The best reality show on TV right now for business owners is Undercover Boss on CBS where the CEOs of big companies are learning some valuable lessons by interacting with their rank and file while in disguise.
As a business owner, you have a leadership style. Unless you've worked at crafting your leadership style with training and intention, it's quite likely to simply be your natural style based on your personality type.
So, what's your personality type? Do you know it? I've been using a personality-based approach toward marketing for my clients for the past 6 years. We based our messaging and strategy around what we know to be true of people's decision making styles. We anticipate their questions and their actions.
Turn it around and point it back at yourself as a leader and you'll quickly uncover your strengths and maybe some areas where you are failing and don't know it yet. Yes, you'll identify your blind spots.
Bruna Martinuzzi has shared some great advice for leaders based on their personality preference for Extraversion or Introversion. (If you don't know your personality type try this free test. You're looking for the first letter in your 4-letter type…E or I.)
Martinuzzi's advice for Extraverted Leaders:
Circulate information ahead of a meeting. Provide as much written information as is feasible before a meeting so that introverted team members have a chance to reflect on the material in order to give you their best thinking.
And for Introverted Leaders:
Beware of voids created by non-communication. A void will be quickly filled by rumors, misinterpretations, and grapevine musings. Take the initiative to share information. Be inspired by Seth Godin’s exhortation that “the less people know, the more they yell” and make sure that you communicate early and often.
The entire article is a good read for a business owner. It gives 6 good tips for both types of leaders.
I'm reading Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" for the 3rd time. There's nothing like a good kick in the ass from Pressfield to get my head back on straight.
People talk about Fear of Failure. When you boil it all down, the simple fact is that failure is just plain easier than success. In my opinion (and I have a great deal of experience here) nobody is afraid of failing. Nobody is afraid of succeeding. It's just harder to take the path less traveled. It's less traveled for a reason: It's the harder path.
I think one of Pressfield's most glaring examples is Adolph Hitler. As a young man, Hitler studied art. Have you ever seen one of his paintings? Of course not. Why? Because it was easier to take over Europe than to work on becoming a good painter.
So, as a business owner, what's holding you back? What is the nature of the "easy" road you're on? What extra effort/money/time would it take to strike out on a road that has the potential to fulfill your dreams?
My fees typically come off of the top of the business owner's ad budget. Whenever the price of services arises, I'm asked, "What do I get for my money?" My answer: "What are you getting now?"
The easy road involves doing the same old things in the same old comfortable ways. Don't ruffle feathers, don't rock the boat, steady as she goes. If that's working for you, why are you reading marketing blogs instead of marching down your comfortable road? (ouch)
So, what are you getting now?
BEWARE: Sports Metaphor usage by a non-sports guy follows…
It's that time of year when even the non-sports people are following tournament brackets just to fit in around the office. Not me. Nobody here gives a rip. Really. HOWEVER, I thought it would be a good opportunity to make a point, and include a pointer. (let the sports talk begin)
Let me spell it out. It's basketball. Your business is one team. You're playing against your cross-town rival. The customer is the ball. The net is a sale. Don't make me draw a diagram.
What if nobody scrambled for a loose ball? What if your competitor drops the ball and you just stand there slack-jawed and let it roll through your legs while another member of your competitor's team picks it up and scores? What if the rules allowed a third competitor to run onto the court and grab the loose ball with his own portable net?
Reminder: You're in business, not watching basketball on TV. If you see a loose ball, pick it up. If your opponent dropped it, grab tightly and don't give it back. In basketball, the ball goes to the team who DIDN'T score (I guess to give them a chance). In business, after you score, the ball stays with you. Don't drop it. Pick it back up and guard it. Protect it.
Business isn't basketball. You have permission to run onto the court with your own net and grab a loose ball.
Do I need to draw a diagram?
photo credit: stuseeger