Every business owner I know has specific business skill sets which they can apply within their business to maximise its success. Their skill sets may be leadership or visionary; they may be process or resource based. Possibly organisational. Whatever their skill sets are, partnered with either a board of directors, senior managers or associates, each team member’s skill set will contribute greatly to the cohesion of the team and the strategic direction and growth of that business.
It’s easy, however, to be defined by the role descriptions that are generally expected within business and lose the reality of your own skill sets; sometimes to the detriment of the business as a whole.
It can be easy for the director or owner of a business to ‘morph’ in to the pre-prescribed title and role of ‘oversee-er’ of the business as a whole, usually based around a financial framework, driving the business strategically. But in actual fact, as I am sure you’ll agree and may have experienced, not everyone who owns or oversees a business is created in that mould. Some business owners start a business without any business skills at all. Some are passed a business because they’ve have certain talents or have been in that business a long time, however have little if any experience of strategic direction, change or how to build on the current status quo to grow the business further.
And it was this I was reminded of when I was lucky enough to be listening to Sara Davies MBE (director of the Crafter’s Companion) speak at the recent Teesdale Business Awards, local to me in County Durham, north east England.
Sara reminded me of two things during her speech, both of which I feel need echoing within the business world to remind us that we need to be fully conscious of where our own talents lie as well as those of others around us, what we could be lacking and what needs to be added in to our business skill set mix to encourage greater success, in whatever form that takes.
Sara started wth a brief description as to how she came about creating the huge success that is the Crafters Companion, initially on her own, but later with her husband at her side, driving the business from a strategic and financial angle. The reason for this is that Sara found herself slowly morphing in to the director that the world seemed to expect, rather than staying creative and at the forefront of product development which actually is not only her forte but also the part she loves best!
Thankfully her husband also saw the signs and stepped in to support Sara so she could go back to the skill set she knew was hers and what she was great at, building the business to even greater heights with the support of a fabulous business mind at her side.
Sara also mentioned a little about the culture of her business (a topic I wrote about recently here). She was fabulously honest in saying that on her search for people to join her management team she came across individuals highly recommended to her for their business skill sets, however she knew deep down that they didn’t follow or fit the same culture that she had built up within her business. Despite her gut feel, she employed them thinking that perhaps if they spent some time within the business it may help to mould them and ‘shave off a few edges’ as she put it, so that they’d truly fit within the culture of Crafters Companion.
In fact this didn’t happen at all and the result was that the situation didn’t work for them or the business causing issues and discomfort for all parties. Sara explained that she’d made this mistake more than once, not necessarily learning from the first time, hoping it might work a second time, although this was not to be. She now, however, has the confidence and knowledge that in fact although someone might look an excellent fit in terms of skill set, if they’re not a cultural match it’s not going to be the harmonious journey that we all strive for. Even if you think you’ve found your pearl from an experience, talent viewpoint, if the cultural fit isn’t there it’s not one to pursue.
Believe that the person with the skill set, talent and cultural match will turn up at some point and match your ’round peg’ requirement, filling the skill set gap, riding your wave of enthusiasm & vision and support you in creating even greater success for your business.
We all have our own individual business skill sets and that’s what makes us and our businesses different; it gives us ‘the edge’ that attracts your ideal client base. So don’t try to squeeze a square peg in to a round hole, as actually you could end up damaging the peg and possibly part of your business too. If you find your talent search throws up a square peg instead of a round one, it’s better to politely move on and find the next round peg with the skill set, mindset and cultural beliefs that you’re truly looking for.