In Leadership, Start With Baby Steps
When it comes to your turn to take the reins of the family business, start with baby steps. There is nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. The only task is to settle yourself into this new role and to find your bearings. Do not rush to change what exists but rather take an approach of evolving the existing business.
Whose confidence do you need to secure in taking up a new leadership role?
Often when new leaders are appointed, they jump headfirst into the role and want to make their mark. They see change as their way of making an impression and proving their capability and worth. In addition, if they have been in the business for a while, they likely have a list of all the things that they believe need to change.
But pause and be realistic as to whether immediate change is necessary. Change is often better approached in small steps and gradually. And what you believed needed to change when sitting outside the leadership seat, may well be different once you have allowed time to immerse yourself in this new role.
As for proving yourself to others, don’t ever fall into that trap. The only person you ever have to prove yourself to is you. Don’t seek to achieve someone else’s affirmation; they are often elusive. And the chances are that those goalposts will shift and no matter what you have achieved, there is something that didn’t achieve.
In family businesses, the sensed pressure to prove yourself to immediate family members, cousins and even existing employees can be great. But it should never be what you have achieved in the first six months but rather the first 3- 5 years. And again, against the goals you set for yourself.
There is a physics to leadership, and your first role as a new leader is to build your centripetal leadership. From this foundation, you will be able to move forward in taking the business to its next level of growth and solidifying your leadership team and their impact in their business.
In leadership, firstly immerse yourself into the new environment, build your foundations, and establish trust and engagement. There is no rush to prove anything.