How To Take More Time Off As A Business Owner
Something I keep coming across with my new clients is the common theme of – never being able to take a holiday or even a day off. They fear that if they are not there everything will fall apart. And worryingly – sometimes it does.
Why does this happen?
Generally, it is because the people involved are either not confident, or not motivated to execute decisions without the boss being there. They don’t want to get it wrong, so they don’t make a decision. Or they don’t really care. Possibly – they have had a bad experience of being criticised or even penalised for getting something wrong, so they would rather not try. The root of these problems is often the same thing. The leader has not developed themselves to the point where they can develop their teams.
The Accidental Leader
No – I’m not referring to the accident-prone. What I mean is that much of the time people who end up as leaders got there accidentally. They did not intend to ‘be a manager’, perhaps they never thought of themselves in that way or it wasn’t an ambition of theirs.
However, they were good at what they did, maybe one of the best, and so they got promoted. Or they decided to open up a business for themselves doing the thing they were brilliant at. Whichever way it went – they ended up managing other people. And they had probably never been trained in how to do that.
You see, there are some (not many) people who are ‘natural leaders’, but even the natural leaders benefit from having some training and development.
Here’s the thing! Most people are not natural leaders, let’s be honest. And so, what happens is – they suddenly find themselves managing people with no real clue how to do it. And they are busy. Busy learning their new job or learning how to run a company. There is so much to do, they suddenly need to master a whole new set of skills and learn about things they never needed to know before when they were just ‘doing’ the job.
They need to know about the finance, the IT systems, the suppliers, the marketing, reporting at a different level. They need to find out more about how business in general works, not just their previously tiny part of it.
And the thing they don’t have time to do (or think they don’t have time to do) is to develop their team. And they are quite right. They need to focus on developing themselves first before they will learn how to manage themselves and train up their future leaders.
The Enlightened Leader
The temptation, if the business owner is enlightened enough to have the foresight to understand that the team needs developing – is to put those people on a ‘management’ course. But how is that supposed to work, if they themselves have never been on such a course?
What happens is the newly educated team leaders come back into the business with some great ideas and the manager won’t let them implement anything – because they haven’t been on the course!
And this is why things go wrong and they work too hard and can’t have a day off.
You see – they DO need to train their leaders / future leaders, but they ALSO need to train themselves. On an airplane they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first otherwise you won’t be able to help others. Well, the same applies in business. If you sort out your own development- then you will have the skills and knowledge to develop others.
If you are really clever though, you can do both at the same time. This not only saves time on the learning curve, but it also means everyone is learning together, setting goals and plans in place together and working as a true team.
In response to this very common problem, I have developed a bespoke team performance course, which incorporates training and development for you AND your leaders or future leaders in the business. If you would like more details email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
And meanwhile – book yourself some time off – you deserve it!