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What Happened? Understanding Business Leader Derailment

When a business is struggling and the reasons are a mystery, it may be time to examine

leadership for clues. This is not about finding someone to blame — it is about understanding some of the issues possibly derailing them in an effort to improve them. In a sense, this type of exploration is akin to going to the doctor to attend to a health issue versus having an autopsy or post-mortem exam.

Leadership issues are common, after all. We are not born knowing how to run a company — we can listen and learn from our challenges. Women in business can benefit from the shared wisdom of collaboration through groups like Empowering Women in Industry. When business owners are open to looking at their vulnerabilities, it can pave the way toward a better company and greater success.

Administrative Oversights

Overwhelmed business owners may inadvertently neglect necessary legal obligations such as payroll regulations, tracking data for tax purposes, or filing for business formation. These errors can be costly and result in serious setbacks for business owners. To avoid these oversights, entrepreneurs can establish a plan for tackling these necessities with routine reminders or by hiring an assistant to attend to these tasks.

Business owners can also avoid oversights by obtaining the services of an accountant or purchasing a comprehensive tax and payroll program — a prudent step that might save you a lot of grief. Similarly, business owners can file their business formation independently or outsource this task by hiring an online service that can expedite the plan at a reasonable cost. States have differing regulations — for example, an LLC in Alabama may differ from regulations in another state. Aside from administrative oversights, there are more ways business leaders may struggle.

Trails of Derailment

Sometimes when business owners flounder, there is a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to the source of the problem. Some common culprits include challenges with emotional intelligence, issues with impulsivity, lack of sufficient time commitment, or refusing to ask for help when it is needed. Fortunately, you can address these challenges — your business will benefit as a result.

Difficulties With Emotional Intelligence

Business owners are often highly skilled in analytical thinking, but the nuances of emotional

intelligence can feel elusive. People who have challenges in this area can struggle with reading the non-verbal cues of others, which can lead to misunderstandings and not knowing when to adjust strategies to accommodate the needs of customers. Emotional intelligence can be improved through learning and practice. It may help to seek the guidance of a life coach.

Derailed by Impulsivity

Business owners need to be able to think on their feet, but when impulsivity is an issue, it can

become a detriment. Wise business decisions require the ability to use critical thinking skills,

rather than relying on gut instincts or impulses made on the spur of a moment. Impulsivity is a tendency that can be remediated with mindfulness practices and through slowing down your decision-making process intentionally.

Lack of Sufficient Time Commitment

Many business owners are forced to continue working at another position while trying to wrangle their startup into a fully viable business. Trying to make ends meet by working several jobs is sometimes necessary, but can also mean sacrificing the necessary time for business growth and development. It may be helpful to consult peers in business to get ideas of how to commit the time needed to achieve success or consider financial adjustments to avoid working several jobs.

Refusing to Ask for Help

When business owners fail to request help, it is often due to either not realizing they need it or being too proud to admit they need assistance. Try to recognize when you are entering territory that is beyond your skill set. If you are a person who struggles with negotiating with vendors, for example, consider asking a colleague to help. If an organization is a challenge, enlist the help of an online assistant a few hours per week or delegate some of your administrative tasks to trusted employees.

Your business can thrive when you are able to reflect on your challenges and make necessary

changes. Often the best way to improve is to seek guidance from experts who have learned

from experience. For more inspiration and ideas on how business collaboration can change the landscape of your company and empower your life, check out the Empowering Women in Industry blog and podcast today.

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