9 Indicators You Need to Improve Your Business Leadership


As a small business owner, entrepreneur or leader in a company, you take on many roles, and it can be hard to know what to prioritize in terms of working on your business versus working in your business.

Working on your business means doing the big stuff such as strategic planning, culture definition, brand identity, visioning, getting staff buy-in and building relationships with stakeholders inside and outside your business. Working in your business is being in the weeds, micromanaging day-to-day tasks and people.

Well, for your business to succeed and for you to be effective, you can’t spend all your time in the weeds. In order to grow and sustain (not just your business, but your personal well-being), you need to hire good people to work with you, which in turn allows you to focus much needed energy on working on your business.

Here are 9 indicators that you might need to improve your leadership effectiveness.

9. Problems linger longer than they should. Perhaps you didn’t know they existed until it was too late, or you couldn’t find time to handle them when they cropped up. You’re distracted with the urgent versus the important. You feel more like a crisis emergency responder (or babysitter) than a fulfilled business owner or leader.

Solution: If you see something, say something. Put out potential fires when you first see smoke. If the file drawer is broken, fix it. If an employee is aggressive with other staff, address it immediately. Each day commit to 1-3 things on your to-do list that will get done no matter what.

8. Your customer service is slacking. You’re missing deadlines. Email is full. Customers are not complaining but they are following up with you instead of you following up with them.

Solution: Adopt a reliable follow-up system or, better yet, hire a good assistant and let them determine what system is best for you and your style.

7. You’re constantly reinventing the wheel. Your systems are haphazard, causing you to waste valuable time and energy searching through emails, filing cabinets or piles of paper.

Solution: Have your assistant or a capable staff member develop templates and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to become more efficient, effective and consistent.

6. Appointments, orders, sales, phone calls, productivity and/or customers are dwindling down or you’re not hitting your revenue targets or service standards.

Solution: Survey your clients and employees to assess their experience with your business and their current needs. Make adjustments.

5. Your staff don’t take you seriously or see the future you’re striving for.

Solution: Set boundaries and be the authoritative confident leader <link to blog post> that staff will admire and respect. Communicate your strategic or long-term plan and weave it into every meeting or company event. Involve staff.

4. You have a staff retention problem. People are quitting with little-to-no notice. You missed the warning signs.

Solution: Develop a talent acquisition, development and retention program that includes a strong onboarding experience, and a new employee orientation or mentoring program.

3. You find yourself complaining about your staff. If you’re complaining about staff, it’s likely they’re complaining about you, too.

Solution:Take a step back to see where you can strengthen your personal and leadership effectiveness and communication skills. Staff want to know, like and trust you. Come out of your office and engage with staff when things are going well, not just when they’re going poorly.

2. Although you have staff, you feel like you’re doing it all by yourself.

Solution: Develop your staff. Invest in them. Practice trusting and delegating. Hire people smarter than you. Don’t let yourself be threatened.

1. You’re not sleeping and starting to look haggard, although you’re too busy to notice.

Solution: Say “yes” to yourself and your business by investing in executive coaching and systems development. Rediscover what you initially loved about your business or leadership role so you feel fulfilled instead of frustrated and close to burnout.

Addressing the above 9 indicators will help you protect your well-being and fix any business blind spots that could lead to the loss of employees or even lawsuits.

Do you see smoke in your business? Ready to pull the alarm to avoid a full-blown fire? This is typical in businesses that don’t have proper human resources foundation, effective leadership or sufficient leadership capabilities. The good news is you can have someone come in to do an assessment and suggest solutions. I’m happy to hop on a call to discuss your challenges and brainstorm brighter paths forward. I’m confident I can help you. Let’s chat! Click here.

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