Most people think of leadership as a skillset that is separate from their company.
However, this is not true.
Your leadership creates your company.
There are leadership gurus out there who teach useful but generic lessons on leadership. Problem is, many of them come from a multinational corporate environment where the suit-wearing CEO stands up in front of his or her company once a year.
That’s not the life of a Contractor. As a Contractor, you are in the trenches—perhaps running your business from a smaller office with a few (or few dozen) employees, or maybe even running calls just like one of the techs who work for you. You’re leading, but it’s a very different type of leadership than the CEO I mentioned earlier.
Weird Leadership Secret #1 – Your Leadership Creates Your Company
Most people think of leadership as a skillset that is separate from their company. However, this is not true. Your leadership creates your company. Here’s how:
Your company is made up of the entity and structure itself, as well as the staff (obviously!), but those pieces interact with each other and with the rest of the world through your company’s culture.
Weak leaders will have their company culture determined
by the strongest personalities on their team.
Your company’s culture is the attitude and personality of your business; it’s how your team views themselves and your customers. And guess what: it’s all determined by your leadership.
Strong leaders decide what their company culture will look like and they lead their people in that way. For example, a strong leader will want a company that values integrity, hard work, and service to customers. However, weak leaders will have their company culture determined by the strongest personalities on their team. For example, weak leaders will constantly fight against employees who create a culture where they walk all over the owner or they do as little work as possible.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by your team, the solution starts with becoming a stronger leader.
Weird Leadership Secret #2 – Your Employees Will Follow What You Do
This may not be that much of a secret, but many forget it so it’s worth mentioning: you can tell your employees everything you want them to do but they will only actually DO what they see you DO.
Do you want your employees to work hard… but you lock yourself in the office to handle paperwork? Your employees don’t see you working hard; they perceive that as avoiding work.
Do you want your employees to go the extra mile… but you won’t go the extra mile for them? Your employees will only go as far as they see you go.
Do you want your employees to LOVE where they work… but you show up frustrated, tired, and angry? Your employees will only love their workplace when you love it too.
Being a leader means being aware of what your employees perceive and demonstrating leadership that portrays the qualities that you want your employees to have.
Weird Leadership Secret #3 – You Lead Your Customers
Most people tend to think of leading as being a boss-employee dynamic. However, it’s much more! It’s a company-customer dynamic too!
The saying is “the customer is always right,” which may be true but you and I both know that many customers don’t understand the technical, complicated world of Contractors.
Customers may think they are always right but what they need is a strong, confident leader to lead them to the right decision for themselves and their family. They need a leader who shows up and assures them that the problems they are facing with their home can be solved by your company. They need a leader who demonstrates the high value that you deliver (which helps to resolve price sensitivity and buyers’ remorse). They need a leader who tells them what they need to do next (such as: make a decision to purchase).
Customers need to be led (ethically, of course), and the Contractor who is a strong leader can do just that.
Weird Leadership Secret #4 – Your Employees Need More From You Than You Realize
As a leader and the owner of a Contracting company, you might think that you are delivering exactly what your employees need: a steady job that pays a wage.
But your employees need more than that from you if you want them to follow you!
Employees are followers, and they need the following things from a leader:
- Structure (a predictable place to work)
- Training (show them how to do the work you want them to do)
- Direction (help them know what to do)
- Guidance (help them along the path as they do it)
- Empathy (talk to them with understanding)
- Encouragement (let them know that they are valued)
- Attention (let them know you hear them)
- Care (take a moment to learn about them)
- Opportunities (create a long-term win for them)
- Hope (let them know that they have a job for the long-term if they do the work required)
- Community (create a great place for them to work)
(Now, some people might read this list and think that it sounds like you need to coddle them and be a babysitter. But that’s not true at all! You can create a strong work environment while still providing these things.)
Your employees aren’t just looking to trade their hours for pay; they spend a large portion of their day with you and your company and they need much more than dollars to help them follow you. Use the list above as a starting point to make sure you are adding value to your employee’s lives.
Want a stronger company? It doesn’t start with better employees or better marketing. Those are important, but it actually starts with stronger leadership. Most people don’t fully understand what leadership is or just how important it is to growing your company. But when you master leadership, including these four weird secrets, you’ll create a strong company of followers who will work hard to grow with you.
See the full article on ContractorMag HERE
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