TIGER Talk Recap: Growing Pains: How to Effectively Grow as a Leader Along With Your Growing Company
According to the Small Business Association, there are many reasons why businesses fail. Sometimes it’s because of rapid growth and over-expansion. Other times it’s due to poor financial management or an unprofitable business model. It could also be because business owners are not in touch with customer demands, or they lack uniqueness and value.
But the number one reason most businesses fail may surprise and humble most of us as business owners. It’s because of poor leadership.
Michael DeVine of DeVine Consulting presented, “Growing Pains: How to Effectively Grow as a Leader Along With Your Growing Company” at July 22’s TIGER Talk luncheon. TIGER Talks are offered at Innovate New Albany each month to help business owners grow their businesses in the areas of technology, innovation, growth, entrepreneurship and responsibility.
Michael said that it’s important that business owners have emotional intelligence – or the ability to recognize and label their own feelings as well as the feelings of others. While it’s okay to have your feelings energize and motivate you, some emotions can leave you feeling ineffective, exhausted and stressed.
Emotions can result in bad leadership and poor decisions, especially as your company expands and the pressure starts growing. You make mistakes, and those mistakes get amplified. And if you have a toxic work environment, your best employees will look for work somewhere else.
Not having control of emotions can cause leaders to show their “shadow” side, and exhibit behaviors such as:
- Lashing out at partners and employees
- Impulsive decisions
- Decisions based on fear, anxiety, anger
- Making an emotional decision rather than a business decision
- Taking emotion completely out of the equation
- Shutting down and isolating
- Creating trickle-down toxicity in the organization
- Burning bridges
- Inability to admit being wrong or self-culpability
- Talent loss or brain drain
Running a company on emotions instead of leadership can also lead to:
- Making decisions for the wrong reasons
- Making decisions in a vacuum
- Ineffective and inefficient organizational structures
- Using the “shoehorn”
- Investing too little time or energy into talent selection and development
- Promoting the wrong leaders
- Machiavelli vs. Gandhi
- Creating the wrong culture
- Downstream solutions
Michael explained four ways you can grow with your company and keep your emotions in check:
1) Know the purpose of a mistake. Like matches, mistakes are a one-time thing. Understand what went wrong and why. Once you’ve figured it out, move on but learn something from it.
2) Learn what to say and how to say it using the acronyms GIVE and DEAR MAN. When you talk with someone (GIVE), be Gentle in your voice, act Interested, offer Validation, and use an Easy manner.
When you’re determining what to say and have to assert yourself (DEAR MAN), Describe what you are responding to using just the facts, and Express how you feel using “I” statements. Assert your wishes or state what you are asking for, and Reinforce your wishes by telling the other person all the reasons behind the objective.
Stay Mindful, or focused on what your objective is, and be aware the other person may change the subject or turn the tables on you. Appear confident even if you don’t feel that way, and be willing to Negotiate
(3) Michael’s Golden Rule: Learn how to be okay not being okay. As tempting as it is, don’t give in to the emotion and let it drive your decision-making. Learn how to deal with it, and be effective.
(4) Most Simple Executive Coaching Tip: OHIO – Only Handle It Once. Make decisions quickly, and don’t procrastinate. When you avoid something, it wastes time and makes you a less effective leader. Run a new path and get it done.
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