5 Things I Have Learned About Leadership (and still am learning).

1. Delegation is integral with any size of company/organization.

I have often admired leaders that are able to start as single operators or partnerships and gradually grow their teams to large multi faceted enterprises. But I have learned that there comes a point where operating effectively requires a transition from operating as an individual entrepreneur, to having other people join that vision.  To successfully scale any operation requires delegation and trust in your team to be able to deliver. Rather than micromanaging or doing everything yourself, empower your team to carry that vision.

Trust is important. Effective delegation happens when you have the RIGHT people on the bus. Once you have identified the right people, it’s important to make sure the right people are in the RIGHT seat. Having the right people makes delegation and growing your organization more efficient, and a lot less stressful.

About 2 years into growing Farm At Hand I watched Keith Rabois “How to Operate” . This video completely changed my outlook on leadership. I started to look at the company in quadrants and it helped me prioritize and delegate much more efficiently and effectively. This transition not only improved my personal success, but the success of the entire Farm at Hand team.

2.You will never know it all. (Get used to it).

Leadership is a lifelong lesson, and provides an opportunity to continually grow both personally and professionally.  Part of this growth involves being able to say “I don’t know” then seek out the information to learn and grow. A leader isn’t expected to know everything, but they are expected to grow, learn, and adapt to changes in their industry and teams to take their organization to the next level of success.

3. Seek mentorship

Mentors come in many forms - successful business leaders, industry leaders, colleagues or even employees.  Seek guidance and mentorship.  Advice from mentors has helped me to be proactive not reactive with business decisions in many circumstances. In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, “It’s the unknown unknowns that pose the greatest risk.”  

4. Leadership is not 'being the boss'

Being the boss doesn’t make you are a leader, nor does being a leader make you the boss.  Leaders come in all forms; leaders can be managers in charge of teams,or team members themselves.  It's important to recognize these different leaders within your organization in order to help them and your organization grow.

5. Speak openly and honestly

Speak about your challenges - both with your team and trusted people outside of your organization. Transparency is key.  In a leadership role there is often pressure to portray a level of confidence and sense that things are going well and in the right direction. Inevitably, there will be bumps in the road and you will need help. For someone to truly be able to help, they need to fully understand your challenges. This requires you to be open and honest.