12
Oct
09

Is it time to take back control of your company?

take-controlCompanies evolve. At any given time there are forces at work that influence the speed, performance and direction of your company – not to mention your effectiveness as a leader. The current players on your team may be just the right mix of personalities and abilities. They are a dynamic and determined group that keeps the company energized and its culture pristine. (Every leader remembers that perfect team and how it performed.) Likewise, your current players may not represent the best mix of personalities and abilities. Things move agonizingly slow, drama is a daily occurrence, and your job as leader just isn’t fun anymore. The economy is an ever-present force that either works for you or against you. As a leader, how do you capitalize on the opportunities and respond to the threats?

And then there is you – the leader. The forces of constantly shifting company culture as employees come and go, the shifting economy, and competitors that are really on their game, all have an impact on how you lead. When things are humming along just right, you may get too comfortable and dial down the intensity of your game more than you should. (Just so you know, it happens to every leader.) The question is how long will it take you to dial up your intensity and re-ignite your company’s competitive fire? How long will it take to re-plot the company’s course? How long will it take to make those tough decisions that didn’t seem so critical in the good times?

So, is it time to take back control of your company? Consider the following questions:

  • Have you gotten too disconnected? It’s easy for leaders to be immersed in new projects and growth endeavors. It’s also easy for leaders to get lazy. When either situation occurs, the culture of the company wanders, the wrong behaviors set in and performance stalls. One of my favorite Neilisms is: “There is no auto-pilot setting for creating and maintaining a sense of urgency.” If you’ve become disconnected, it is time to take back control of your company. If you don’t, someone else will.
  • Have you given up too much control? With the best intentions, you may have given an individual or members of your leadership more control and responsibility then they were prepared to assume. They may not totally understand your vision and your dream of where you want to take your company. Simply put, you gave up too much control and your company is paying dearly for it. Your company needs its leader. It’s time to take back control.
  • Are you in over your head? Mel Toomey of the Center for Leadership Studies told me, “Leadership needs to be classified and treated as a profession.” Think about it: How many leaders of companies were trained to be leaders? How many entrepreneurs were fortunate to have “the right stuff” in contrast to the majority that drown in their leadership roles? If you’re getting beat up as a leader and fell out of love with the role, it’s time to learn the skills of leadership and take back control of your company. Get into a serious leadership program and hire a coach to accelerate the process. I can help you become a no-compromise leader. Email me at neil@strategies.com.
  • Are you overwhelmed? Growing a successful business in today’s economy is a high-risk and unforgiving game. You can’t cherry pick the responsibilities you assume as leader. You have to play the game all the way. You have to challenge yourself to live outside your comfort zone. You must flip your switch from “I don’t like numbers” to “I will learn and lead my company by the numbers.” You must flip your switch from “I don’t like confrontation” to “I coach people to reach their full potential.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed, your company is paying the price. Fear, self-doubt and procrastination fuel feelings of being overwhelmed. Taking steps in the right direction and experiencing positive results quickly evaporates being overwhelmed.

Yes, chances are you need to take back control of your company. Chances are your employees and your desire to be the leader you envision yourself to be are waiting for you to engage. Here’s some motivation: The clock is ticking. Engage!

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership

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