Stop Trying to Grow Your Business! Do This Instead!
When have you ever heard a business coach tell you to STOP trying to grow your business?
It’s counter-intuitive, it goes against the grain of everything you’ve probably ever read. But trying to grow your business could actually be stifling your business, holding you back, and keeping you small.
Want to do something different?
Focus on your team.
Focus your time and attention on growing your employees, developing leaders, and building the world-class company culture. THAT will grow your business faster than anything.
Think about it. Your employees have a JOB. That job does not belong to them, it belongs to you. They are temporary in that position – renting, if you will – and do not own that job. That’s the rub. Renting vs. Ownership.
If you’ve ever held rental properties, you know where I’m going with this. People don’t take care of things they rent nearly as well as they care about something they own.
When people rent a car, they are not as concerned with keeping that car clean or putting in the best gasoline. They aren’t concerned with the brakes, with oil changes, or the tires. Why?
It’s not their car; someone else will take care of it. But a car that they own, a car that they worked for and paid good money for takes on a special value.
If you see someone at a car wash, you can bet that’s a car they own. They check the tires, they change the oil regularly because they own that vehicle and they want to take care of it. Does that make sense?
Back to the job: If the employee feels that they are temporary, that they have no ownership of their job or the tasks that they are responsible for, they will not work as hard. They will go through the motions, follow the rules, play it safe.
However, if you give them some ownership – let them help develop the systems and processes, give them the task of improving production or reducing costs – they will feel a sense of pride in the accomplishments and will work harder to achieve and exceed expectations.
Don’t manage your employees, lead them. Tell them what you want them to do and then let them do it. Set the expectations, set the goal, then get out of their way and let them accomplish it.
General George S. Patton once said “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” That’s what leaders do: Own the results, not the process. Set the goal or parameters and then let people take ownership of achievement.
Employee engagement is getting a lot of press lately. In her article “The Rules of Employee Engagement,” Rieva Lesonsky describes three types of engagement:
- Traditional engagement: Employees’ willingness to expend discretionary effort on their jobs.
- Enablement: Having the tools, resources, and support to do their jobs effectively.
- Energy: Having a work environment that actively supports physical, emotional and interpersonal well-being.
One study showed that 37% of employees are disengaged which leads to lower productivity, poor quality, low attendance, and ultimately lost revenue for the businesses.
Employee engagement is not just a feel-good buzz word, it’s crucial to the success of your business.
You’ve probably heard or read the old saying that “People quit their bosses, not their jobs.” One of the most common reasons sighted by those who quit is that their boss either doesn’t listen or doesn’t care.
Inspiring leaders listen to their employees. They value input from their teams and they don’t criticize. Being open to input from your team will inspire your employees to share ideas which could lead to new products or services.
Inspiring leaders care about their people and their business. They focus on excellence, not perfection. The act of growing through mistakes rather than focusing on them and punishing people for them.
Inspiring leaders should develop and emulate the traits they want to to see in their employees: honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, confidence, and a desire for self-improvement.
The bottom line is: Don’t focus on growing your business; grow and nurture your employees and they will take care of growing your business.