Somewhere between writing loans, hiring staff, mentoring new recruits, handling disputes, managing clients, attending PD days and planning your business strategy… you might come to the realisation that you can’t do it all on your own. Business coach Lynda Bayada explains how you can find the best new leaders to help you run your brokerage (and keep your sanity).
Know what you want
Possibly easier said than done. Figuring out who can help you take your business where you want it to go is not a simple matter of identifying your best brokers, says Bayada.
Think carefully about the type of culture you want to build in your business, work to embody this yourself, and then look for employees that fit with this culture.
“If you’re going to step into the role of the leader then you have to make sure that you’re actually prepared to and are carrying out the actions that you want someone else to emulate,” she says. “Always start with yourself, and then that will give you an idea of what you want to see in your young leaders coming through.”
This is also an opportunity to discover what your weaknesses are, to look for ways to improve and to identify how new leaders in your business can help you to do this, says Bayada.
Have a structure
Once you've identified the staff members that are best placed to help you to lead your team it's time to delegate and define their new role - and systems and expectations need to be clear from the outset.
Schedule regular meetings to check up with how your new leaders are doing, says Bayada, but beware the dangers of meetings for meeting's sake. Carefully define the goals you hope to achieve before entering each meeting, and list the outcomes once each meeting has ended.
Using positive language, as well as remembering to recognise achievements, also go a long way in a new leader’s success, says Bayada.
“It sounds really simple but I think companies are lacking in that. They’re always really quick to point out what we’re doing wrong instead of what we’re doing right.”
Do it as a team
While it’s great to find a young leader that can take some of the weight off your shoulders, if staff also receive support from their colleagues, the effect of this will be much more profound.
“It’s not about one-upmanship or pitting one person against another, it’s really being able to come together and say ‘this is what I’m doing and I’m finding it works really well’,” says Bayada.
The first step to creating this kind of culture involves sitting down with your team and together identifying the values that you want to see in your business, she says.
“What happens is when you form the vision and the values together as a team the commitment and the buy-in from the members of the team is much stronger and they feel like they’re accountable to everyone else.”
From there it’s important to meet together again at regular intervals and when any major events happen, such as hiring a new member of staff, to recalibrate and ensure everyone is still moving in the same direction.
Learn to let go
If you’re used to doing everything for yourself, it can be difficult to trust that someone else will do the job as well as you have been.
The thing to understand, says Bayada, is that you have had help up until now, in many areas of your business, and that you will continue to need it as your business grows.
“Nobody that is running a business or is an entrepreneur has done it entirely on their own, and as soon as they see that the strings start to loosen a little.”
To make it work takes constant practice, and learning to place trust both in other people and in your own decisions.
For business owners who find this particularly difficult, it can help to focus on what you’re losing by micromanaging your employees, rather than what you might lose if it goes wrong, says Bayada.
“At the end of the day you have to realise that if you’re not delegating then you’re actually working in your business and not on your business… you’re losing time for working on strategy, for building relationships or contacts, designing new systems.
“You have to start thinking about what it could mean for the business. Put a dollar figure around that if you need to so you can start to see in concrete terms what you're losing."
What do you struggle with when finding mentors or leaders to help you in your business? What have you found works well? And what doesn't?
Lynda Bayada, coach, consultant and facilitator, aims to increase profits and productivity through the development of our young and emerging leaders in our SMEs. For further details on how she can help you, visit; www.resoulve.com.au.