12 September 2016

Sometimes, success in business entails identifying and putting an end to unhealthy practices

As a business coach, I’ve worked with a lot of different business owners and each of them has their own personality and leadership style. I’ve always talked about how unique each business is and that there’s no universal formula for success. However, maximizing your chances at being successful is rather attainable, and one aspect of that goal is changing the way you behave in your day-to-day journey as a business owner.

When you start out having a single wrong idea, it has the potential to be permanently implanted into your belief system, and when you act upon that idea, it now becomes a habit. Generally, business owners find it hard to identify these practices because it has become part of how they run things. It’s much more difficult to correct certain behaviors when people can’t even see where they’ve gone wrong.

Now I’m going to list some of those bad habits. Ask yourself whether you’re guilty, and really think about how you can stop — or at the very least, manage — negative leadership behavior before it’s too late.

Not having a system of assigning priority

Whenever a situation arises, business owners must always get to the bottom of it as soon as they can, right? Wrong. Not everything demands your attention at once; you need to learn how to prioritize matters according to level of urgency and importance.

If you indiscriminately respond to every concern that comes your way or if you perform tasks without assigning priority, you might end up neglecting legitimate matters that need a huge amount of attention and by the time you notice it, there’s nothing much you can do.

Working on and trying to master several things at a time

On a previous post I talked about how unwise it is to attempt to perfect several aspects of your business at once. Multitasking, while efficient, actually makes you learn less. The only way for you to fully understand something is to give yourself enough time and commitment to focus on a single matter (or maybe even a few, but not too many).

Allowing yourself to get distracted

Distractions are actually controllable once you really commit to make changes in your environment and how you respond to it. As a business owner, you can only afford to allocate your time, energy and brains to certain important things, but if you constantly immerse yourself in situations where there’s really no way for you to avoid distractions, then your behavior is the problem.

Set a time interval to schedule when to read your emails and text messages. Close your office door when you really need to focus on something. And of course, never force yourself to make critical business decisions when you’ve got personal matters bugging you at the back of your mind.

Being a perfectionist

Okay, being a perfectionist isn’t really a habit, but it’s just as manageable as any other behavior. Compulsively setting absurdly high standards for yourself and for everyone else is one of the worst ways you can sabotage your business. The pressure of being perfect freezes up creativity and fun, making tasks longer, more difficult and not as pleasurable to do.

Always make room for imperfections. Remember, a lot of successful business came from failures and do-overs. Don’t be afraid to stumble and fall, because that’s where you learn and become better.

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