There is a world of difference between managing a business and leading a business. You probably know this already. Even when you’re a sole proprietor or a small shop, you still switch hats between manager and leader. You want to have systems in place to avoid getting too panicky or too complacent. But maybe we’re missing a more important question?

Should you be the CEO (even if de facto) of your business?

It’s tempting for some to say “but I’m not a CEO“, particularly when you run a very small business. But that’s just shortsighted. You’re already setting the stage with your vision, your pace and emphasis on certain initiatives. The thing that may be missing here is trust.

Trust or no movement forward

No matter how much experience you have as a leader, trust plays a major role in how far your people will go with you. In such difficult economic times as we’ve experienced over the last four years, you need that trust to be strong. Given that change is an integral piece of the “new normal”, what resistance is present in your organization?

Trust is earned and some styles of leadership depend on it more than others. However, trust is not easily rewarded. Sure, just having a certain position gives you the basic level from most people.Titles do that.

So, you have to ask yourself, am I demonstrating…

  • consistency in my words and actions?
  • consideration for others’ schedules and abilities?
  • respect for others when I have requests and directives?
  • honesty in how I present myself?
  • that I believe I have a good team in my staff?

 No movement forward if you haven’t built more than a baseline of trust

You probably have your own war stories of working for someone that you could trust to be harsh, confusing or just plain infuriating. How did this affect your productivity? Don’t be that guy! You already know how it feels. And it’s important to remember that how people perceive that you “feel” is what determines the level of trust you’re given.

What do you notice creates breakdowns in the day-to-day tasks?

What do you do that makes you a trustworthy leader?