Who is leading the business, whether you are a solopreneur or if you have a small team under you, or if you are running a major operation who is leading the business? You are listening to success in Mind with Teri Holland, the show for high performing entrepreneurs, leaders, and change makers ready to take your life and your business to the next level. If you're ready for whole life success, keep listening. This is a question that I think every business owner needs to be able to answer. And if you are the owner, you also need to be the leader. Now, what might not be obvious is that even if you are a solopreneur and you have nobody on your team yet, it is just you in the business, you still need to be the leader. Now, you might be thinking, but Teri, if I'm the only one in the business, doesn't that automatically make me the leader?
And the answer is no, because I have seen it many times. It's quite common. I have seen it where the solopreneur puts the client in the seat of the leader and lets the client dictate everything. And then the business owner is just going with whatever the client wants, bending over backwards to accommodate them, not setting clear boundaries. And that is exhausting. So whether you are a solopreneur, whether you have a small team, a big team, you're running a massive operation, you need to be the leader. Now, where this gets especially tricky is in business partnerships, because a partnership implies two equals, right? And yet for a business partnership to really work, you need to clearly define your roles within the business. And you need to decide who is going to take the lead because one of you is going to have to lead. And that might feel uncomfortable, especially because you might be listening and thinking, but my business partner's my best friend, or we both have such strong personalities, how is one of us going to take charge of the situation?
Or how can one of us ever be in charge of the situation? And the truth is that somebody better be in charge in driving the ship. Otherwise, where are you going to end up? Here's a very common scenario. I was working with two business partners several, several years ago, and they had completely different visions for the business. They couldn't understand why they weren't getting to where they wanted to go because they both really wanted or they thought they wanted the same thing. And that's where I came in. So they came to work with me to get them into alignment and to figure out what it is they were missing. Why weren't they achieving their goals? Why were they staying at the same income level year after year? And why did it feel so hard? These two men had been in business together for about 10 years at this point and felt like
By then they should be, they should be pretty settled into their work. They should be achieving bigger goals. And yet they weren't and they couldn't identify the problem. So that's where I was brought in. And the problem to me became very clear that they had different visions for the business. They had never sat down and talked about their vision before. They might have had goals in terms of what kind of income they wanted to make, where they wanted to see their revenue, but they had never even talked about what kind of clients they wanted to work with, what the vision was for the company. They didn't have a clear mission statement. Actually, they didn't have any mission statement. They had never discussed their values. And so they were pulling in completely opposite directions. But neither one of them could see that because they were both so entrenched in it, they couldn't identify what the problem was.
And I have seen this same scenario over and over and over again, and what it really calls for is somebody needs to be the leader. Now, I'm not saying that the second partner needs to just follow along and be subservient. It's not that, but one person needs to kind of take charge, otherwise things don't really get done. Now, usually there is one person within the partnership who tends to be that leader naturally. And when that's the case, it works out beautifully because the other partner tends to not want to be the leader. We'll call them A and B. So person A partner A is just they're naturally a leader, they like to be in charge, and B tends to be a little more passive. Not a pushover by any means, but they're just happy. They feel more grounded, centered, they feel more relaxed and at ease when they are in the supporting role.
So they're not, they're not in the leadership role. And so when that's the case, it works out beautifully because everyone's on board and they each understand, once we have this discussion, of course they understand that okay, there is going to be a hierarchy dynamic within the business. And now they can start clearly defining what those roles will look like and who's going to be responsible for what. Where it doesn't go so smoothly is when we have two A's. So both of them want to be the leader. Now we have a problem. But I would say I don't see that as often as I see the other issue, which is neither one wants to lead. And if neither of you wants to lead in your partnership, then you're probably going to default to your client and your client's gonna take the leadership position. And that never goes well, you know, think about it. Think about how a business is running if no one is taking charge of the business, which puts the client by default at charge, and what is the client gonna want? They're going to want everything. They are going to want everything that is unrealistic, impossible to deliver. They're gonna going to want over the top service. They're going to want to have access to you 24 7. They're going to want everything they can possibly get.
