You Go First: Being the Leader Your Team Needs

Here’s a sneak peek into my upcoming book: How To Hire the Best: The Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members (Releasing November 18, 2020)

The Juggler

Let’s face it, you as the owner are juggling a number of demands that threaten to pull your attention down Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified a hierarchy of needs. At the base of the pyramid are our basic needs for food, water, and shelter. Once our basic needs are met, we are able to advance up the hierarchy to focus on meeting higher-level needs, such as safety. Beyond safety, we become concerned with belongingness and then esteem. When our needs are not met at lower levels of the hierarchy, our focus is pulled there. Late-night worries about cash flow, meeting payroll, and struggles with subs and vendors keep you operating at the bottom of the hierarchy. 

Your team needs you to be focusing further up the hierarchy on creating feelings of safety (physical and emotional) and belonging. We have found that when there is a system in place to assure good cash flow and profitability, ​you feel safe, secure, and supported. When you feel safe, secure, and supported, you tap into your own vulnerability to lead with love, courage, and authenticity. Creating systems and structure assures smooth operations. This also gives you the freedom to put your attention on leadership and team development. 

Sharing is Caring

As you learn and grow as a leader, it is important to share your learning with your team. 

This can be challenging, and sometimes having a “translator” can be helpful to support team members in appreciating the important role they play in creating a highly profitable, great place to work. 

As this unfolds, the business owner no longer feels like the “lone nut” in the company trying to make things better. Now there are two, then three . . . because the emerging leaders are showing other team members how to be effective at work and be part of the greater vision of the leader.

Look in the Mirror

Team development starts and ends with you—the leader. Are you being the leader you need to be to create a great place to work? Are you being the leader you need to be to have a business that gives you your life back? 

Are you aware of how your leadership and personality impact your team? Effective leaders continuously seek feedback on their leadership. They are aware that what they don’t know will be the very thing to hold them back and undermine their best intentions. They are continuously learning. Effective leaders continuously invest in themselves and surround themselves with other leaders who challenge their perspective, and offer input from multiple perspectives. 

Your personality plays a critical role in how you lead. We use the Peoplemap™ Assessment to help business owners and teams understand the personality dynamics on the team and overcome barriers to effective communication that undermine a great culture. We also utilize the CliftonStrengths Assessment to help our clients maximize the effectiveness of their A-Player teams. Research shows we are happiest and most productive when we get to work from our strengths.

But, Don’t Take My Word For It…

I was delighted to stumble across one of our team member’s posts in social media: 

“Am I the only one having such an awesome week that you’re wondering what happened to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week? I had so much fun, I don’t know—How did it get to be Friday 5:30 pm?”  

~Stacey Seguin, TTP Strategist and Profit First Lead, December 2019 

I want my team members to feel like this regularly, don’t you? As leaders, we want our team members to regularly experience these peak moments in their work, where they are in the zone, and work feels effortless and fun. This comes about when we are intentional in hiring 

A-Players who are a great fit for their role and continually develop and nurture their strengths. When we are intentional with our leadership and actively seeking to improve our self-awareness, we are much better positioned to help our team members tap into their strengths to find joy and fulfillment in the work they are doing.

For tips on how to work through these problems and coach your team more effectively, please be sure to check out How To Hire the Best:The Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members, releasing November 18, 2020.


About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.