Things to look for in your management team
December 19, 2011
Small business owners need to be leaders, at least to the extent that their managers maintain loyalty and channel their operational command. In that sense, it's important for business owners to recognize the extent to which they're able to lead. While entrepreneurs are, almost by definition, self-motivated and driven, that does not always translate to effective motivational skills. In fact, it can very easily lead to a form of narcissism.
"Some entrepreneurs are so in love with themselves (narcissistic) that they insist on answering every question, and making every decision," reports Marty Zwilling for Young Entrepreneur. "That’s not only impossible, but also counterproductive. Effective entrepreneurs team with or employ people who can provide the answers directly, pertinent to their particular area of expertise."
So how can business owners find the right type of managers and leaders to help run their company? The trick is not so much in recruiting as it is in looking for a few basic characteristics. Here are some of them.
The people with whom you surround yourself should be making comments and suggesting new ideas on a near constant basis. They should complement your style and be able to fill in your weaknesses.
"You're teaming with people who are smarter than you, you should be frequently surprised with their new ideas and solutions," writes Zwelling. "You will be constantly learning from them."
Is passionate and optimistic
You are naturally passionate about your business because you built it from the ground up. While it may be a bit much to expect the same level of enthusiasm from those around you, you can certainly promote such an outlook and seek a reliable and consistent level of devotion, especially from your subordinates. They should be able to accept criticism - and dish it too. Yet they should also speak confidently of their ideas and the business.
While you should also be a strong listener, it helps to have a team of confidants who will acknowledge your ideas and work to improve them.
"Look for team members who are active listeners, where you can see yourself seeking them out for answers, rather than always the other way around," Zwelling adds. "It's great to team with inexperienced people who are growing so fast, that you can envision working for them soon, or having them take the helm of your business."