Howard Partridge, international small business coach, discusses why the key to becoming a phenomenal leader is valuing every member of your team so they can meet their goals and be motivated and energized to help your company succeed.
Many years ago, I didn’t have the best culture in the first small business I started. When I arrived at the office, the only thing on my mind was what hadn’t been done yet and what needed to get done. Myself and my small team valued our clients at the highest level, and we provided our clients with the most outstanding service experience ever and outshined our competition by a mile.
When I first started the company my team and I worked unbelievable hours, from early in the morning until late at night, and we had a strong community. But as the business grew, I brought on partners and we began hiring more people. We grew very fast, and in the midst of that growth I started my training company so I was traveling constantly doing seminars and coaching clients. I left a leadership vacuum behind. We didn’t have the support, encouragement, and accountability in place. We no longer had community. We had a collection of people.
We began working on systems and we had a strong mission, but our team was engaged only to the point necessary to get the job done, and some of our team members were disengaged. A review of my journal during that time read:
My absence over the past two years has created a great division in the ranks. It seems everyone complains about everyone else…I must schedule a staff meeting to begin mentoring community.
Building a Sense of Community
Over time, we became a community again. What changed? For starters, leadership changed. I built the leadership team by supporting them, encouraging them, and helping them to be accountable to the vision they had of themselves. They did the same for me. We established a vision for who we wanted to become and our core values. Over time, as I learned more about community, our whole culture changed to one that could be described as supportive, encouraging, and accountable. Today it is a loving atmosphere, and highly effective and profitable as well. Without overworking the staff, I might add.
We began to value one another, and one another’s role. We cannot build something we do not value. Valuing true community is assessing your vital need for deep, trusting relationships with people of shared beliefs to help one another become all you can be.
Become a Phenomenal Leader to Your Team
Your team members can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability, and that depends on your skills as a leader. My goal for this book is to coach you from where you are now as a leader to the ultimate goal of building true community in your business.
One major reason that we must check our values as they relate to building community is that it won’t be an easy climb. Human beings are creatures of habit and routine, and everyone is selfish and territorial to a certain degree. All of us have fears, and one of the biggest fears we all have is the fear of being vulnerable. We’ve all been taken advantage of, and your team members won’t immediately trust you when you decide to change. It will take time and effort on everyone’s part.
It All Starts with Valuing Others
The good news is that by climbing these steps, you’ll have a shot at developing deep relationships among your team members. Even at the early stages of building community, your culture will improve and you’ll reap many benefits.
Building a sense of community starts with simply valuing your team members. When you value people, you’ll care about them, and you’ll support them. Support includes helping your team members win at work and win at home. My three decades of owning a business and two decades of training small business owners has revealed that helping team members reach their personal goals is one of the most powerful things you can do, because when you help them they will want to help you reach your goals.
Howard Partridge, author of The Power of Community: How Phenomenal Leaders Inspire Their Teams, Wow Their Customers, And Make Bigger Profits and founder of Phenomenal Products, annually provides seminars to thousands of small business owners. He has served over 1,000 coaching clients in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Costa Rica, Holland, and the U.K. through his exclusive Howard Partridge Inner Circle Coaching Community.