Time to be real. Business owners are not always very good with people. The very fact that someone choose to run their own show generally points to the fact that they don’t want to work for or be managed by people. Entrepreneurs are almost by definition rule breakers who play to the beat of a very different drum.
To be sure, some owners are great at sales. Many restaurant owners love to chat up their patrons. And we’ve all seen the owners whose employees stay for decades, because they love the boss.
Whether or not you are “good” with people, a huge percent of the major issues you will deal with each day have to do with customers, suppliers, and staff…people. And there is always room for improvement in knowing how to manage all these unique and interesting folks.
So back to being real. Rate yourself from 1-10 with 10 being best on the following:
- Hiring great personnel
- Managing my staff
- Managing my employees who also happen to be my childrent
- Managing sales staff
- Managing managers
- Working with suppliers
- Customer relations
- Personal sales skills
- Planning for business transitions
- Planning an exit strategy
- Setting goals
- Helping others set goals
- Holding others accountable
- Delegating tasks
- Delegating responsibility
- Delegating authority
Everybody has strengths and weakness. A great CEO recognizes clearly where he/she has deficiencies and works to fill those places with outstanding associates, either on the payroll or as outsourced service providers and consultants.
As a consultant, I commonly see huge gaps in the people skills of the owners I work with. Sometimes these are very damaging to the prospects of the company. For instance, imagine the impact of poor customer service today, when every mistake is blown up on Yelp. Or think about the legal consequences of inappropriate behavior among the top management. I have personally witnessed the destructive potential of an employee who is a negative Nellie or who undermines the owner. And the damage that can be done by poorly managed sales people is no secret.
If you feel like the time has come to deal with some of your personal shortfalls in the people skills area, or if you have employees that need such help, please check out our MasterMind groups as a way to get great peer-to-peer help in managing your people.