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"Are you leaning on your team?" with Rosa Ponce de Leon, Leadership Strategist

Are you leaning on your team?

One mistake a lot of business owners make is trying to do everything themselves. While surely you have some incredible capabilities, doing it all yourself is a one way ticket to the path of burnout. And as amazing as you are, it’s impossible to be an expert in everything you do. And that’s why you’ve hired a team, right?

“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” ― Henry Ford

Why it’s important to lean on your team…

Lean on your team so that they can support you. This doesn’t happen unless you’ve taken the time to get to know your employees, on more than just a superficial level. By getting to know the people on your team, they get to know you too!

When they know you, they pay attention to the things you need, your likes and dislikes. You and your team can work cohesively when they know you and your values. This also allows them to address little problems before they get to you or become bigger issues. Wouldn’t you love less “hair on fire” moments?

Tips to feel more comfortable leaning on your team:

We can all agree that all this sounds great in theory, but the application of leaning on your team can feel easier said than done. Of course we all want our team to make our lives easier. 

One way to feel more comfortable leaning on your team is to create a relationship built on trust. Again, this is done when you regularly invest and interact with your employees. Just like any relationship, it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. So have patience.

To lean on your team, you also need to have shared and understood values. If you as the leader are running hot one second and cold the next, it’s confusing to your team. But if you’re operating under a shared set of values, people know what to expect and how to support you. Be consistent.

Have you shared the mission of your business? You might think everyone is on the same page, but unless you are consistently reinforcing and sharing your mission, you’re leaving a lot open to interpretation. Just like sharing your values, sharing the mission of your organization helps avoid confusion.

Learn to be okay and open with your flaws. It’s okay to play to your strengths.

We’re going to let you in on a secret, if you think your team doesn’t know your flaws, you’re kidding yourself. They might actually know your flaws better than you!

The good news? No one expects you to be perfect, even if you are the leader. No one should be aiming for perfection, it’s not possible.

When you’re open with your team about your flaws, not only can they fill in the gaps, they learn to be okay with having their own weaknesses. So go ahead, own it, it’s a two-way street.

Imagine your team is okay with you being gone…

Imagine a workplace where you didn’t have to oversee every little issue. Imagine taking the afternoon off and knowing that your team has it handled. Imagine your team not needing you to make all the decisions. It is possible!

Your team should operate the same whether you’re present or not. When you’ve invested time getting to know them, you can take time to reset because your team can get into your head. They know your values and can make good decisions without putting everything on hold. 

A word of advice, your employees won’t make the exact same decision you would so have patience and take the time to understand their thought process. Chances are, they made the best decision with what they knew in the moment. Refrain from being a controlling leader, let your team make major decisions without you.

Be honest when you’re struggling. 

You’d want to know if someone on your team was struggling, so treat your team the same way and be open with them. Let them know when you’re not at your best and ask them to step up.

When you take care of your employees, they take care of you. But you have to communicate, don’t expect them to read your mind. The whole point of having a team is that if you go down, they can pick up the slack.

And vice versa, ask your team to be open when they are struggling. That way, others on the team can jump in and support. It’s okay to ride the bench when injured.

We’d love to hear a story of how leaning on your team made a difference in your life or business. Comment below and share!

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