Business owners are faced with many challenges as they navigate the (sometimes unfriendly) waters of building a successful enterprise. Some of these challenges are external and beyond their control; some are internal and must be addressed through better communication, systems, or people; and, finally, some lie squarely within the mindset and capability of the owner herself.
Of those issues over which you have little control (the economy, the weather, area construction and road repair, for example), you must learn to adapt your view to the current variables and avoid worrying about things that may never happen. As for the internal areas which can be positively impacted through more effective leadership, policies, and procedures: communication, education, implementation, documentation, and adjustments in a timely and planned manner – using as few initiatives / strategies as practical for the scope of the needs – are the recipe for success. Assuming, of course, the owner (and his leadership team) can effectively outline, lead, and incent the change process.
But what happens when the owner does not possess the confidence, skills, or mindset to direct a positive change? What happens when the owner is the primary source of dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the current state of the business’ performance and/or progress? What happens when the owner believes he has sufficient knowledge, experience, or expertise to prevent any useful exchange – or acceptance at all – of outside resources and/or ideas? What happens when the owner so tires of the daily challenges of maintaining the business that he or she abdicates responsibility for the requisite tasks – but maintains authority to veto any changes to personnel or the failing routines? What happens when the owner refuses to acknowledge that, one day, they will leave the business (Trust me!) and has absolutely no structure in place to ensure the successful continuity of the enterprise?
If your answers to these queries are as discomforting as my observations within our local business community have been (where such situations are prevalent), then maybe it’s time to do those things necessary to lead – versus resist – the change process:
Be yourself…but strive to be better. In abundance…