There's a lot going on at the moment, isn't there?
For you, as the leader, it means the pressures of work are higher — constantly sensing, analysing and responding to keep everything running smoothly.
But there's a tendency to take it ALL onto your shoulders.
Too many leaders think they need to keep the stressful stuff to themselves, and put a rose-tinted spin on everything to the team. Then they struggle on and sort it all out on their own.
Your business doesn't need a martyr, it needs a leader. Someone to bring people together in facing up to reality, and being determined to win through it. A leader achieves bigger things than they could on their own through enabling others to work on them together.
In his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, tech-CEO turned famous venture capitalist Ben Horowitz writes:
"My single biggest improvement as a CEO occurred on the day when I stopped being too positive. I thought that I would make the problem worse by transferring that burden to my employees.
Instead, I thought I should project a sunny demeanour and rally the unburdened troops to victory. I was completely wrong."
In agencies we're blessed with having entire teams of brainy creative people who are used to problem solving.
We trust them to solve problems for clients — that are often way bigger than our own business, with bigger problems.
So we should trust them with the same in our own business. It's part of what they're paid for, and we don't need to protect them from it.
As Ben Horowitz says:
"You won't be able to share every burden, but share every burden that you can with your teams. Get the maximum number of brains possible on every problem."
So this week, give some thought to what weight you're carrying on your shoulders alone, how to start to put that load down, and how you can involve the rest of your team in handling those issues.
You're not alone.
Don't hire me
Hey, I'm Steve Parks. I've been an agency founder and then board member for years, but now recommend you don't hire me.
That's because, instead of just sitting on two or three boards, I want to help as many agency founders as possible.
To do that, my Convivio colleagues and I have spent the last year working to create the Virtual Advisory Board.
- The Agency Leaders Playbook is the place to turn when you need answers and ideas as an owner and CEO. The missing reference manual on how to run a healthy agency business.
- The Monthly Board Pack give you the agenda, guidance on running the meeting, and two briefings to run productive discussions and workshops on key issues. That way you get a steer on what to be thinking about and discussing at high altitude in the agency.
- Agency Radar helps you see what's ahead that could affect your agency and its clients, so you can prepare for risks and see the opportunities.
- Office Hours gives you a monthly chance to chat with me and other agency founders to discuss, get a steer and get support on what you're currently thinking about.
- Plus there are workshops, book summaries, and more.
It's like having an incredibly supportive non-exec, but at 10% of the cost — because it's spread across more agencies.
It's £225/mo, with no long-term commitment. It'd be daft not to try it eh? :)