Let’s Talk About Your Role as a Leader: PT 1
The dictionary defines a leader as “one who is in charge; one who influences.” Your leadership role still exists even if there are no employees. One/another of the roles of a leader is to:
- Provide long-range vision, mission, and values.
- Develop, maintain, and model the culture of the company.
- Determine the major goals of the company.
- Manage profitability and growth.
- Learn to generate results through people.
- Bring new ideas and processes into the company.
The best companies reflect the owner’s style and vision. The business started and succeeded initially because of the owner’s methods and approach. As the business grows and adds employees, it becomes critical that this vision be defined and written, and that guidelines and rules be delineated to govern how you do business. Only then can you use these tools openly and actively in hiring, training, motivating, and reviewing performance.
Your Vision should be big, long term, and nearly unattainable. Mission is about the company’s purpose for being. It is more practical than the Vision; your Mission explains what you sell and what the client is buying. Your Mission is your promise to the client.
Companies often identify five to seven core values by which they agree to run their business. There are many admirable qualities (for example, integrity, honesty, teamwork, accountability, friendliness, generosity, dignity, respect, and so on) that could be picked, but do your best to focus only on a few.
Many successful businesspeople focus on hiring employees who can support their vision, mission, and values, even when the technical skills are lacking. You can teach technical skills, but people either have your chosen values or they don’t—and you are unlikely to change them.
If you don’t manage your company’s culture by defining the vision, mission, and values, someone else in the company will. This ability to create a unique culture is one of the greatest gifts that running a business bestows on the entrepreneur.
In our next issue, we’ll be discussing how to develop, maintain, and model the culture of your company. Need help defining your vision, mission, or core values? Call RLO Training!