How to Discover Where You Suck as a Business Owner | biocentrism |

No business owner is perfect. Those who believe they are, suffer from strong delusions, and will sooner or later be blindsided, and ultimately pay a high price for being so delusional.

No matter how good we think we might be as business owners, it always pays to obtain second and even third opinions, as to how we are really performing, or being perceived to be performing, as business owners.

The key areas to examine in order to determine where you might actually need to improve as a business owner, are in the areas of what type of boss you are, how effective you are in inspiring your employees through your leadership behaviours, and how timely you act in obtaining and allocating the resources necessary for your business to operate efficiently.

Bosses come in all shapes, sizes and demeanours. Some are well rounded, others less so. Some are well educated and also well versed in management and leadership theory, whilst others practice their own less informed and often misguided versions. Some are inspirational, whilst others actively work hard at discouraging employee engagement with their businesses. Some provide everything their employees need to operate efficiently and effectively, whilst others run their businesses on the smell of an oily rag, and lag well behind in introducing technological solutions to common operational practices.

Regardless of where you think you sit, your judgement is likely to be clouded by your own ego, your perceptions of the world, your level of understanding of changes happening in the environment external to your business, and the nature of your own employees relevant to those employees in other businesses.

To get a reality check, and find out conclusively where you need to make improvements in order to become a better business owner, there are a number of approaches you can take and sometimes a combination of different approaches may be in order.

The following approaches are some of the more common;

1) Seek direct feedback from your immediate reports by asking what they would like to see you do more of, and what they would like to see you do less of, in respect to how you go about your role as a business owner.

2) Utilise the services of a mentor to provide guidance as to effective management and leadership behaviours, and to provide feedback as to whether or not your present performance, aligns closely enough to your mentor’s ideal.

3) Undertake, with the assistance of a Human Resource professional, a full and formal 360 Review process to get accurate feedback from peers, immediate reports, employees, vendors, key customers and business associates as to how your performance is perceived.

4) Engage a business adviser to analyse your business performance to identify areas where improvement in business owner knowledge and skills will be beneficial to the future performance of the business, and to provide an impartial but critical view of what areas of personal improvement as a business owner, require immediate action.

5) Undertake formal study to improve your management and leadership knowledge and to learn how much you don’t actually know, and how this lack of knowledge is affecting your performance as a business owner.

Once you have a realistic view of the areas in which you are strong, and the areas where improvement will benefit your business, it is then time to act accordingly. Always remember that one snapshot in time, is not the end of such a review process. A good business owner will constantly be reviewing and seeking to continually improve their performance, and that of their business.

Via Daniel Watson, Rui Quintino