And think about that from your standpoint, whether you are a practitioner of some kind, delivering a service based business, whether you are. So if it's a client focused business or if you have a brick and mortar business, more of a traditional business, whether you're an accountant, if you're a lawyer, whatever, think about what happens when the client is in charge. That's not a good scenario. That would be like in a family dynamic if the kids are in charge of the family. And that happens too. I see that in families when I do couples coaching is sometimes the parents aren't in charge, it's the kids. And that creates a lot of chaos and conflict within the family unit. So that's the same thing in a business. If your clients are driving the bus, you are going to drive off the cliff.
But what happens though, when you have two partners or even more and nobody is taking charge and everybody is that B, right? If we talked about A and B, so everyone wants to be in that B position, they wanna be more supportive and a supporting role. They wanna back the person up, but there's no one to back up. So now we need to either decide, do we have a leader in this business who is going to step up, who is willing to get a little uncomfortable take on a leadership role? And you know, I wanna be clear about something that just popped into my mind because I know this question will arise. It's, aren't we all leaders? Shouldn't we all be leaders within our role in the business? Yes, a hundred percent. Everyone in the business, if everyone operates like they are a leader of their responsibilities, of their section, their department, then yes, that is a great thing.
But there still needs to be a leader for the business one leader. So this is a person who would take on the CEO hat. So you need to decide if there's a few of you and no one wants that role, well, who's gonna step up and take it? Who's the best equipped for it? And if no one wants to take it, you might need to bring in someone else into the business who will take on that CEO role. And you don't just take anyone. Because here's the thing, often when we're hiring people or bringing people into our business, we tend to attract people who are like us and we're drawn to people who are like us. But you don't want people who are like you. You want people who bring skills that you don't have or who bring a perspective that you don't have. If all you're ever surrounded by are people who you like and people who you would maybe like to have coffee with and hang out with socially, then you're probably gonna have problems within the business because everyone is too alike in their thinking, in their approach and their strategies and their skills.
So you need to look for people who, you know, they might not be the best personality fit for you in terms of friendship, but they might fit the role. And that's how we need to look about bringing people onto the, onto the business or onto the team. So if you don't have a clear leader, you, you better find one or one of you needs to take on that hat and start behaving like a leader and figure out how to be a leader within the business. But when we move down the hierarchy of the business, everybody should be a leader of something. So maybe the second in command. So if we have a partnership, we go back to our A and B. If A says, okay, I'm gonna be the C, e O, I'm driving the ship, then B is gonna be the first in command, the first officer if you will.
And B is gonna have their own set of responsibilities. They're gonna have people who will report to them, even if you haven't built a team yet. Remember, if we go back to the episode about thinking like a ceo, you need to have that long-term view. Where is this business going? So one day there will be a team underneath that person. So what are they in charge of? And then they become a leader within that role. Not everybody is cut out to be the CEO of the company. That is why in corporations the CEO is paid so much because not everyone is cut out to do that role. That's a very demanding role where they're paid not for all the tasks they do every day. They do very few tasks, but their role is to hold the vision for the company. Their role is to direct the ships that the ship doesn't crash into the rocks offshore or run a ground.
So they have a very important role to do, but, and that's why they're paid so much for what they do. Now in your business, when you're the entrepreneur and you're the owner and ceo, that's a little bit different. It's a little bit different because you're probably not gonna be collecting that massive salary at the beginning, but you keep your sights on it and you build your business in a smart strategic way. And one day you will be so that B person, maybe they're the CFO or the COO of the business, what are they exceptionally good at? And that you create their role underneath what it is that their specific value brings to the company. And they become a leader in and of themselves within that. But you, person A, are still still at the helm of that company. Now, one of the reasons why this is so important that you have a clearly defined leader of the business is because the values of that business, the mission of the business, the purpose for the business is going to be closely interlinked with that person.
Think about Apple for a moment. Steve Jobs had a clear vision for Apple, you know, think different. That's the Apple slogan. And Steve Jobs had a very clear vision of what Apple was and where Apple was going to go. And then the board fired him and Apple lost their direction, their stocks tanked. They had no purpose anymore. No meaning they didn't know who they were in the marketplace. They weren't creating products that were selling, they just became another computer company. And so they did the very smart thing of bringing Steve Jobs back into the CEO position. And that's when he came out with the iMac and oh, oh man, I remember when those computers came out with the jelly bean colors and that clear plastic casing. And I wanted one so badly I didn't get one, but I wanted one so badly. It's no mistaking that now I am a Apple loyalist.
