Are you fully capable of being a leader, but your leader (your client) won’t let you step into that leadership role? Does it feel like you are being held back?
You are super invested in your clients business and can see yourself in a leadership role, but that leader has the reins pulled so tightly and you can’t bring the best parts of you to the business… your leader simply won’t let you.
I’ve been in this position… where I couldn’t express myself in true form. I felt depleted, anxious, and sad as I’d go into work each morning. Eventually, I reached out to a mentor to help me work through this, and today I’m going to be sharing the tips that allowed me to step into that leadership role.
Tips To Help You Lead
Most small or online businesses have grown their businesses with their own blood, sweat, and tears. Their identity as CEOs are intertwined with the building phase of their business, so when leaders start to elevate and scale their business they begin to extend that identity onto someone else. They are hiring someone to duplicate or replace them and this handoff is often rocky because there are few systems or processes in place for the new hire to follow…yet, the expectation is that the hire will come in and immediately be a duplicate of that person. The expectations are off from the very beginning.
Ask Them Questions
Ask in-depth questions about strategy.
- Why is it that you did it this way?
- What is the expected outcome?
- How will we get to that place?
These are all questions that will turn the head of a leader and convey care for their business or product. Make sure you take notes and come back and provide solutions. Give them a plan and they will feel support and trust, and understand that you are in this alongside them.
I see lots of organizations who are in a scaling phase that hire contractors frequently. I also see incredible breakdowns in communication taking place. If you are the one person on the team who is communicating well, giving status updates, monitoring performance of marketing plans or strategic objectives, you will be a standout.
Increase Communications Around Reporting
Show up every week showing progress that the team has made, the weak spots, and an overview of what is coming up. This will make your leader feel super supported.
Don’t forget about market information. One of the biggest traits I see in Director Of Operations is curiosity, and I want you to translate that into market information. Go out and see what their competitors are doing.
Every technology tool has a knowledge base or a customer service department that you can contact to get the answers to your questions. Do not ask your leader these types of questions; your leader will not know the answer, and they will feel annoyed that you didn’t search for the answer yourself.
“Be as independent as possible but still collaborative.“
Use your connections, use the internet, use data and resources… and solve your own problems. Don’t bring low level problems to your leader.
Lead Projects With Integrity
I want the CEO to avoid that guttural feeling, where they are constantly wondering where they are at with projects, and who’s doing what. Use project management systems to document, keep track, notify, stay on top of notifications, and bring all the info back to the leader.
If you do all of these steps, I promise you that the leader will recognize the leadership potential you have. You will absolutely be worth more than you were when you entered into the business. Show up with all of these skills, and by doing these things you will show your leader that you can be a consistent resource.
“You can come into a role and rise through the ranks by showing up and showing off.”
Weekly Ops Activity
Go over to the Facebook group and tell me: what did you do to show up as a leader to your CEO?
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