As a business coach for over 25 years, I have talked to a lot of business owners across various industries and everyone has a story to tell. They all have strengths, weaknesses and challenges to overcome and while many of them are unique to their specific business, you would be amazed to know that there are many commonalities among all leaders. After all, we all have the same end goal in mind, which is why today I wanted to share with you the four things that I think leaders are most responsible for.

Vision

As a leader, your first responsibility is to create and honor the vision for your business. When you think about vision, vision is you having a big picture understanding of exactly what it is your business is supposed to be doing.  Your vision, your mission, your values.  This is the reason that you are in business. It includes what you are trying to accomplish for your marketplace and what your values are. Your vision also talks about what are the goals and priorities of your company. Basically, out of all the things you could be doing with your resources, what are the most important to help your vision become a reality?  And finally, it includes how your business really works and what drives profitability. Everything you do as a leader should honor and support your business's vision.

Meaning

If you want people to care, then you have to help them understand that what they do matters.  Meaning is always the driver for motivation. And while this is easy to determine for some businesses like non-profits or healthcare, it really applies across the board. You aren't just updating code in a vacuum, you are making your user experience more efficient or pleasant. You aren't just a plumber, you are helping solve problems that help your customers live in their homes more comfortably. What you do, no matter your position, matters and has meaning and as a leader, it is your job to help your team understand that. 

Alignment

As a leader, it is also your responsibility to help your team get in alignment. You have a limited amount of time and resources, so it is imperative that your team is in alignment with the most important tasks and projects for your businesses to reach your goals faster. 

Culture

Another important responsibility you have as a leader has to do with culture. It's very conscious, very intentional. Culture works beneath the surface to just have the right things happen.  And so if you think about it, culture is like this invisible hand that automatically shapes behavior.  It's just the way we do things around here in the company. In our company, this is how we approach things. This is how we think about it. This is how we prioritize. We just do it this way. Helping set those guidelines makes a huge difference in your business and growth potential.  

As a leader, you have a to-do list that is often pages long and a lot of things can fall onto your plate. But at the end of the day, if you focus on these four items, your business will have the tools and foundation to grow and thrive in the years to come.