By Solomon Thimothy, founder of OneIMS and Clickx
When you reach that CEO status or you get your startup off the ground, it can feel like you've finally made it. Your entrepreneurial dreams are coming true, and you've accomplished your goals.
Not so fast. Just getting to that coveted corner office isn't enough to make your business successful. If you want to be a truly innovative entrepreneur, you should be looking for ways to constantly improve.
Both personal and professional development is important for every CEO, no matter how long you've been in the game. Here are four areas where CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners should always be looking to get better.
Knowing who will make a great contribution to your team is hard. You might have a great connection with a candidate, only to bring them into the office and find out that they're not as strong of a worker as you had hoped.
Hiring is a skill that takes a lot of practice. While larger companies can rely on the experts, CEOs of startups, agencies and small businesses need to know what to look for when bringing in new people.
Pay close attention to the skills and qualities of your strongest employees, and the behaviors of past employees who may not have met your needs or expectations. Keep these lists handy every time you need to start hiring.
Getting those new employees in the front door isn't the end of the battle. Bringing them onboard in a way that allows them to work efficiently is just as important as hiring the right person in the first place.
As my agency was growing rapidly, we weren't all in the same office. I couldn't meet new team members for in-person onboarding, but I still planned out every item that needed to get done and created a series of onboarding videos. I tried to make them as personal as possible -- the next best thing to having me right there next to them through the onboarding process.
Look for ways to make your own onboarding process efficient while still personal. You want to connect with your new hires and give them all the tools and resources they need to work successfully.
Coaching is more than just management. While managers are great at making sure the job gets done, they're not always looking at the next step. This is where coaches can come in.
Coaches work with your team members to help them improve a skill, learn something new or get to the next steps in their careers. They build better people and better employees.
You don't need a professional coach to help your team members. Instead, look at who within your team could coach or mentor others. Develop a coaching hierarchy within which each coach manages a handful of employees or team members.
Through proper hiring, onboarding and coaching, you start to shape better team members and employees. As they find their footing and learn the skills that help move their careers forward, they start to develop into leaders themselves.
Take a look at Andrew Carnegie. In an interview with a reporter, he famously talked about how he had turned 43 men into millionaires. He said they were developed the same way gold is mined -- by moving the dirt to find the gold.
Know how to find the "gold" from your team, or what helps them become better versions of themselves. This likely won't look the same across all of your employees, but help them improve and develop into leaders of their own.
It's not uncommon for CEOs and entrepreneurs to try to develop new skills that make them more marketable, but as a leader, you need to do more than just invest in yourself. By improving these four areas, you're not only investing in your future, but you're also investing in your teams' -- and, therefore, your company as a whole.
Solomon Thimothy, founder of OneIMS, a growth agency, as well as Clickx, a digital marketing analytics platform for agencies and businesses.