3 Critical Investments Leaders Tend to Ignore
Being a leader is tough. It means holding yourself to a higher standard. It means leading by example. It also means leading others to a purpose.
You're no longer just in charge of your actions. But you're in charge of others as well.
That's something you might not be used to. Every decision you make has an effect. This means you need to be aware at all times of the decisions you make.
Being a leader isn't something that can be simply taught. It's learned through experience. As a new leader it's a given that you're going to make mistakes. Which is fine, it happens to the best of us.
However even though you're going to make mistakes that doesn't mean you should make them regardless. There's 3 critical investments you should make a priority when taking on this role.
Not making them puts you and your company at risk.
1. Invest In Your Health Everyday
This is the single biggest investment you need to make if you want to be a leader and a business owner. Many times entrepreneurs get so caught up with work and the hustle that they forget to take care of themselves.
We can only be as productive as our body lets us. Sleep deprivation, stress, and overwhelm all affect our ability to perform. Exercise and rest counteract the debilitating effects these have on our body and mind. Exercise produces a chemical called serotonin, which greatly improves your state of mind, allowing you to be able to handle stress easier, according to the University of Cambridge.
Brendon Burchard, founder of the High Performance Academy, believes active people should drink between 5 and 7L a day (and leaders certainly qualify) to ensure that our brain can function at optimum levels. Water, as simple as it is, allows us to think faster, be more focused and with greater clarity.
Brian Goldstein, the founder of Rx Unlimited Pharmacy, believes in treating the mind and body with respect. If you neglect your health, in time, you'll find yourself less productive and more destructive.
Entrepreneurs are at a higher risk of mental health issues because of the nature of business. Getting a good night's rest, eating well and nurturing your mind daily greatly reduces the risk of depression, anxiety and addiction.
Before you can lead anyone else - you must learn to master yourself.
2. Invest In Your Company's Culture Early and Often
20%. That's the amount of time Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin encouraged their employees to spend on projects they thought would most benefit Google. This allowed Google to grow fast as it fostered an environment of experimentation.
Google News wasn't something created by the higher ups. An employee named Krishna Bharat invented it after he couldn't find a place on the web where he could see different news reports from multiple sources.
The Google culture allows ideas to come from anyone. However, what about small start-ups, does company culture even matter?
More often than not, newer, less-experienced entrepreneurs get their start managing small teams of one, two or three people. Because of this, the knee-jerk reaction is to think that company culture isn't important, mainly because--well, with a team so small--how could it even exist?
Take it from Jon Read of Keet Health, however: "It does, and it matters." Speaking of Keet's culture, says the creator of the all-in-one tool that improves the physician-patient experience, "The most important parts of the startup puzzle are your people. As such, pay them what you'd want to be paid. Everyone deals with cash flow issues early on, but when you find the people to get your company off the ground, recognize their efforts from the beginning."
Besides, once a big win comes along (hang in there, because it will), it's that much more enjoyable to celebrate it with people who've worked tirelessly alongside you to make it happen.
Company culture can make or break a business. One toxic person can make it unbearable to work in your company which then leads to others leaving. Making sure the company culture is there increases the chances of high level people to continue working with the company.
3. Invest Into Your People
Colin Andrew, a Cryptocurrency expert, was taught early on to hire slow and fire fast, something that Jim Collins, author of Good To Great, is a huge proponent of. As Collins puts it, companies that go from good to great "start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats."
Your team is everything. Being a solopreneur means being a slave to your business. How effective your team will determine just how successful your company will be. One cannot do it alone and by trying you'll find yourself burned out unless you made that choice to be a freelancer.
Investing in your people requires time, but will ultimately be the reason for your success. CEO and co-founder of Aigang, Augustas Staras says that "To be successful, you have to really put a lot of effort, your heart and appreciation of how much value you can create together with the people and team that is working with you."
What's a good sign companies have invested in their team? Their customers' experience. Garage Door Service has over 10,000 5-star reviews. Any company that services more than 250,000 homes each year doesn't get that with a horrible team. They made a decision early on to deliver an exceptional experience to each and every customer 365 days a year. They made the decision to invest in themselves, the culture and their team.