Let’s talk about the concept of leadership and how we step into that role. How we step in as a CEO of our business, in that leadership position. Oftentimes even if it’s just you or you and one other person in your team, there’s still that level of leadership in who you’re being and how you handle things. 

A few things that you want to consider include:

  • How are you empowering your team?
  • How are you giving your team space to make decisions and take actions?
  • Do you let your team both take responsibility and accountability for the roles they are given?

Oftentimes people struggle because they aren’t the leader. This might cause a bottleneck because they can’t make decisions without having approval. Which causes stagnation because they feel they can’t do anything. 

As leaders, it’s our job to keep reminding ourselves, how do we give empowerment to everybody? How do we give them the opportunity to feel strong enough to make choices, to do the next thing? 

I think that’s part of a practice that you want to have in place. How do you check in with yourself to make sure things are working?

Ask the Big Questions

Always asking yourself these important questions. 

How can we do this better? How do we do it more efficiently? 

Because if everybody has to meet with you once a week or once a month or whatever it is to get your approval on things, then it’s wasting both sets of people’s time. 

Establish Boundaries

Instead of setting out some ground rules recently inside the membership, we had a member talking about having certain decisions, whether the CEO is going to take training or whether somebody else is going to do an advertising campaign. Understanding where those constraints are, where they’re established. 

If you’ve opened up a joint business bank account, oftentimes they will ask you, at what point do you need to require two signatures?

Is it $10,000? Is it $5,000? And so there’s a reason banks ask that question and it’s a good thing for you to consider. It could be as simple as here’s a $50 investment and anything over $50 or anything more than $50 a day is something that requires consensus or requires that authority. But what is the limit that the team members have where you don’t become the bottleneck in your business. Where do you feel comfortable? Is it, they need to come present something, say, this is what it costs. 

So the other thing is to help your team members understand it’s great when they can make a proposal, when they can come and approach and say, “Hey, I have this great idea. I’ve done the research. I think we should check this out. Here are my five reasons why we should check it out. And this is what I think would work. And this is where I think we can get it from in the budget.”

If you’ve got people who want to bring something to you, I think that’s a great thing to do. The other question you want to look at in terms of how to empower them is we always want to keep bringing this back to the forefront. Are they in a role that is suited for their zone of competency, greatness and or genius? We really want to have people in their zone of genius and or, or at least in their zone of excellence.

Especially when your team members are doing these things. If you’re putting people in the wrong role, then they might not be having the forthright. You might not be having a good match. 

Be Clear with Your Expectations and Needs

So I was just recently speaking to somebody who I’m working with to start creating some processes, et cetera. And one of the things that I said, and that I need for me and my business is I need a project manager or an online business manager or somebody who thinks fast and listens fast. They have to listen fast because I’m such a fast speaker. I’m such a fast thinker. I tend to understand all the processes in my head, from my background in program delivery. And I’m a really great strategist. The place where I get stuck is getting all of the ideas out of my mouth and my brain and captured into a system that is manageable.

So for me, I know that I need that in this particular role. I need whoever my project manager is going to be to fit all of those key criteria. Who’s going to listen? Who’s going to listen fast to capture all of the things that I say really quickly without having me repeat myself five or six times, and to make sure that they’re very driven to stay on top of and understand what the task means.

When I say we have to create a sales page, they can go and just get it done. 

So looking at those roles and looking at stepping into your leadership and understanding how to really help and empower those team members, making sure that their characteristics and their traits really fit with the role that they’re playing. 

Some roles, for example, customer service, community managers, things like that. Those roles really require people who have amazing people’s skills. They don’t necessarily have to be the most organized and or meticulous in certain things, as long as they’re having the awareness to listen to people’s cues, to see how they feel to handle their emotions. So these are the things that you think about and empower your team.

Provide Room for Growth

If they don’t have a skill set, are you willing to help provide them with training? I was talking to another member of my team just recently about training for something that I think could help empower her in the role that she’s doing. And that could also empower her for the growth of our business. It’s something that if she’s willing to take on, there might be other work that comes out of this particular training, this particular tool or asset that she can start working through. 

So I think these are some of the things that you want to think about when you’re really helping lead your team. When you have a team and when they work virtually. That’s the other part of this conversation. It’s one thing to have a conversation and to be able to have a closed door and see how people have the dynamics together.

When you work virtually, how do you also keep the culture of your team intact? Do you have celebration conversations? Do you have monthly meetings or quarterly meetings, and we talked about this on our last Facebook live. Having those personal celebrations, that personal relationship, having those wins that people are having, that aren’t just related to you in the business. Having that culture and having that ability to do it when you’re all in different places. I have people in Minnesota and in Oregon, South Carolina, I do have one team member who lives in my house. That one’s always an interesting dynamic. Maybe we’ll talk about what it’s like to run your business with your partner on another day.

How do we have that opportunity? A lot of my team members haven’t met each other. I don’t think my husband has actually met Scott, my tech guy, ever in person. And I finally got to meet Sonia on my team for the first time after having her on my team for four years. Just this past summer when we did our family road trip. 

Exceptions for Virtual Businesses

So how do you start doing this in a virtual setting? And part of it is just like, you might have an office Christmas party in person, maybe having an office Christmas party or a Hanukkah party, if you’re Jewish like me or some type of event so that the team can get together, hang out and share their lives. That helps bring that sense of team together. It helps that culture stay in place and have some structures and reminders of what we’re up to and how we’re impacting each other.  We talked a little bit about that when on last week’s Facebook live as well. 

Create the SOP’s that will work best with your business and help you lead most effectively.

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