Leadership VS. Management
I've become obsessed with developing into a better leader lately. I'm messing up a lot, but I'm learning. I'm going to start posting lessons I've learned the hard way. Maybe it will help someone support their people one day.
I ran payroll today. It's the time of the month where every small business owner sweats a little bit, and prays that he managed his month well enough that he doesn't have to pull from his own pocket to pay his people.
Here's my lesson for today and I've been getting it wrong for my entire life.
Leadership isn't about being in charge. It's about living in service. I know, it sounds incredibly backwards, but it's the truth. I really care about the people I work with. The people who look to me for direction, and support.
In my past businesses, I've always believed that efficiency was the most important attribute of being successful. That feelings, and understanding had no place here. Objectivity, and numbers ran my businesses.
Maybe that's why they failed.
As I've grown, and learned to see people as people... and not just as assets, the strangest thing happened. The conversations changed. When I was working alongside my employees in the dirt, they worked harder. They enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.
When I began to put the concerns of the people around me before my own, and treat their problems as if they were my own, they started treating my work, like it was theirs.
And after a hard month of work... a month where I despite leaving it all out on the field, I couldn't afford to fully pay one of my people... something happened that almost left me in tears.
She told me that it was okay, and that we'd get it next time. I have no words to explain what that feels like.
Being a leader isn't about being in charge. It's about compassion. It's building people up, so that they can in turn build you up.
Being a entrepreneur is hard, it's often without thanks, or recognition. It's the small moments like these that makes it worth it.
"Smart men learn from their mistakes. Wise men learn from the mistakes of others."
Be wise. Learn from mine.
Today we came up short, Tomorrow we're going to conquer.