Terri is an expert on business growth... she is respectfully referred to as the Business Growth Guru...
An honour to have Terri provide a guest blog today-
here is her blog:
One of the questions that I have been asked time and again during my years of business coaching is: How do I take my business growth to the next level?
I love this question, because regardless of who is asking or what their business does, the answers are almost always the same: Coach your team (don't "manage" them), follow a simple set of rules for growth, and (above all) make sure to avoid burnout (for you and your team.) With these goals in mind, growing a business can be simple - if you allow it to be. These are some of the core principles around which I have built my Business Growth System, www.thebusinessgrowthsystem.com, and I want to share them with you!
When one of my coaching clients asks me to help them grow their business, one of the first things I ask about is how they handle their team. And as soon as they use the word "manage," I stop them. To grow your business, you need to a strong team behind you (even if it's just one or two other people.) To make sure your team is strong, trained and ready to give you 100%, then you need to STOP managing them. Coach them for success!
By giving feedback to your team as a coach, you accomplish a number of very important things. You will learn what your employees want, and how to reward them - raising morale. You will quickly learn how best to provide training and feedback to each member of your team: since everyone learns differently, taking the time to personalize your conversations will provide a huge boost to productivity. More effective training sessions are also going start you on the road to turning a medium-performance team member into a high-powered machine (though I will readily admit that this can be a long road, the results are certainly worth it!)
If you start coaching your team, and stop managing them, you will begin to see all of the positive changes I just mentioned, and - more importantly - you will shift your company's culture for the better. You will go from a "Manager-Employee" relationship where you may spend a good portion of your day checking up on people, to actually seeing relevant, positive changes in your team's performance and behavior.
Once my Business Growth System clients have their teams humming like a finely-tuned machine, the other top thing I keep them watching for is burnout. Regardless of the size of the company, this is a pitfall that I have seen far too many business owners struggling to climb out of. Burnout will not only kill morale, it will annihilate productivity and completely undo the benefits of any positive growth you have seen.
While you may be tempted to believe that putting every waking moment into working on your job is a good way to get things done, this is the easiest way to burn yourself out. Also, having that attitude as the business owner will lead to its being adopted by the best members of your team as well. If you and your team are "taking your work home with you," the long-term effects will actually result in a decrease in productivity. And when I say "taking work home with you," I don't mean just bringing that stack of paperwork home to complete after dinner: Simply keeping work as your mind's after-hours focus will lead to the same kind of mental exhaustion.
This is not always an easy thing to overcome. During your off-hours, you may put a lot of time into thinking about your job. You may worry about whether you will get something done on time, or the overall quality of your work. This can lead you to become overly stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. You may become more fatigued by your work when you are thinking about it and worrying about it than when you are actually doing your job.
For my Business Growth System clients who are either burned out or on their way to a burnout, I have them spend a few days actively recognizing the "after-hours" time that they spend thinking about work. Once the severity of the problem is recognized, we work to find other ways for them to spend that time. This may sound simplified, but I assure you the easiest way to break the "over thinking" chains is to actively (and at times forcibly) engage in other, healthier activities. Read for pleasure (no business books!), focus on friends and family, take up a hobby or sport, or simply spend some time "unloading" your mind, and relax! A short Yoga session would be a perfect fit, or simply taking the time to breathe and stretch. The key to all of this is to take the time (during the work day!) to ensure that your team is following your example!
These suggestions to guard against burnout may seem obvious, but here is the big secret: You have to ACTIVELY pursue these recommendations. It's not enough to simply recognize them as good ideas. For many of my coaching clients, I go so far as to put time (10-15 minutes is enough) daily on their calendars to focus on ensuring their team is well-balanced and happy, and as far from burnout as possible.
|Terri Levine- Business Growth Expert and Author|
Using these quick tips as a starting point, you (and your team) will start each new work day feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally refreshed. You will have more to give to your job when you are refreshed. You will be more motivated, more energetic, and more productive. And at the end of it all, an enthusiastic and productive team is more important than almost anything else in achieving the growth your business deserves.
Business and executive coach Terri Levine, PhD is an experienced entrepreneur and assists entrepreneur-owned growth businesses worldwide as a business and executive coach and marketing consultant. Terri's most recent project is "Terri Levine's Business Growth System," www.thebusinessgrowthsystem.com"
Find out more about Terri's incredible books, a great addition for your business and team reading library:
Thanks Terri for an awesome blog, and sharing your tips and expertise with us!