Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thoughts about managing and leading ... yourself

I've been muddling through the concept of how to apply management and leadership wisdom and theory to a one-person business. In other words, managing and leading yourself.

Management is supposed to be about accomplishing work through others, making sure the team(s) follow the leader(s)' vision and mission, etc.

Leadership is supposed to be about creating the vision and then influencing everyone else to follow it/make it happen.

I'm still working this through in my head, but it seems to me that with a one person vision, we're so busy making, shipping, lining up work/accounts, marketing, etc. that we don't have time to sit down and really flesh out, articulate, write down, develop a strategic plan around, our vision for our business. Or for our life, for that matter.

But what do you all think? I'm truly curious and would love to hear your perspectives and insights!


heather jane said...

I was just thinking yesterday how much I wished I could find a way to plan and schedule all the different parts of my life a little better. I've kind of given up on that until my kids are older and a little more predictable. For now I have to drop everything to play play dough and put a puzzle together. Or take a sick day when I'm feeling great, but my littles are under the weather. And somethings are just more important than sticking to a plan. I've started coming to terms with that this past year. But it won't be long until my teenage daughters don't want much to do with me. Then there will be order and a sadness that my little babies don't really need me anymore. I'm pretty sure I know which state of being I'll long for in the long run. big. huge. sigh.

Leaves of Glass said...

This is great stuff to think about, and it's been on my mind lately as well. I don't think I have any definitive answers to contribute, but I can at least lend my own recent experience. I seem to be failing spectacularly at the more managerial aspects of my business right now - blogging, promoting, keeping up with my mailings and contacts. I'm on top of production and customer satisfaction, but at the moment most of my creative energy is going into trying to arrange my life in a less stressful and more satisfying way. Because there's just the one of me, that means that leadership dictates to management that I just let go of some aspects of the business for the time being, and bear in mind the larger goal of job satisfaction and a balanced, rewarding life. I think when you're a one-person business, you can apply some of the same concepts of leadership and management, but you have to really stay on top of prioritizing in order to make them effective and not make yourself crazy. For me, it's easy to be motivated, and to get caught up in one facet of my work - the hard part is tuning in to the larger picture.

Phydeaux Designs said...

Oh, great comments!!!

Heather, I truly don't know how parents (particularly moms) manage to work and raise families, let along try to run businesses. And yet, parents have done that since the beginning of time! But clearly you have to operate under a different set of priorities and you're my heroine for doing so!

Kateri, I don't know how you do it! Two shops and work fulltime!? Prioritization ... that will be a fantastic upcoming blog post!

Thank you both for your insights, which I very much appreciate! :)

starry said...

I'm just beginning to really think about the marketing part of my art. I know I'll be reading up on selling, and making many lists about what, who and where I want to be next year. I like to think I'm starting to work for a better boss. I just hope I'm hiring a good employee!

Phydeaux Designs said...

That's so funny, Starry, because I've been writing a blog post on that very subject! Lessons learned from myself: how to be a terrible boss and how to be a nightmare employee. :) Or maybe I'll go optimistic: how to be a superstar employee and dream of a boss. :D