenny could both see that there were 4 frustrations that had become barriers:
The business used to have a friendly, family, and team spirit - but that had been lost somehow;
It seemed that as the business grew they lost their confidence in managing everything and their sense of control;
Jenny especially felt that people were no longer working cohesively, and she and Mark spent more time than ever having to fire fight on urgent issues; and
The business profitability stagnated, even though their sales were growing.
Mark realised that he had been unconsciously creating an environment just like the previous jobs he’d come from. Perhaps he’d even created a desire in his own employees to be their own boss too.
They came to us for help, and after a few conversations we agreed and set a course for change by implement Performance Prism Leadership.
Contagious Enthusiasm - The Spark To Ignite The Fire In Others
With our guidance, Jenny led the conversation. She asked, “Remember why we started the business in the first place? We want to create something different. We believe in making a difference and we really want to be the benchmark in our industry. We want everyone to be proud of working with us.”
We reminded them that their employees and customers actually want the same thing.
Employees want to know that they are a part of something important, are working with people who genuinely care about them, and who share similar beliefs and values as them.
Customers want to see what the business stands for, and have vindication in their choice because of their shared beliefs and values. This is the essence of an emotive brand.
Mark and Jenny had never actually told anybody why they started their business in the first place and that making a difference was so important to them.
With help, they began to talk about why their business existed at all. They gained the confidence to comfortably talk about their values and explain how they guided their decisions, actions, and interaction in their business.
Together, we found clarity of their business purpose in a way that they could comfortably and passionately share that purpose with others, and invite others to join them.
Once they had that clarity, and could talk about why they were in business at all, Mark and Jenny had the foundation for implementing Performance Prism Leadership. They:
Brought everyone together so that every person could see why their work made a difference, that they were a part of something important, and that the different skills they each had to contribute were more important than their different personality traits;
Built an emotive brand that set them apart from competitors by allowing their employees to build genuine relationships with each other and their customers - through a shared set of values; and
Crafted and shared a business plan that communicated the business objectives, why the objectives mattered, and inspired action to achieve them.
Having a clear purpose and values enabled them to see success in a wider context than the usual accounting measures. Profits are the result of success, and are actually driven by peoples actions and interactions. Others are not passionately inspired by them. To anyone but Mark and Jenny the targets were just numbers.
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Until they could describe what success would look and feel like, other people had no way of offering to help them achieve it.
Using Performance Prism Leadership, Mark and Jenny developed their business story, and their Proceed with Purpose Plan, which gave everyone a common understanding of why they were in business, what their success would look and feel like, and how they would monitor their progress.
After they’d presented their plan one of their employees, Ric, said “If that’s you want to achieve, then I will do …”.
This is contagious enthusiasm. It’s not fancy office chairs, a gaming machine, bright coloured walls, or bring your pet to work day! It’s when you create the environment where people identify their own contribution to achieving something important – your business purpose.
You too can achieve the freedom you originally set out to achieve. It takes Performance Prism Leadership and contagious enthusiasm.
Register now for our workshop to learn more about Performance Prism Leadership and contagious enthusiasm.
When: Friday 22nd April 2016 - 8.45am until 11.00am.
Where: State Library of WA (Perth Cultural Centre).
Cost: $40 including your one-on-one session with a H Agent.
This event includes a personal one-one one session for you to discuss your own challenges and opportunities with a H Agent.