For business owners: what are the biggest mistakes you made when starting your business (particularly in leading your employees)?
I'm building my team right now, and I want to be an effective leader. Any advice/past experiences that have helped you become a strong leader? Thanks!
My biggest mistake was not being what I wanted them to be. I didn't know what I didn't know. My favorite leadership quote is by Abraham Maslow, "If we are not modeling what we are teaching, then, we're teaching something else." We are not always teaching what we are teaching, but we are always teaching what we are modeling.
The people have to buy-in to the leader before they will buy-in to the vision. Who you are 24/7 matters to your team. Everything you do when interacting with others builds trust or creates distrust with the person you are interacting with and anyone watching. Trust increases your influence. Distrust decreases you influence. My mentor, John Maxwell says it best, "Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing Less. Everything rises and falls on leadership."
Leadership is more caught than taught, so you have to be contagious. Who you think you are matters. Who you say you are matters more. But, who you really are matters most. I recently published my first book. It may interest you as a new leader because I wrote it for someone new to leadership or just starting to learn about leadership. The title is Demystifying Leadership Series: Defining Influence.
I've got several resources on my profile that are all less than 4 pages. Most are excerpts from my book. They're obviously free and put there to help. Check them out.
Be very obejctive in your job description.
Hire employees that you feel that they can work as the owner, with commitment.
Provide employees adequate tools and conditions to work well and provide the results you expect.
Every employee need workability, that means that they could use your company as a step to move forward. Don't be afraid of this, train people and provide what they need to be recognized by the competitors and they won't leave you.
Never forget that your motivations are entirely different. You dream of growing your business (and making a lot of money AFTER that has succeeded). You believe it can happen because of your abilities, luck and connections. Your employees will be skeptical of your ability to make magi until you show that you can do it consistently; even then they're not going to be motivated much by a 1 pct share that would at most be worth a few thousand dollars even in the event that a buyout did happen in some distant future. If they do not go the extra miles to help you realize your dream - remember that they are basically not included. To keep them motivated and on board, you'll need to treat them the same way (or better) than any other employer would do, or they will go there sooner or later.
One of the greatest mistake I made, which I later realized in a hard way was, putting more importance on the work than the people.
Of course, the pressure is always there to break even in the shortest time as you start a new business. I mean, we tend to be more productivity-oriented than people-oriented. And that is where we usually get it wrong. While, you have to firm as a business leader to avoid lackadaisical attitude to work among your employees, you should do your utmost to create a platform that makes them feel at home- seeing the business as theirs as well, rather than having a picture of being slaves under one bald-headed boss, who commands them around for his own interest. The moment they feel, 'we are being used', they lose focus and commitment, and you lose. But the moment they feel, 'we belong to this family', they try to give their best and become more productive. They would find it a fun to work for you, and you gain.
Think about this, and make your choice right, and you will succeed as a leader.
Find, live and articulate in word and deed the vision, the purpose and the why we do this for your people. That is leadership. Find, learn and develop the talents of your team. Expect a lot from them and hold them accountable to what they are capable of. That is team management
Earn RESPECT: Treat all equal (talk, delegate, engage) with all same: GOSSIP is the killer of culture in any organisation. Talk and walk your company's vision, mission, objectives/goals and VALUES. Talk ONLY business matters with your employees, never get personal and anger blows. Earn Your Achievements: Do regular performance reviews, know exactly what is going on and around in the company; how far each team is with their goals; and be informed all the time. Have regular meetings with your teams and be visible to all staff members. BE an Example, follow the policies, procedures and Code of Conduct.... there is much to learn and to implement. Read and be up to date with new developments in and around your profession.... good luck
Listen to your employees. They are the most important more so than customers.
Mohammed, its important that your employees fit the culture of your company. The best and most aggressive individual that does not fit will be a bigger detriment over time than one with less experience but can fit with your culture and vision that has the ability to grow. Also note that depending on how you are funded that you may be hiring for the time and place that you are. We hope that these people will be able to grow and develop with your growth but sometimes they cannot and you need to be and they need to understand that going into your venture.
i have started several business and the biggest mistake is a lack of clarity about exactly where the company is going, why and how (Vision, purpose, goals, targets, process) what this means to each employee about their roles, goals and how they will benefit personally. This needs to include an accurate description of each employees role and responsibilities. Ensure you hire employees for who they are and the potential they bring rather than just what they have done in their past (resume). Will Moore, Moore Performance Group
Leadership has its own levels within a leadership hierarchy.
You mentioned two things in your question (1) business owners and (2) team leaders ... and these are two different things to start with. Business owners are NOT always (and not necessarily) good leaders.
Secondly, you mentioned you wanted to be a "strong" leader. What do you mean by "strong" ??? and how does this fit (or does not fit) within your status starting to build a team ??
The third point before I even try to answer your question ... mentioning leadership levels and hierarchies ... leading a team ... is different than leading an organization .... and is different than leading a nation !
Within teams, we talk about team members and not necessarily employees ... not your personal employees anyway ... unless you are the boss who pays their salaries .
So .. it would be better to clarify your question and be more specific about what you want to achieve ... Is it "bossism" ?? Is it control ?? Is it authority and position ?? Is it strength ?? Is it power ?? Is it effectiveness ?? Is it overall success ???
And do not tell me you want all of them ... because there are differences and potential contradictions between some of them ..
All the best !!