By Andrew Houston
February 13, 2018 — It’s hard enough being the boss, but seeing yourself as a leader can be even harder, especially as the owner of a contracting business.
Contractors are constantly working in the business alongside their employees while shouldering a lot of the burden. At some point, the workload becomes overwhelming, hurting both you and the business.
To become a real entrepreneur, you must become the leader of your company. After all, if not you, then who?
But not all contractors are cut out for owning their own businesses or reaching high levels of success, so what differentiates them? Leadership mindset!
But be warned: too many well-meaning owners get bogged down by the fantasized ideas of leadership as depicted across thousands of books when, in fact, there is no cookie-cutter mould for becoming a successful leader. Instead, a shift in mindset can make all the difference for you and your company.
When you think like a leader, you learn to be contemplative, adaptable and open to change; you are able to focus on your own contributions, influence actions and control your business. You learn to think past the tools and see your business on a higher level, where the focus is on motivators that help propel your business to better results.
Traits of a good leader
Leaders have goal clarity
Leaders are not short-sighted. They think beyond the present and focus on the end game.
Goal clarity gives your business purpose, identifies the results you want and when you want them. Clarity is not about short-term opportunity but rather having a plan that sees your company beyond the current season and year.
Leaders have discipline
Leaders are not afraid to fail, but also have the discipline to invest in education or training to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. With greater knowledge comes better questions, leading you to a greater understanding of your business, resulting in better decisions and actions. John C. Maxwell said it best: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”.
Leaders foster growth
You cannot and should not be the one person who fixes every problem. Leaders create a business culture that fosters growth and promotes healthy teams, whose employees have a good understanding of your business vision—a cornerstone to organizational success.
However, this cannot be left to chance. Through focused efforts and established systems, you must take on the role of nurturer— guiding, inspiring and training others to reach greater heights.
Success is not far away
Changing your mindset and developing yourself into an effective leader takes time, discipline and, most importantly, accountability, which is why having a business coach can be instrumental in your transformation. They will keep you on track and accountable.
Small businesses fail all the time, yet success is not far away. The time has come for you, as an entrepreneur, to shift your mindset from slogger to leader, and turn your business aspirations into reality.
Andrew Houston is the owner and founder of Profit for Contractors. He has been consulting to trades business owners for nearly a decade, helping them improve their business skills so they can achieve their personal and business goals. A graduate of George Brown College, Andrew achieved Industrial Controls Licensed Electrician as well as Electronics Engineering Technologist. Visit www.profitforcontractors.com or call 613-209-3828.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Electrical Business Magazine.