5 Ways Mentoring Can Help Develop Your Leadership Skills
Growing up, I never really planned on being in business for myself.
I didn’t think I was an entrepreneur. I mean, I didn’t want to change the world.
But I did want to live life on my own terms.
Which is part of why I found myself in my own business, years later.
I quickly went from being a solo operator to having 20 staff.
That’s 20 people who looked to me for answers on all kinds of issues, both big and small.
So I got bogged down in the day-to-day running of the business.
I spent 10 hours a day (sometimes more) putting out fires, dealing with things that could only be done by me (or so I thought), and basically wearing myself out.
Knowing what I do now, it’s no surprise that the business failed.
Because I spent all my time being a manager, when I should have become a leader.
In my years of coaching business owners, it’s always when they learn how to step out of their managerial role and drive their business in a leadership capacity that their business truly takes off.
Because when you remove yourself from the small day-to-day decisions, and empower your team to make those decisions for themselves, you can scale your business and free up your precious time too.
But developing your skills as a leader isn’t easy.
That’s why a mentor can be so valuable in helping you develop your leadership skills.
Here’s a few ways a mentor can guide you.
1. Help You Improve Your Listening Skills
Leaders need to be able to understand their staff deeper than at surface level. Part of that is being able to listen to not just what is said, but more importantly, what isn’t being said.
Strong leaders have the ability to understand things they haven’t explicitly been told. They know what is going on with their staff, even when their staff are trying to keep quiet.
Are they going through a rough time at home and need support?
Are they unhappy in their role, and thinking about leaving?
Do they have a problem with another staff member that is affecting your workplace culture?
A mentor can help hone your ability to understand how to lead the people who run your business.
2. Develop your leadership intuition
Being in business means making lots of important decisions. The best leaders have the ability to trust their intuition.
That means they make a decision guided by their heart, and back up their decision logically.
Which is a 180 degree spin from managerial decisions, which are made looking at cold hard data, and then taking into account ‘gut feeling’ afterward.
But the thing is, when you’re out in front leading your business, the path you’re on is new to you. You haven’t walked it before.
You’re out there trailblazing, innovating, disrupting the norm. There is no system or data that can show you the results of where you want to go… because you haven't been there yet.
Mentors teach you how to tap into your heart and gut more, and trust your intuition when making those big guiding business decisions.
3. Use language to inspire and unite your team
How you structure your language has a direct effect on the people around you. The words you use, the way you structure what you say, and even the tone in which you deliver information can work for you, or against you.
A good mentor will help you develop your language and speaking abilities in a way that helps you to move people to action.
To inspire your team to get behind a new initiative
To excite your team about the business and their role in it
To build a sense of community and support
To instill a strong workplace culture
All this requires you to know how to communicate effectively.
4. Get advice and guidance you can trust
When we’re in a leadership position, and have people looking up to us… it can get kinda lonely.
Business owners often feel isolated, like they have nowhere to turn to get the answers they need. We have nowhere we can be vulnerable and share our fears and frustrations.
Instead, we feel like we have to always keep our armour on, for our staff, for our families, and even for ourselves.
A good mentor can provide that sounding board for your ideas, hopes and fears. They can show you different perspectives based on their years of experience doing the thing you are striving to do - build a profitable and scalable business.
Just this alone can be worth its weight in gold for struggling business owners who just need advice from someone they can trust.
5. Show you how to grow into the person your business needs
Your business cannot grow bigger than you.
The limits of your capability as a business owner and leader are the borders of your business’ potential. So it’s imperative that you consistently stretch yourself to grow beyond your comfort zone. To keep learning and developing your skills not just as a business leader, but also to develop your ‘inner game’.
Your ‘inner game’ is your mindset, attitude and beliefs. If you haven’t created the right conditions internally to become the person your business needs you to be… you will struggle to transition from manager to leader.
A good business mentor doesn’t just give you strategies for marketing, negotiations and the like. A good business mentor understands how to help develop your inner game, so you can get rid of the unhelpful beliefs that are holding you back and truly take off.
Leadership Mentoring From The Game Changers
Are you ready to stretch the envelope on how you’re showing up as a leader?
At The Game Changers, we work with business owners doing over 300k per year who want to get unstuck in their business and scale to the next level.
To see if we’re a fit, it all begins with a conversation. Book a quick chat with one of the team to see how we might be able to help you transition from manager to leader in your business.