Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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It Can Be Lonely at the Top - Does It Have To Be?

by Richard Avdoian

As we enter the final weeks before the end of the year, business owners are busy trying to end the year on a positive note.

It is also the time to begin reviewing whether they met, exceeded or fell short of goals set for 2018. Time to determine whether good decisions were made, evaluate leadership and employee performances, and identify areas and procedures that failed to produce positive productive results.

The good news is you do not have to do this alone. It doesn’t have to rest entirely on your shoulders. In fact, there are several reasons you shouldn’t. Involving and listening to both your employees and your customers can provide great insight and positive ideas.

It is as simple as asking employees:
- Do they have the skills, equipment, information and resources to meet the assigned tasks? When tasks are assigned to employees and they lack the capability, knowledge or resources to complete them, they will eventually get frustrated and discouraged, and in time you will as well. Spend time with the entire team to share your vision and provide opportunities for the employees to learn. You will benefit from hearing their concerns, needs and suggestions that can be incorporated into the 2019 goals and enhance productivity and profitability.

- Do they understand the value of their role to complete critical tasks? If they do not feel or witness your motivation and devotion to the business, they will likely not be actively engaged. Employees’ motivation feeds off the motivation of the leaders and owners. Asking for feedback and suggestions to enhance employee and customer engagement will create a “we” culture. By taking the time, being receptive and actually listening, you might hear some great innovative ideas, witness some employees exposing unknown skills and talents, and identify your own personal learning needs. Let’s face it: They are the ones actually in the trenches doing all the work.

Talk to your identified customers and ask:

- Are our products and services still relative and desired? You may learn the company is wasting time, money and resources on items that are no longer desired or are outdated.

- Are there products and services you need that we are not providing? This may lead to creating additional revenue.

These customers will feel appreciated, and their input can prove to be extremely beneficial when you are planning 2019 goals. It may also strengthen customer loyalty and excite them to speak highly of and spread the word about the company, possibly leading to new customers.

These examples of communicating are all based on listening. Truly effective leaders are always open to candid feedback, know what they know and don’t know, and have mastered listening.

So, the decision is yours: Either saddle it all alone or ask and involve your employees and customers.

Richard Avdoian is president/CEO of the Midwest Business Institute Inc., a business consulting and training firm. For information about training and seminars, contact Richard at 618-972-8588 or Richard@RichardAvdoian.com.


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