Can you handle authority?
Seriously… can you?
Authority, if handled without thought and care, can be a dangerous and damaging thing. Some entrepreneurs let it go straight to their heads and order people around while others recklessly disregard it and act like one of their employees. Others use it to delegate and enable their employees. I want you to be the latter.
With even just a smidgen of authority comes great responsibility. And the more successful you become as an entrepreneur, the more authority people will give you. Notice how I said “people will give you”. Without you even realizing it, as you accomplish feats as an entrepreneur, people will start to admire your skill set and consider you the authority when it comes to whatever niche it is you operate within. They will listen to your every word, follow your routines and document your habits in business. This can be a great thing, or a very dangerous thing if you aren’t cognizant of it.
So, to be sure that you can handle authority, there are five things you must be acutely aware of when running your business.
5 Keys to Getting the Most Out of Your Authority
You’re Not That Smart
Understand that you aren’t as smart as you may think you are, so check your ego at the door. By being open to new ideas, strategies and losing the ‘my way or the highway approach‘ you will attract and retain top talent, increase productivity within your company and establish a culture of innovation. Variety is the spice of life and as a leader you need to crave others’ opinions. Jaggi Vasudev once said that “the sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in life.”
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Admit Your Mistakes
As I mentioned in a post earlier in the week, mistakes are fantastic teachers. Showing humility to your team by owning your mistakes builds a company of accountable employees. It also builds confidence among your team to take smart risks and innovate.
Be The First in And Last Out
No one wants to put in extra hours and effort if their boss routinely arrives at 9 and is gone golfing by 2. Lead by example and show your team what hard work truly is. Watching a leader work their ass off is incredibly inspiring; it demonstrates that there is a higher purpose in your company than just earning a pay cheque.
Assign Incredibly Important Jobs to Others
Your employees need to feel as important as you. They need to know that you trust them or they will have no loyalty. Employees need to understand that their job is just as important to the company’s prosperity as yours.
Assign incredibly important jobs to employees as often as possible. Whether it be leading the Monday morning meeting or meeting your high value clients for dinner, put your employees in when the game is on the line.
There are tremendous benefits to this for your company as well as yourself. By assigning employees to do critical tasks, you can focus on innovating and potentially start a new venture on the side. After all, the goal as an entrepreneur is start multiple businesses. Giving your employees important jobs allows you to free up time and pursue new objectives. It also allows you to find out the true character and work ethic within your team and determine who is in line for a promotion.
At All Cost, Avoid Yes-Men
Suck ups will ruin you. And constant flattery should always be questioned. A yes-man will provide absolutely no value to your organization and in fact, become a hindrance to your growth. If you are in search of flattery, give your head a shake. Being an entrepreneur is about hard work and humility (see point 1 and 2). A Yes-man will tell you whatever you want to hear and provide absolutely no value to your organization. Avoid them like the plague.
Authority can be a dangerous thing. As an entrepreneur, recognize that fact. Understand that as your company grows, the only way for it to continue to thrive is for others to eventually fill your shoes. In order for others to fill your shoes, you must delegate, admit mistakes, encourage innovation, surround yourself with people who will challenge you and lead by example. Remember these five keys so you get the most out of your authoritative position as an entrepreneur.