This week was a look at how easy it is for business owners to get in the way of their success. Here is the story of one business owner getting in his own way. Jake has owned a large heating and air conditioning installation company for 18 yr. and suddenly it is about to go under.
Jake turned over the day-to-day operations of his company two years ago to two of his key staff. In general day-to-day operations is the function of managers and so that was a good strategy. On the other hand, Jake also stepped out, and unknowingly gave them the leadership of his company and this was his mistake.
Setting The Tone
For a business to succeed someone, typically the owner or CEO, sets the vision, values and the tone of the company. Staff, vendors and customers come to know this as the company’s brand which becomes how they feel about the company and what they expect in terms of customer service and product/service quality.
For two years, Jake trusted these employees, thought they were doing a good job and left them to run the business while he found new projects/customers to serve. This year Jake’s intuition told him he better come back as the leader of the company. He felt compelled by his intuition to ask for financial reports. With that both men quit leaving Jake with huge debt and little knowledge of the day-to-day operations, staff, vendors, customers and current operational procedures.
Jake made several mistakes as a business owner but the one that harmed him the most was he gave up leadership of his company.
Jake had not been providing leadership from which all work would be done. One person has to define the vision for the company, the values they hold, the products and services provided and the way everyone will interact with each other, clients, vendors, investors, etc. When Jake gave up leadership, the two lead staff took over setting their own vision, imposing their own values and setting the tone for working with everyone. This change resulted in financial mismanagement, decreased quality and delivery of their products and services as well as relationships altered.
When these two men left Jake had a crisis on his hands. He was in enormous debt, could not service his contracts, did not have qualified staff or systems in place, all the knowledge about the operations was held by the two that left and he had lost the faith of his bankers, staff, vendors and clients.
How did Jake get into this mess? It was simple and could easily happen to any of us. Jake is educated and smart, but like all of us he does not know what he does not know as a business owner. Two years ago he felt like he did not know enough to keep his business going so rather than admit his uncertainty and finding a way to learn how to take his business to the next level he abdicated his business to others. Jake’s greatest weakness as a business owner is his fear of not knowing. His greatest strength is his knowledge of his industry and the high values that he brings to his business. His greatest fear, stated by him, is that he is not a leader. Jake is clearly a leader in his family of 14 children and his local community where he works to inspire youth to get an education and sees his role as helping others to be employed and productive. That sense of leadership is missing in his business.
Jake belongs to a very conservative religion that values humility and allowing others to be senior to them. This affects his ability to set his crown at a leadership vibration. Leadership from the crown chakra is different from the control and command form of leadership which comes from the third Chakra below the sternum.
From an intuitive perspective leadership vibrates in an energy center on the top of the head called the crown Chakra. When you hold your head high and straighten your spine, you experience an energy change. Try it. Suddenly you feel more certain. The crown Chakra sets the energy for our space. We can use this energy center to set the tone in any situation. Notice for yourself. Those who hold their head high show the energy of leadership, seniority and certainty. We notice, listen and pay attention to them. Those who hold their head low, bowed or below others give off the impression of not knowing, not being important, being weaker and certainly not a leader.
Be Willing to Learn and Change
Jake created a successful company for 16 years based on the information he had available to him then he hit his limit. He did not know how to manage or grow his $6 mil. company. In his fear of not knowing, he gave up leadership.
When Jake came back into the company and realized how desperate the situation was he called to discuss business coaching. He was willing to admit that he did not know what it would take to turn things around. After working with Jake for a month I realized it would not work. Jake’s greatest weakness he was his inability to plan and prepare both of which are essential qualities of a business owner and a leader. It is, in fact, the most important ability, to work on the business rather than doing the work of the business. He was simply unwilling to spend the time to create the vision of his company, define the brand he wanted to impart, to develop a financial or organizational plan and all the other foundational components of a successful business. He admitted he hates planning and preparing.
As an intuitive, I see Jake was stuck in an old energy pattern or routine that is familiar and comfortable even if it is not serving him. He was in resistance to changing his space, energy or focus. So if nothing changes within us then nothing changes in our lives or in our creations. In the end we stopped coaching as Jake admitted he could not take the time to plan. He would try to put band aids on his problems for now.
Being willing to lead, admit what we don’t know and to change ourselves first are essential components of success.
As always, your comments and experiences are appreciated.
Best wishes on your success, Kay