Ownership vs. Leadership

August 4, 2016



For entrepreneurs, starting a business to fulfill a passion and create our own destiny is the drive that keeps us going.  To have a business that impacts your employee’s livelihood, so they can have a better life is all part of the joy of Entrepreneurship.

However, owners seem to struggle with the phase of moving from ownership traits into leadership traits as their business grows.

  • Delegation – Hard.
  • Consistency in Expectations – Hard.
  • Difficult Conversations – Avoided.
  • Talent Development – When Needed.

When your business is growing at a fast rate, everyone is on deck just to keep all the tasks in motion.

Owners… let me tell you what every employee is looking to you for as the Leader:

Establishing Guardrails

As owners into leaders, you set the tempo for the company.  Your employees are looking to you to establish a fair work environment that supports thier personal success.  To do so means knowing with clarity what is expected of them in: rules of engagement, non-negotiables in culture, internal behavior, expectations on performance and results for each role, process and workflow improvements as you grow.   As a leader it is important that these are not only established – but also consistently managed, expected and communicated.  When one on the team falls out of line – everyone needs to rally to protect the culture.  The guardrails mean you care.  Your employees expect it.

Goals and Strategies

As owners into leaders, you establish the forward vision of the company and must present to your employees the vision of possibilities while obtaining buy-in for support.  After all, they are closest to the customer and the execution.  Your employees are looking to you to lead the progress forward and provide insight into how they can benefit and have personal success for their futures.

Those on your team have chosen to work for you and be part of your company. Each person is there to support his or her own livelihood and families. Your job as a leader is to provide them a path of greater success, and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

They need to know each role is critically important to the future success of the company.

Financial Responsibility

Financials are the health of your company. Profits and investments are the reason a company exists.  Presenting to your staff where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going is vitally important for transparency.   The staff wants to know they are working for a healthy and winning team that they contribute to.

Personnel Decisions

There are seasons of workload.  Some up.  Some down.  However, as an owner into leader your team is looking for you to know when personnel relief needs occur.  When changes need to be made and when someone become toxic to the culture act quickly.  This is an area many of my clients wait way too long for.  The old saying “hire slow and fire fast”  is very true.   As a leader you must protect your culture, your workflow and your customer experience with a vengeance.  Your employees need to know that you see what they feel, and act on it.

Define your role as a business owner for yourself.

But activate true leadership standards for your people that they can count on and build on.

Growth on spreadsheets comes from growth produced by your people.



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