June 15, 2018
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartAfter many years of working with and mentoring business owners, I’ve concluded there is a surprising set of skills that are key to the success of any business career, regardless of the sector or industry you are in.

Over the next few months, I’ll chat about some of these key skills. I encourage you to make the time to sit and ponder where your strengths are in regards to each of them. There’s always room for improvement. By having strengths in each of these skills, you will bring a broad-based value to your company as it grows and matures to its next level.

After having spent several full-day workshops last winter focusing on building teams, onboarding and improving people management systems, of my top 10 skills, I’ll discuss the skill of engagement this month.

A fully engaged business owner includes three main actions as a part of their daily habits:
  1. Proactively recruits new people to the team, keeping their eye on the horizon to balance the emerging needs of the business with the emerging needs of the team. Recruiting has become one of the most important internal activities in most businesses. Creativity, diligence and perseverance are all required in order to proactively build a right fit team at the right time. When new recruits move through the onboarding system, there can be unanticipated strengths and talent that emerge. An engaged entrepreneur notices and adapts constantly.
  2. Continuously considers their role as the lead company mentor to people at all levels of the business. Mentoring is one of the key strategies to engage people — especially Millennials. Inspire, engage and tuck them under your wing. Challenge their thinking, give them small projects, demonstrate excellence hands, giving them something to strive for. There are countless ways to make the time as a mentor. Set the example and engage employees at every level within your company. Put yourself in their shoes. Who mentored you to set you off on your current path? Who gave you a bit of special attention or an unexpected compliment? Who passed on what they knew because they saw the potential in you? Become that person for someone else.
  3. Efficiently provides meaningful training opportunities for staff, with an open-door policy for asking questions without fear of ridicule or reprimand. The only thing worse than feeling like you need to ask a dumb question is not asking it to save yourself the embarrassment — and then making an inexcusable or costly mistake on the job. Training is an ongoing activity that has to be meaningful, effective, timely and consistent between employees/teams.

An engaged boss ensures they effectively manage the moving parts of the business, with an eye on the big picture. They enable their team to be aligned with one another and continually communicate the targeted company results to everyone with transparency and resolve. They encourage positive accountability at all levels, which most particularly starts with holding him/herself fully accountable to the stated company values and vision.

Even at the busiest time of the year, seasoned business owners and managers have developed the wisdom and skills to step back from the busy day-to-day tactical duties and consider their own role as an important part of leading the team.

Keep your eye on the prize!

Jacki Hart may be reached at info.peertopeer@landscapeontario.com.