Who’s on Your Management Team?
Often, we neglect the power of involving our spouses in the decision-making process. This is a topic that needs some focus for many of us as business owners.
We fall into the trap of believing that we are the ones who need to make all the decisions. After all, we are the bread winners, out in the workplace, making things happen day after day. Not only do we often fail to involve our spouse in the process, we frequently don’t even inform them of the things that are on the table under consideration. Bad decision. That type of decision making only works if you are a perfect thinker, strategic planner, and have all the answers.
More often than not, your spouse knows that something is bad news well before you will. Like it or not they often see more clearly than we do, being in the middle of the forest. We miss the trees that fall on top of us some days until the trees have knocked us down. Been there?
We involve our business partners when we consider decisions, but what about the most important partner in our lives? Are you fully leveraging the strengths of your spouse? Many business owners are of the opinion that their spouse would not understand, and trying to teach them would just slow everything down. That is a good thing – both to teach, because we can’t do that if we don’t have things thought out and defined – and to slow down, because many decisions get made incorrectly because the alternatives are never considered.
And the reality is that most business decisions are a lot more about people than they are about business. Hiring, firing, partnerships, and companies all revolve around people. The products and services are seldom the issue – it always boils down to people, and your spouse may be able to read people pretty well.
Leverage the wisdom of your spouse to help guide the ship, and consider thinking deeply about this subject this week. This is NOT a conversation to have with coworkers, but rather with people who personally mentor you and whom you respect. Here are some questions to consider:
1. Write down the five biggest mistakes you have made professionally during your career while you have been married.
2. How many of those mistakes could have been avoided if you had worked more closely with your spouse to evaluate the situation and your options prior to taking action?
3. What habit could you develop with your spouse to involve them more in your professional decisions? One option: A regular business meeting that covers both family and professional business. Just be realistic – it takes time to build this habit and you may have to be the driver to make certain in a positive, encouraging way that these meetings occur.
4. How are you going to respond the next time it feels like you have to make a quick decision? How can you build this delaying tactic – verbally and postponing action – into a habit?
5. Consider a commitment to demonstrate your love for your spouse by involving them in all of your important decisions. How will you hold yourself accountable? It will take time and be challenging to develop this habit, but can you afford to operate as a lone ranger?
I encourage you to spend some time considering how you can improve the decision-making and leadership process you currently use by involving your spouse. Your spouse can keep you balanced and focused, and should have input into the day-to-day activities that impact your lives and business. There is some sacrifice involved by both to truly partner together in this way – but it is one of the best decisions you can make.