I am self motivated some might describe me as a loner; I have set-up and run small businesses but wanted to run a bigger venture and although I was in a partnership, I was surprised by the loneliness of running a business that employed 20 members of staff.
I was fully prepared for the financial pressure and the long hours in a start-up venture; there being so many competing pressures when running a business, I thought I was prepared for it; I was taken completely surprise by the isolation.
I remember reading an blog ‘It’s Lonely at the Top’ http://www.s-boge.com/henrik2.html, Henrik Essen states that ‘being a manager is often a tedious and stressful struggle with long hours, and above all – it can be very lonely’, his antidote the loneliness is:
· Invite your staff for one-on-one informal discussions.
· Clarify your vision to instill a feeling of togetherness in your staff.
· Get the best people to increase the possibility of productive discussions.
· Build a strong management team so you can lean on their expertise.
· Find a mentor to guide, provide advice, criticism and reinforcement.
· Have a laugh to increase productivity, improve moral and boost profits.
One lesson in leadership is that the time spent with your staff is time well spent. Your staff will get to know and anticipate the owners’ management style and decisions and the owner/manager learns what motivates their staff and how to performance manage staff. I now factor time in my schedule to interact with my colleagues and staff; I see it as an investment in my business.
I have also learnt that time spent out of the business networking has three important benefits that helps me stay connected; firstly, to connect with other business owners and like-minded peers; secondly, to build relationships and potential business opportunities/partnerships and thirdly it allows me to set out of my business box and to gain perspective.
What has been you experience in running your business, how have you overcome the isolation of being the boss?
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.