BARBARA MOWAT: LEADING YOUR BUSINESS Communicate goals. Employees who feel ignored or uninformed about what the company is trying to achieve are like ships with- out rudders adrift on the ocean. Instead, ensure that you have regular ways of communicating with all employees and establishing objectives. And reinforce through any daily contact with employees the importance of the jobs that they are doing and how they are linked to achieving the company’s goals. Celebrate successes. Track your progress toward achieving your goals. Solicit feedback from customers and publicize any praise the
company receives. Set profit targets for each
area and hand out rewards when the targets are
achieved. Regular small things you do to encour-
age people are more important than infrequent
Barbara Mowat is
president of Impact
Gro YourBiz (www.
Gro YourBiz.com) in
CHRIS A RUSNAK
Do you lead,
AS A BUSINESS OWNER or a boss, are you a leader,
or a manager? There’s a fine line between the
two—and honing your skills as a leader can help
bring long-term success. Here are some key ways
to lead through others in the workplace.
Create a culture. If you want people to provide high-quality service to customers, you need
to model that behaviour. The same goes for your
treatment of employees. If you are seen to value
loyalty and honesty, then your employees will
value those too.
Learn to delegate. Entrepreneurs are notorious for being self-starters and action oriented.
Connect to motivation. Empower your
employees by giving them more control over how
their work is done, more say in what work they do
and more responsibility for suggesting what work
needs to be done and how improvements can be
made. The more pride of ownership you can cultivate in your employees for their work, the higher
the quality of their output will be.
As your company grows, you need to become
more comfortable doing less of the actual work
yourself and directing others instead. The larger
your company grows, the further removed you
should become from the daily tasks of production, marketing and selling—and the closer to
organizing, coordinating and leading others. C
More in archives
On Costco.ca, enter
“Connection.”At Online Edition,
GROWING BUSINESSES face an
unrelenting series of obstacles,
enough so that only half of all small
companies reach a fifth anniversary.
One of the biggest problems is that
while many entrepreneurs have a
great business idea, they simply
don’t have adequate financial
management skills to make it work.
Fortunately, many resources are
available to help small-business
owners become more financially
literate. Here’s a list.
The cure for knee-jerking: a healthy pause
• Schedule time and invest in your personal
leadership growth through self-awareness and
learning. Help others grow and develop their
talent. Foster an innovative culture by encourag-
ing curiosity and questions that push boundaries.
Pause to think, “Why? Why not? What might
be possible?” Reward risk-taking; celebrate
and appreciate failure for the learn-
ing that emerges.
• Take the time to give
everyone an opportunity to
express concerns, share their
genuine feelings and ideas,
and listen authentically in
the spirit of real collaboration.
Help everyone reconnect
with their individual and
team purpose around the
• Step back from the hurried,
hectic pace, the onslaught of informa-
tion. Go for a walk or run. Sit by the river.
Take a power nap, meditate or listen to relaxing
music. New ideas and innovations emerge in the
spaces between the doing.
IN A QUICKENING world where the pressure
to respond and deliver is high, speed can lead to
mistakes and inefficient leadership. Costco member and leadership developer Kevin Cashman
The government. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
offers several resources; see www.
fcac-acfc.gc.ca and click on “Your
( http://cashmanleadership.com), author
of The Pause Principle: Step Back to
Lead Forward (Berrett-Koehler
Publishers, 2012), argues that
our most powerful weapon
against these crushing forces
is the one thing we tend to
resist the most: a pause. He
offers these tips on why you
should wait a moment.
Local accountants. Find a local
accountant to get strategic insights
into how best to run your business: http://needanaccountant.org.
For an accountant with expertise
in QuickBooks: www.intuit.ca/en/
Informational events. Watch
weekly startup chats and learn
from startup communities at
Startup Canada, at www.
• Certain that you know
the answer? That’s a good time
to step back, gather more information, ask another relevant question,
listen to someone else’s perspective and
consider alignment with values and purpose.
Webinars. Check out Intuit’s
financial literacy webinar series:
“financial literacy webinar
Managers too often make a quick response as a
show of strength; leaders take time for reflection
before responding or rendering a decision.
• Next time you pick up your mobile device
for a stream of transactions, pause and ask yourself, “What is really important today?” Step back
to reconnect with what you really value. C
Research shows that small-business operators who use software, such as QuickBooks, are
five times more likely to feel
confident managing finances than
those using old methods such as