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The Entrepreneur's Path: The Leader's Responsibility

Mountain Climbing Team

Be the leader others will follow.

Will they follow you up the mountain? Will they follow you into the valley? Desire, goals, and planning are critical for building a home improvement, home repair business that thrives. But you’re not going to make it far if you can’t lead people well.

So, just how are you showing up to your people now? To answer that question will require Honest Self-Assessment and soul-searching – but also willingness to ask your people for their unvarnished opinion. Some of those questions may unearth some uncomfortable truths: “Some of the guys left because they said you’re unpredictable,” “You can be mean when things aren’t going your way,” “What you did, it was kinda hypocritical.”

No one likes to hear that kind of stuff. But when it’s true and you’re not hearing it, how are you going to change?

The first time you discover that you’ve got a weakness that hurts your business, it can be crushing – but it becomes empowering if you look at it the right way. If something you’re doing is causing a problem, then it’s your responsibility. Think about that word: response-ability. You are the one who is able to respond to that feedback and make things better.

Yeah, it made you uncomfortable to hear, but do you want to remain comfortable in your mess? No! Entrepreneurs thrive on getting way, WAY uncomfortable. It’s how we grow.

And this is an area that you’re going to need to grow in if you want to have a great business.

People are watching you all the time, even how you run your personal life. Mistakes can be made after hours, at parties, in bars, on the internet and on the weekends. Leadership doesn’t end at 5:00pm.

We all judge ourselves based on our intentions, but we judge others by their actions. That’s how your people are judging you. They’re making the calculation about whether they really want to stake their future with you or just stick around for the paycheck until they find a better gig.

How you communicate, what you communicate, and with what energy and intention all matter a lot. Good people don’t work for bad bosses – they leave. Bad people don’t work for good bosses, they wind up leaving – or being asked to ‘Change Teams’ – because they get held accountable.

So what's it going to take? What are some qualities people are looking for in a leader?

• Trustworthiness – People want to know they can trust what you say. They also want to know they can trust you with the company’s future. They know you own the place and can do anything you want. Earn their trust.

• Courage – People want to know you have the courage to confront and handle difficult situations that come up. They want to know you will protect the company and them.

• Caring – Perhaps most of all, people want to know you care about them. They want to know you have their backs and will protect them from threats.

Have other high-quality people responded to you as a leader they will follow? What do you need to do to become better?

Get uncomfortable. Make some changes. Be the leader others will follow.

See you soon.