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Setting Standards in Your Business

Whenever I arrive in a new business the first thing I used to do (I started managing at 23 and felt I needed to make myself known) was make a loud noise and verbalize my dissatisfaction with my new business claiming I will achieve world domination! However after great training within the company I was working for I realized that sitting back and observing is actually more powerful and had greater impact. So for 13 years I have entered businesses, sat back, observed and asked the team what their thoughts are on what they feel needs improving in the business. After all the people that have been there for years, who live and breathe the business are the ones I want to hear from. I don’t take everything on board but I don’t allow them to know that. For example the classic ‘demands’ in my first week or two in a business are:

  • Pay rise!!
  • New equipment

I simply smile, ask them how we as a team can achieve it, make notes and carry on with my silent observations.

Setting Standards in Your Business

Interestingly one business I worked with last year, at the end of each day I thanked my team for their hard work, and the team were stunned. To them that was all they needed – so simple eh? From there they were ‘team Heidi!’

In the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis – “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”. Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

I like to lead my team but like to give them a sense of ownership of the business – why? Because once I achieve the business goals of increasing revenue, empowering the team to know how to increase the revenue, train the team and managers; they will carry on in their roles and I will have moved on to a new business. So it makes no sense for me to take it all on board with a closed book and not teach others how to do what I do.

As a manager I believe you are only as strong as your weakest team member.

Training and daily mentoring is a huge part of your role as a leader. Yes you need to manage but to lead your team you need to educate and motivate.

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