Leadership is about letting go…
To say it has been interesting spending the last three months off full time work due to illness, is an understatement. Due to a non-planned operation last November I was forced to go “cold turkey” away from work. I wasn’t well enough to do anything associated with the day to day operation of the accountancy practice, Hamilton Taggart Business Advisors.
As a business owner and ultimately the leader of the business it is “my responsibility” to ensure the business is run efficiently to successfully achieve outcomes for clients and stakeholders. For those who aren’t aware of my leadership style, I would describe myself as a hands on directional business leader and someone who likes to get involved and lead by example.
Prior to my absence the accountancy practice was a well-run efficient business, with me being part of the team. As the owner & leader of the practice I had a role within the business, but I wasn’t the whole business. I was aware of my role and responsibilities and I worked hard to be an effective team member.
Business owners can forget that the majority of day to day operations of their business are successfully undertaken by their team and without any direct input or involvement from them. As the owner of the business you are aware of what is going on and if required could step in and get involved. But in reality the leader needs to be focused on their role of creating a clear direction.
After 30 years in business, you can sometimes take things for granted. I thought I was always going to be there. Isn’t it interesting how Murphy’s Law gets involved when you think something will never happen to you?
Being absent and having no involvement in the business meant that what was happening day to day within Hamilton Taggart Business Advisors was out of my control.
I have always been aware of the skills and resources within our team and my absence forced me to completely let go and trust the team. This time away has allowed me some thinking time and I have found myself thinking about my leadership role and direction of the business. Most business owners don’t get the chance to spend three months away from their business.
I can report that Melanie Hamilton took control and with the help of the team is effortlessly running the business in my absence. The team at Hamilton Taggart Business Advisors has always been focused on creating systems and procedures to improve client outcomes. These systems and procedures kicked into overdrive and everyone in the business got involved and took on extra responsibility.
Often when I speak with business owners they say they are too busy on a day to day basis to have any free time to think about the future direction of their business and their role is as leader. As the leader of your business you can make a choice to change. I encourage you to talk with your team about how you can all work together for your business to run efficiently and effortlessly and deliver better outcomes for your customers or clients. Encourage your staff and work with them.
The right people in the right seats on the bus: That metaphor from the first Jim Collins bestseller ‘Good to Great’ has always resonated with me. It refers to having the right people within your business performing the roles they are best suited for within the business. Leadership in part, is about ensuring you have the right people in the right seats. Having this in place at Hamilton Taggart Business Advisors has allowed me peace of mind during my absence.
As a business leader have you thought about how your business would operate with you absent for one month? Two months?