Rules of Thumb Every Business Coach and Mentor Should Consider
Every interaction with your employees is an opportunity for you to demonstrate by words, actions, and silence (if you are in listening mode) that you are a great leader, business coach and mentor. You should always be looking for opportunities to show appreciation to your employees by praising them, implementing and acknowledging their ideas, rewarding them, and providing recognition. At the same time, you need to serve as business coach and mentor and be fair and consistent in your approach. Here are a few good rules of thumb to consider with every employee exchange:
Hold Them Accountable
If your employee agrees to a deadline, make sure they stick to it. Inspect what you expect. If you delegate and don’t follow up, you are sending the message that you don’t really care.
Turn Mistakes into Lessons
If an employee makes a mistake, don’t tear into him, but make sure he fesses up to it and works to repair it. Nobody is perfect and he or she will never perform exactly the same way that you would. Embrace everyone’s style. If a person gets to 80% of how you would handle it, you’ve got a winner on your team. Those who take responsibility learn from their errors and do better next time. They will prove to be some of your best leaders as time goes on.
Groom Other Leaders
If you elevate and train your team to take on increased responsibility and move up the ladder, you will be freed up to do even more innovative things and will have someone to cover for you when you need to be involved elsewhere. To scale, you need to ultimately replicate yourself, so this is how that process begins. You will also be surrounded by other leaders, which will create a powerful organization and a motivated culture.
Stretch Your Team Outside of Their Comfort Zones
Just as you need to stretch yourself to grow, so does your team. If you want them to help you scale, they must be willing to expand their capabilities and confidence. The only way to do this is to request they do things that are scary or outside of their skill sets. Initially they may say, “No, I don’t want to!” Then, if they accept the challenge and go for it, they will experience that over-the-moon sense of accomplishment. As a leader you also stand in the role of business coach and mentor, and that is one of the most rewarding parts of scaling your business.
Admit Your Own Mistakes
A great leader is honest and takes responsibility for his or her shortcomings. Nobody’s perfect, and you need to set a good example.
You are the culmination of the five people you surround yourself with most. This also applies to your team! I believe the expression, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If you support continuing education for your team, then you will elevate your employees and your company as a whole. If your team members aren’t growing, then they will become bored and stagnant. We are all here on this Earth to grow. You must be the leader who gives them the tools to rise up, even if it means some expense and some days when the person will be away from the office.
By listening intently to a complaint or dealing with a problem sooner rather than later, you can turn an upset person into a raving fan in a moment. You can also make the necessary changes to avoid this issue in the future. Pick up the phone or deal with the conflict in person, and never handle it by email or via text.
Don’t Make Excuses
Instead of making excuses that the employee doesn’t care about, come clean: “I’m sorry about this, John. I should have gotten to this sooner. This report is important. I’ll send you my thoughts by Friday. Thank you for being so patient.” Then, guess what? Make sure you write a thoughtful response by Friday!
Keep Your Word No Matter What
When you say you are going to do something for a client or employee, keep your promise and follow through. Nothing creates distrust faster than flaky people. If a problem arises and something is out of your control, then come clean and do everything in your power to make it right. This is one of my company’s core values: Keep your word always. If we make a promise and then realize that we made a mistake—even if we will lose money or a great deal of time—we keep that promise, regardless. Integrity builds a strong team, trust, and a referral community. Broken promises create a reputation that you don’t want following you.
Protect Your Team
Do not tolerate people being rude or mean-spirited to your employees. If you stand up for them, then they will respect your leadership like nobody’s business.
Lastly: Be real. Be genuine. Be authentic. Give your employees the opportunity to see you as you really are. It’s your business, so you don’t need to posture or pretend you are someone that you’re not. If you are honest and transparent with your team, they will work hard and pay you back in dividends.
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.
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