All my products are Apple because now I can buy them for myself. Thanks a lot, mom and dad, I don't need you to buy it for me, but I digress. So Apple got their vision back, they got really clear, and Apple has not been as successful since Steve Jobs passed. They're still doing really well, don't get me wrong. I think they hired the right CEO to replace him, but it's still different. So in terms of your business, who is in the lead is going to determine the vision, the values, the mission, the purpose of the business. And now every decision you make gets weighed against those things. So this is where a values alignment comes into play. So we take the values of the business owner, the leader of the company, we create values for what should the values of the business be? And we do this through a very strategic process.
Then, then we start bringing in the other business partners and getting them on board and aligning their values with the overall values for the business. Then we start bringing on other team members. If you have other team members and getting them on board. And now it's like I talked about a couple episodes ago. Now we have everybody working together in harmony and balance aiming towards the same common goal and purpose. But it has to start with a leader. You know, in that values episode I talked about the Peloton, how all the cyclists, when they're riding together in a Peloton, they are in a perfect formation. They're like one moving unit moving perfectly together. And the person at that front of the Peloton, there's not five people in a row at the front of it. There is one person at the front and that person is working the hardest.
They are pulling along everyone behind them and the people at the back are getting a break. Now, in a Peloton, it's not a perfect metaphor. Cause in a Peloton, they switch positions continuously so that then the person at the front gets a break, they get to not fully coast, but you know, they get to be pulled along with the drag abit and everybody moves up. And now someone else is in that position, but they're not riding 10 across and everybody's an equal. That would not be efficient. That's not energy efficiency. So you have one person at the front, then maybe two behind them, and then maybe three, and then maybe it's three all the way back, however, however deep they go. Or maybe four, but you're not riding with with five across, you know what I mean? You have a clear leader at the very front.
So you need to have a leader in the business. Now, when you're the solopreneur, you still have to be the leader because you, again, you don't wanna default to having your clients be the leader. You need to be the leader because as long as you have that long-term view and you are seeing where the business is going, and this is going back to, you gotta think like a ceo. So you need to put on that leadership hat, the CEO hat, when there's just one person in the business and you start thinking about who else do I need underneath me? Because if you are a solopreneur, you are doing way too many jobs. But that's how it has to be at the beginning. I get that. So you need to be the bookkeeper, you need to be the accountant, you need to be the receptionist, your customer service, your it, you are all of it at the beginning.
But as long as, if you are just thinking that, oh, I'm just a solo practitioner, I'm a solopreneur, I'm just one person, you will remain one person. But if you start thinking, I am the CEO of a company, so right now I am doing all the things, but I'm going to keep an organizational chart of my company and I'm gonna know that I need to fill a bookkeeper role. I know I need to fill customer service, I need a salesperson over here, I need a marketing person. And then each of those eventually becomes a department, a team of people. So as long as you take on that leadership role, you can start seeing the bigger picture of the business and you can start steering the business in that direction. And that's where a business grows. The business can't grow into a bigger business as long as you are thinking in a small way.
Now that doesn't mean that you go out and you start hiring people tomorrow if you don't have the means to do that. But you need to start thinking about those roles will need to be filled and who's going to fill them. So you've got to be the leader of the business. There has to be one clear leader. Now, usually, like I said, in a partnership, usually one person is already that person. And so it becomes very natural to start talking about these roles and, and it's, it's easier to accept if you don't have that person. If neither of you wants to be the leader, you need to find someone or you, one of you is going to have to step up. If both of you wanna be the leader, then you're gonna have conflict, then you have some conflict.
That's where I don't think there's an easy solution to that. I think that's where you bring in a coach, coach like myself to figure out how are we both gonna operate in this business and we're we'll have to come to some understanding of who is going to be that leader. Or I've seen this happen too, where both are just butting heads so much, it's just not going to work. And in that situation, it's time to part ways. So if both wanna be person A, they both wanna be in charge. If neither one is gonna bend, then it's, it's not going to work. You need one clear leader in the business. I hope you found this episode to be useful for you today. If you did, please leave that five star review. It means the world to me and it helps me grow this podcast. And also, if you are struggling with this within your business and you need some help aligning your business values so that your entire team can start moving as one unit to a common goal, then book a consultation with me. The link is in the show notes. Hope you have a fantastic day. Bye for now.