These are Figurehead leaders. They give orders – directives – to others. They expect their instructions to be followed.
Your employees are an amazingly agreeable lot, aren’t they? They’ve got your message loud and clear.
Your staff won’t question your judgment because they are afraid to cause conflict. They want to retain their jobs. Your employment helps them care of their families.
You are a small business leader of sheep. By design. That’s not leadership at all.
You see, your employees have insights to share with you which are critical to the growth, expansion and sustainability of your business. They are your company’s feet on the ground; they listen to the voice of your customer base .
Except they feel marginalized by you. They are only members of your small business flock.
You see, your staff members second-guess your directives amongst themselves. Because they are afraid to upset you, the Figurehead leader.
Sure your door is always open. Except that your team won’t cross that threshold unless they have no other option.
Which usually means that something’s gone wrong. Someone screwed up somewhere.
When you are a small business leader of sheep, there’s no opportunity for dialogue and honest communication between your team.
You have not only marginalized your employees. You have marginalized yourself from the business equation.
When you are a small business leader of sheep, it’s all about you and your figurehead leadership style. It should be all about your customers, including your internal customers – your staff.
The best way to shepherd others is to give them the opportunity to become part of the bigger picture: the business picture for your company. That strategy means giving up your own need to be The Figurehead.
The best way to escape from being a small business leader of sheep is to open up the conversation to everyone seated around your small business table. Take heed of the ideas presented, instead of criticizing the comments shared.
If you suspect that you are a small business leader of sheep, your suspicions might be due to a spiraling sales funnel, lack of productivity and loss of revenue. Your team is not only complacent, they’ve lost hope of being heard.
When your staff realizes they are nothing more than a bunch of sheep, they may have other thoughts on the subject. You see, when you hired them, they wanted to become a Businessperson of Worth.
Take a good look at your business model and leadership style this week. Are you the figurehead small business leader of hired sheep? It doesn’t have to be that way, if you want to sustain your business.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a professional development coach and management consultant. She develops Team Playbooks for startups and recalibrates small to medium size companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams. Then she brings these Playbooks to life.
Babette was named a Social Selling 2015 Top50 Influencer and a 2014 Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer. Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales World. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.