It’s officially tax season. If you’re like most detail-oriented entrepreneurs, your taxes have been taken care of, and you’re on to other business.
However, maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to move along. Maybe it’s time to audit your business with a different kind of criteria. Maybe it’s time to audit your role in your business and the quality of your business leadership.
Like a tax audit, what I suggest requires an honest, objective look at the facts. Unlike a tax audit, a business leadership audit requires personal introspection and an ability to be vulnerable.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” – Brené Brown (TED TALK)
A great strategy to audit your leadership is to participate in professional organizations that help you explore your timeline/lifeline. Groups like the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO); Vistage; Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO); and other organizations have offered me and others some much-needed perspective.
Our lives can be mapped by graphing our experiences and our activities. Anyone willing to make a timeline of his or her life can’t help but gain a new perspective on why certain periods were successful and others were so difficult. Inevitably, the exercise also provides insight into what lies ahead.
Creating a timeline while working with a group of trusted professionals requires honesty. Without that honesty and willingness to share, the group just doesn’t gel to achieve its goal – which is providing entrepreneurs a safe place to seek and receive advice.
It really is of benefit to us as entrepreneurs to slow down—to take more opportunities to look across the whole landscape of what’s happening and what’s likely to happen, before jumping into action. One of the most productive lessons I’ve learned in the past two decades is that when I take time to set my game plan, I go two or three times faster and smarter than I do otherwise—and in the actual direction I want to go!
The cool thing about this idea – to audit yourself with timelines and lifelines through a trusted group in which you can be vulnerable – is that it’s not strictly for business leadership alone. It can be used to help improve aspirations in all aspects of life: family, fitness and other achievement goals. Business reflects life, and vice versa.