Mirror, Mirror

by T Taylor

Working at the world’s top seminar company in the ‘80s taught me something: You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.

Now as a leader of my own companies, I’ve learned something else: Your businesses’ health and well-being is staring at you in the mirror. Lesson one is even more poignant as tired, old finger pointing only makes the real point more obvious. It’s you.

Sure, this assumes you run a small, entrepreneurial business. This also assumes you can think of a hundred little things that others are doing that need to change, so when you are done venting, let’s get real. Your business culture starts with you and is driven by you. You are responsible.

“Wait,” you may be saying, “my business is run by directors and managers and I’m not responsible for their jobs.” Really, who is?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the leader of them all?

Start with yourself. You certainly don’t have to be a megalomaniac here, so relax. Leadership is your job. And leading doesn’t mean managing all the details. It simply means taking the initiative to enlist the support of others to achieve a common goal or task.

Of course, how you do this is the trick. There are good and bad leaders, and we all know them when we see them.

What are the characteristics of a good leader?

Clear vision. Passion with mission and authenticity with people. The ability to lead by example (actions really do speak louder than words). Oh yeah, throw in a healthily dose of humility and grace for the ride.

Maybe you know this already. If so, you know what to do. If not, take another long look into the mirror and see who really needs to change…

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”
—Ken Kesey