If you were to describe yourself as a business owner to another business owner, how would you do it?
Would you say you’re a great leader of people, who never has a problem, who thrives under pressure and is always a success? Would you say how much good you have done for your company and your team, how much money you have made, who you have met, who you have influenced and how great it is being you?
I guarantee that out of every 20 business owners you talk to, 95% of them would give you a story about their business and their job, similar to the terms in the paragraph above - it’s great, all is well, everything is fabulous! It’s a ‘Fake it till you make it’ syndrome for most, but for some of them it’s true, and huge respect to them!
The reason I ask is that as a business owner/MD, my business isn’t always fantastic.
I have great months - fabulous months in terms of revenue, people and success - but I also have OK months, catastrophic months and quarters, cash flow issues, client issues, people issues, and confidence issues with my own performance. My emotions are up and down in turn with these months; it effects my home life, my health, how much I eat and drink and I have sleepless nights.
So, I ask you this, when was the last time you were vulnerable with another business owner? Yes, it takes authenticity, yes being the one that goes ‘first’ sometimes is very scary, it takes courage (see TED Talk below) but you may just be able to help someone move forward; you may have the one answer that helps that person make the change they need to overcome their challenge that month, and make their life easier. And do you know what, it might work the other way around too? The help you have been seeking is a conversation away if you’re brave enough!
I want to share this TED Talk where Brené Brown studies human connection and vulnerability: www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability In this video Brown says to have courage, the word being derived from the French word “Coeur” meaning “of the heart”; it simply means to tell a story with your whole heart, or to be vulnerable in its telling.
There is real power here, power for each and every one of us, not just the business owner - do you let your leaders and your team be vulnerable? Can they learn from their mistakes without fear of reprisal? Can they be innovative and creative? Are you an employer that encourages autonomy, individual thought?
Maybe you need to look at your teams’ wellbeing, your leaders’ wellbeing, your own wellbeing, and remember that it takes courage as a leader to care, to give a damn.
We have a wellbeing, emotional engagement arm of the RSE Group where we can measure your teams’ or an individual’s wellbeing; this helps improve your organisation’s performance by reducing sickness absence, staff attrition and accidents in the workplace. We all need more productivity and less of these don’t we? If you’d like to know more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01424 830000.