Whether you lead a team or you just lead yourself, your business needs you to be organised, motivated, and communicating at the highest level in order to grow effectively. That's a lot of pressure, and it can take a real toll.
Today i'm getting personal and sharing three ways I've become a more effective leader in my business to help you feel more boss in yours too.
1. learn about YOUR Personality Type
If you've never done a Myers Briggs Personality Test before, I recommend taking 15 minutes to do one this week You can access a free version of the test here, and be sure to answer the questions thoughtfully and honestly... even if you don't like the answers! This is a great way to gain insight into your natural leadership style, and to assess which aspects of your personality are assets, and which might be liabilities, in your pursuit of work and life goals.
Knowing who you are - and being able to articulate it - is what underpins our ability to get the best out of ourselves and others. Life is hard enough, so we might as well play to our strengths, find cleaver people and strategies who can help mitigate our weaknesses, and think about the kind of work we want to do - and success we want to enjoy - based on the things that actually light us up.
As it turns out, I'm an ENTJ - aka The Commander. Only 1% of women (and 2% of men) on earth are estimated to share this personality type, and from reading the eerily accurate description, that's probably a good thing. Napoleon was an ENTJ, as apparently, were Margaret Thatcher and Steve Jobs.
Here's what I discovered: ENTJs are direct and enthusiastic communicators, with a clear idea of what needs to be done and and a take-charge attitude toward organizing people and projects. We're strategic in our thinking and confident in communicating our vision. We're most interested in how our best ideas can be implemented in a logical, task-oriented way.
So what's the upshot of all that? Well, in my case, I'm far more energised by big-picture thinking than actually plodding through the nitty gritty steps of implementing those plans. That's why I build courses and consult for clients... because while I love analysing brand's websites and social feeds, if I actually had to spend my days fixing those websites and sourcing and scheduling all your posts, I'd hate it! When I have too many little tasks on my plate, it makes me feel frazzled and fractured, which is not productive. I need a fair bit of white space in order to play to my greatest strength, which is organising a team or figuring out efficiency hacks that I can use to get all that stuff done and get back to more conceptual work.
The point is to recognise your strengths... and communicate them (AKA UNLOCK your superpower)
Understanding your personality's strengths helps you unlock your superpower. Your superpower is the thing that makes you really good at what you do - it's what sets you, your business, and the products or service you've designed or curated apart from anything else out there in the marketplace. And there's obviously huge power in being able to articulate what that is. If you have a branded philosophy that informs how you communicate what you do, make, and sell, there can be no competition, because no one else in your industry will be able to approach what you do in that same way.
My superpower is that I'm great at analysing ideas, seeing patterns, and formulating long-term plans to move my goals - or the goals of my clients - forward. Part of that is that I see flaws in ideas and plans quickly, and feel comfortable giving my critiques freely. I'm trying to be helpful when I do this, because I think I'm smart, and I do a lot of research and deep thinking about the things that interest me, and I have valuable insights that I believe are useful to share.
Your superpower might be that you're open-minded and able to see things from unconventional perspectives that allow you to connect far-flung dots into a single theme. Or, maybe you're meticulous, patient, and excel at taking a steady approach to accomplish end goals. Whatever strengths you bring to the table, celebrate them in your work, and in your brand to create a working culture that's more productive for you, and draws compatible people to the business you're creating.
compensating for your weaknesses is just as important as calling out your strengths
Projecting our strengths is important, but so is having insight into how certain aspects of our personalities can hamper our ability to communicate effectively with customers and our teams. After all, it only makes sense to compensate for the ways we tend to get in the way of our best intentions.
In my case, I LOVE teaching, but I need to be aware that I can my focus on strategic planning and tendency to set ambitious goals can make others feel inadequate or disheartened. I've had to learn to offer more positive feedback alongside my critiques, and also how to simplify the way I talk about big-picture strategy and implementation steps in a way that communicates enthusiasm without being so overwhelming that the clients and team members I'm trying to get on board end up switching off.
2. FIND WAYS TO GET yOUR HEAD IN THE GAME
Once you understand clearly which aspects of your business energise you and which aspects are annoying or demotivating, you can come with strategies to order your tasks appropriately and get yourself in the right headspace for the different jobs that need tackling.
This has always been a personal challenge for me, because I'm not great at routine. If I'm being honest, this is something I've spent a silly amount of time fretting about, because my research tells me that routines are an effective way to mitigate the decision fatigue we all struggle with. I believe that if I could stick to a structured daily schedule that I'd be able to get all the low-level tasks off my plate more quickly and therefore have more space in which to prioritise the strategic creative decisions that feel far more interesting to me. I basically believe deep down that I'd be a more effective person if I could get up at the same time every day, meditate, eat the healthy meal I'd already prepped, and sit down to tackle my set tasks, etc.. without being so influenced by whether or not I feel like it.
The trouble is, how productive I am at any given task is strongly related to how I'm feel at that moment. That's especially true when we're talking about the nitty gritty stuff that allows me to make money in my business TODAY. An example of that kind of task would be writing a proposal to send to a list holder of clients I'd like to work with, or scheduling my instagram, or copy editing the online course I've already drafted so I can actually launch it and move on. Sometimes I need a little help remembering to keep that focus on tasks that will be directly profitable. So, for the past couple months, when I wake up in the morning I pop on a podcast that puts me in mind frame to be productive at whatever I'm setting out to accomplish that day.
At the moment, I'm especially loving The Strategy Hour, because Abagail & Emylee are super encouraging and also focus on systems and strategy for the purpose building small businesses that are profitable, significant, and provide a nice lifestyle for us and our families... Which is the entrepreneurial philosophy I subscribe to as well. The point is, I think they're super smart, and they make me want to double down on my productivity when I listen to them. If getting up and the same time, meditating, and eating the healthy breakfast you prepped the night before does that for you, I salute! If not, find the next best FREE thing - like a reliable podcast - and use that to help you get your head in the game when you don't wake up feeling like a boss.
3. PUT ONE SYSTEM in place TO ORGANISE YOUR FREAKING LIFE
The ladies who run The Strategy Hour also have an online course that has changed the way I approach how I get things done in my business. Using the project management software Trello (it's free and easy!) in the specific way they recommend has been the single greatest change I've made this year to propel myself towards my goals, and this info is too good not to share.
I'm embarrassed to admit that until about two months ago, I had my business plans, admin systems, passwords, and all the content I'm working on randomly scattered across Trello, Google Docs, Keynote, Pages, the notes app on my phone and about 5 different spiral notebooks sitting all over the apartment. I pretty much started a new to-do list every day, and I was really overwhelmed by trying to build smart strategies and figuring out where I wanted to focus in my business, all while sitting on a foundation of disorganisation.
If you've ever feel overwhelmed by trying to keep track of your business, your clients, your projects, and your actual life I highly recommend you sign up for Trello For Business. This video course shows you exactly how to set big picture goals and translate them into weekly tasks, manage your business, blog, and workflow whether you sell products or services, plus it helps you stick to all your personal commitments. It's $29 USD. (I'm not an affiliate - I just think it's really good!)
So there you have it - three strategies I've put in place to become a more effective leader in my business that I hope you can translate into your own work life too.
Have a happy and productive week!