Are You an Agent of Change?
Imagine you are at a networking meeting and you hear two men talking about their monumental amount of work, the lack of support from their staff, and they feel powerless to speak up and change the system.
Now, what would you think if you knew these two men were actually the owners of the very businesses they are complaining about?
In a 2009 study (The Leadership Gap) conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the top ten skills needed to be an effective leader is managing change. Many established small business owners keep their vision limited and avoid challenging their status quo.
Frankly, it is easy to get into a rut. The day-to-day operations command our attention. Did all of the invoices go out? Are we collecting money owed to us? Have I paid the bills? Oh, and do I have to check my email right now? What meetings are on today? Should I really hire an administrative assistant? When are taxes due? And there is that project deadline. When running a lean organization, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks.
But ruts set the stage for complacency. Complacency becomes the death spiral for what used to be your dream. No one starts a business to get stuck on the mundane stuff. When we spend all of our time focused on operations, we lose sight of the business vision. The energy and enthusiasm we need to innovate internally and externally is sucked away.
How do you support yourself as a change agent for your small business?
Get out of your comfort zone. Do something you don’t normally do, even if it is unrelated to your business. Learn a language, explore a musical instrument, attend an unfamiliar networking group, hire a coach, join a mastermind group, or take a class or seminar. Looking at the world through a different lens refreshes your perspective and provides relief from stress.
Check your assumptions. It is easy to be in the mindset of “should-ing” on yourself. One of my clients found this to be a source of paralysis for her. She really thought that telling herself that she should be doing one thing or another for business development would motivate her. However, she was really accomplishing very little. After removing “should” from her vocabulary, she found her ideal customers and expanded her business. What beliefs are stopping you?
Change is a constant. How do you keep refreshed and engaged?