If you think leading employees in your small business is hard, try
being responsible for opera divas, television news reporters, egocentric
physicians, mercurial musicians or high-strung brides. You know the
types whose pictures could appear next to "high-maintenance" in the
It takes special skills to get such folks to perform at their
best. After all, the most accomplished and talented people don’t think
they need guidance. A lot of them, one way or another, have always been
able to get what they want, as they have never tasted failure.
The challenge in leading such personalities—if your small
business is lucky, you’ve got them—is that they are often extremely
sensitive. Use the wrong approach and they may work against you.
As it turns out, most of them have a lot in common, and those
shared characteristics seem to be the very ones that explain their
effectiveness as leaders. For starters, all are willing and able to
demonstrate genuine respect for their employees and clients—no matter
the industry or area of interest.
All are refreshingly unassuming about their abilities and
effusive about the skills of the people they work with and for. If
anything goes wrong, the true professional blames himself and not the
team. All of them also are able to establish credibility with those they
lead. They do it by demonstrating excellence in their field, and by
being transparent about their goals. The "what you see is what you get"
approach engenders trust. And it takes many forms.
These leadership skills are, no doubt, difficult to acquire. But
they are crucial to running a business and retaining staff. Talented
people aren’t as motivated by money as they are by the opportunity to
improve themselves and their work. They are always asking themselves,
"Am I getting what I need?"
If the answer is no, they won’t hesitate to leave, which could
leave your small business in big trouble. It takes special skills to get
such folks to perform at their best. After all, the most accomplished
and talented people don’t think they need guidance.
Handling them, is a skill that is inherited or needs to be learned.
As always, if I can ever be of any assistance to you or
your organization, please call or write and I will respond
immediately! Have a tremendous week.