One of the reasons I wanted to be an entrepreneur was so I could work for myself and have other people work for me. I could be the boss. They would do what I asked--they had to because I pay them.

I could not have been more wrong.

The world has changed. Employee loyalty is not what it used to be--or at least people jump jobs many more times in their career nowadays. People focus more on their own lifestyle and work-life balance than on having a job for life with the same employer.

I've learned that no one truly works for you, even if you pay them. People work only for themselves. Think about it--do you think many or any of your staff would stay with you if you gave them $10 million? Unlikely. 

Do you think people would get job satisfaction and fulfillment by being told what to do? No. At the very least, they want autonomy. They want to feel like they work for themselves and make their own decisions. To at least be an intrapreneur--to manage their own business within your business.

They are not working to make you rich. They are not working to be your lapdog. And as soon as they feel like that, they will either leave or decide to leave as soon as they don't need you anymore. It will only be a matter of time. 

They are working to pay their mortgage and bills. They are working to earn family time and freedom. They are working to live, not living to work. Some are working because they are merging their passion with their profession. Others so they can build up enough money and experience to set up their own business (likely, in competition with you). Others to earn their retirement so they can 'sack their boss' eventually. That's you, by the way.

So, the first step to being a better leader is to have a reality check. Know that people do not work for you, they only work for themselves.

Next, work out what they are working for, and link those reasons (also known as values) to the job they have with you. Their values are what's most important to them. Family. Money. Freedom. Progression. So link their job role, key result areas, and deliverables you want them to achieve, to their highest values. That way, you work with and for each other. 

Give money as a reward for results. Family time as a bonus for deliverables. Location freedom with certain remotely workable tasks. Progression into management and leadership for autonomous projects completed successfully.

Finally, you'll need to change your language. Remember: they work with you, not for you.  Or take it a stage further, maybe you work for them. After all, without them, you have no leverage. Without them, you are not an entrepreneur, you're a stressed-out one-man band, deluded that you're a business owner. The business owns you.

Instead of expecting all your staff to do a great job for you, how about you do a great job as a support leader for them? How about you ensure they can do their job to their best ability, aligned with their highest values, with the greatest amount of autonomy and satisfaction?

Give them all the resources they need. Give them clarity of vision of their role. Align your deliverables with their highest values. Then get out of their way and let them do it, supporting them through the challenges. Might they work harder and longer and better then? Might they work for you, working for themselves?

And remember, if you don't risk anything, you risk everything.