You can have ample funds, a quality product/service, great people, excellent location and so on. But the absence of a fully engaged owner leaves a business vulnerable in many ways. Having an effectively engaged owner, or a talented leader empowered to fully act on their behalf is crucial to the long-term sustainability of a successful small business.
If only it were as simple as saying, “I’m all-in” for an owner to be effectively engaged. Rather, it’s a series of thoughts and beliefs turned into actions that result in effective owner “engagement”. Any committed small business owner can realize the immense benefits of intentionally being effectively engaged. The framework below works best when owners adapt it to their business, making it their own.
PROSPERITY – A Framework for Effective Owner Engagement
P – plan – work collaboratively to define strategy, set goals and develop executional plans. Keep it simple — make strategy easily understood, goals achievable, plans SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Responsible, Time-bound).
R – respect – consider the impact of your business on employees, customers, owners and community. Treat everyone like family, look for the “good”, be thoughtful, caring.
O – obligation – do good while doing well by enriching the lives of others when they need it most. Foster a culture that enables and recognizes those who pay-it-forward.
S – share – communicate transparently, frequently about co. performance, industry developments. Share “intel” from legit sources, be clear about what’s confidential.
P – professionalism – lead by example, live stated core values daily; never speak ill of competitors, former customers or employees. Be consistent, show humility.
E – excellence – showcase outstanding performance, share best-practices widely, recognize those committed to continuous learning. Recognize above & beyond action.
R – results – periodically review metrics (KPIs) to call attention to results – do so on a co., team, and individual level. Ensure that metrics relate to/reflect the co.’s goals.
I – innovation – explain why “good enough never is”. Embrace change as opportunity. Listen intently to all stakeholders, and use feedback to enhance future performance.
T – trust – earned over time, lost in a split second. Deliver on your promises. Own mistakes. Share credit for success with others. To be trusted, you must trust others.
Y – young-at-heart – make your workplace attractive to the entire workforce. Encourage staff to have fun (consistent with company values).
While the goal is to consistently apply the PROSPERITY framework, acknowledge that this an aspiration. In the “real-world”, at times we lose sight of our purpose, way and desired outcomes. Don’t get discouraged when mistakes occur, or emergencies demand your full attention. We’re all human — we’re resilient — we learn from our mistakes. We become stronger, better, more effective with every experience. Recognize as well as celebrate successes, and thank all who support your efforts to thoughtfully adapt how PROSPERITY applies to your business.
Effective owner engagement is a powerful competitive advantage, helping small businesses attract quality talent, top suppliers, customers, and often boost profitability.
Cheers to your PROSPERITY.