Spoiler: If You're a Business Owner With a Team, You are a Manager

managers team operations Dec 05, 2023
business owner


Spoiler alert, business owners…

If you are a business owner with a team, then guess what?

You’re also a manager.

Some of you might be thinking, “Well, duh, Lia—we know that!”

But I bet most of you didn’t think about it that way, because…well, you’re the owner, right? Owners and managers are two different things…in theory.

However, in practice, if you don’t have managers on your team, and you’re the one running everything…then you may be the owner, but you’re also doing the managing.

Because of this misconception, there are a few things business owners might be missing when it comes to managing their team. Here’s what I recommend for shifting your mindset to management…


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How To Show Up As a Manager

So now you know you’re a manager…but what comes next?

The first thing I want you to think about is how to start showing up the best you can for your team.

Sit down and ask yourself: how do you show up as a manager? How do you give feedback? How do you create an opening for people to come to you with feedback? How deeply do you want to be involved in projects? What makes you feel comfortable? What are some of the things that you want your team to know about you in order to make everything flow as smoothly and simply as possible between them and you?

A lot of times we become a manager and haven't even thought about it at all…even when we know we’re going to be managing. But to get started, try thinking about some of those managers in the past who have been really inspiring to you—people who really helped you realize how to be at your best—and consider which of their qualities you want to bring into your management style. When you begin to catalog that, you’ll be able to approach managing with the intentionality that allows you and your team to thrive.

It doesn’t only have to be about your best managers, either. In a lot of my early interviews on my podcast, I asked people which had a bigger impact on them: their best manager or their worst.

To my surprise, it was pretty evenly split. I thought most people would say the worst manager. This shows me that striving to be a good manager can deeply impact our teams, even when we think the bad will stand out more.

In any case, sometimes we learn how we do want to be managing by looking back at our worst managers and cataloging what we don’t want to do.

For instance, I’ve had micromanagers hovering over me in the past, and it really frustrated me, because I was a great worker. I was crushing it. And there was no need for them to be managing me as closely as they were.

So now that I'm managing folks as a business owner, I work hard to be really intentional and remind myself that even though I am very detail-oriented and like things to be done a certain way, I also know how demoralizing it is to have a micromanager. And I do my very best to make sure I don’t force that on someone else.

The Delegation Station

The next thing I want you to think about is what you should be spending your time on as a manager and business owner.

I suggest you ask yourself what tasks should be on your plate, and which tasks you can begin offloading to a team member. You need this information in order to know what kind of roles you should be hiring for, what roles can be filled by your current team members, and where you can make the best use of your time.

For example, if you’re a coach or consultant, your time is better spent on working with your high-paying clients rather than copyediting someone's email or reading over a Google doc, right?

By identifying what you can offload from your own plate as the business owner and manager, you can begin to set expectations more clearly. You can begin to delegate better and onboard team members with more efficiency, because whenever you bring folks onto your team, they can hit the ground running rather than getting stuck in limbo because you're still figuring out the tasks you should be doing versus what they should be doing.

If that’s you, hey—that’s okay! All business owners end up in the weeds a little bit more than we should be from time to time. No judgment here. But we need to make sure we’re focusing our energy where we can create the most forward momentum, the most revenue, and the most simplicity for our business.  

If you're struggling to identify those areas for yourself, by all means, schedule an SOS call with me. It’s an hour-long call where we work together to look at how you’re spending your time and which tasks you can begin to offload, as well as when it might be time to hire additional support.



Gather Support

And speaking of support…I want you to consider what support you need as the business owner and manager to show up at your best.

This is another thing a lot of us business owners don't ask ourselves. What kind of support would be beneficial to us? Do we need a coach? Do we need to read some books? Do we need a training or two? What would help us get to that next level of management skill?

It is in the best interest of your team—and yourself—that you ask for support or invest in it on your own. And if you don’t know where to start, my podcast Managing Made Simple is a great (and free) place to start. I do my best to provide tons of tools, strategies, and actionable things that you can try through that platform.

Even if you’ve been managing for a while—whether you were doing it knowingly as a manager or unknowingly as a business owner—you should consider getting support. You can manage people for a very long time and tape things together when they try to fall apart. You can figure out a lot of ways to keep the car running long after the check engine light comes on, right?

However, a lot of times, these quick solutions come at the expense of your team. They end up experiencing some of the worst sides of us because we're just getting our footing and figuring it out ourselves.

What happens next? When your team is witnessing that, you’ll end up having a high turnover. And that’s one of the most expensive things a business can suffer from.

You've spent a lot of time on hiring. You've done a lot to get those A-level players on your team, and if you lose them, you end up losing people that could have really elevated your business or team and taken it to the next level.

This is the first place we want to be investing in to get support, because our team members are relying on us. Without us being at the top of our game, they can’t do their jobs successfully. And when we show up for them, that's when we can scale our business to new heights we never thought possible.

So get some support. Get a coach. Get a sounding board. Get some additional training. Schedule a call with me. Whatever it is, find a way to get the support you need to show up for your team the way they need.

Get Support Today

When you do all three things I talked about today, you will probably be a better manager than 90 percent of folks out there who haven't thought about any of these things.

If you're a business owner with a team or a corporate employee with a team, you're a manager. And that's not something to shy away from. That's something to lean into and celebrate—and then figure out how to do it the best way you can.

People don't leave companies. They leave managers. So let's be the exception, not the rule.

You have a responsibility as a manager. You’re not just running a business; you have a team, and that team is relying on you. But you don’t have to do it alone!

Schedule a call with me today, and I’ll do everything in my power to support you in becoming the manager your team needs you to be—and you need you to be.




Want a checklist of things you can do THIS month to become a better manager? Check out my Thriving Team Checklist for a list of quick actions you can take right away with your team: https://www.liagarvin.com/checklist 

Book a FREE scaling strategy consultation with yours truly: calendly.com/liagarvin/scaleup-strategy?back=1&month=2023-08 

Join the MANAGING MADE SIMPLE HUB, a membership community for team leaders and small business owners. This is your one-stop shop for building effective, motivated, & profitable teams: https://www.liagarvin.com/hub 


Website: https://www.liagarvin.com/ 

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