As an entrepreneur, you are a manager to your team of employees but can you go from manager to mentor? Should you be one or the other or can you effectively function as both? Which role will be the most helpful to your team? Will one or the other serve to grow your business toward success?
As a manager, your goal is productivity and performance. As a somewhat singular goal, you are likely to miss out on situations you might have otherwise seen and corrected. On the other hand, as a mentor, your goal is relational, a connection between you and your team member – it’s about finding common ground. As a mentor, you’ll develop a greater understanding of your employees and engage them in their goal of personal growth and your goal of growing your business.
So should you go from a manager to a mentor or will you be more successful if you are a bit of both? If you consider the possibilities, the correct answer is likely both. Obviously, as the business owner and manager you want performance and productivity, but when you give it some thought, you also want to develop a connection with your employees as a mentor. In doing so, you build your employees’ confidence and create an environment in which your team feel they can come to you with issues they are concerned about – an environment that is key to keeping the best employees and building a successful team.
Your employees may be surprised when you take on the new role of mentor but they will ultimately appreciate it. Be consistent in your role, ask questions, build bridges, provide training, and facilitate growth. Communicate effectively and encourage your employees to share ideas and concerns. Be a manager, be a mentor, be both, and watch your team and your business succeed.
Deliver and Delight
The services you deliver are of the utmost importance in growing your business. One of your greatest investments is the investment you make in your customers. Always deliver a bit more than your customers expect – share tips and trends, take customer service to an exceptional level, offer something unexpected – your customers will notice and you’ll reap the benefits when they share what you did on their behalf!