Your Role in Your Small Business

Once I was asked how I viewed my role as The Small Business Advocate when communicating with my audience. After a moment of reflection, my response was that I am always a teacher but sometimes a preacher; a tough love critic seeking excellence not perfection, and a safe harbor of encouragement.

Now that Iv'e had time to think about this response, I've decided that it's not a bad formula for any manager.

Since those whom we manage look to us for guidance, we should think of ourselves as teachers. We teach others what we have learned so that knowledge can be leveraged through their performance. And if you're put off by the thought of being a preacher, don't be. Allowing our employees to see passion and conviction in our words, actions and style is a good thing, and it's also contagious.

The market is a rude place, indifferent to our very existence, let alone whether we succeed or fail. Perfection has never been attainable by mere mortals, but even in the rude marketplace, excellence is quite possible. However, only those with high standards are capable of achieving excellence -- and only as a result of positive critical evaluation of our own efforts and those we manage.

Humans work best when they know that there is a safe harbor where redemption is available to those who fail while trying their best and where they will be encouraged to continue to take initiative in the quest for excellence.

How do you view your role as the manager of your business and the people who work there?