It's all well and good to know you're a “3” on the Enneagram or an “activator” according to the Clifton StrengthsFinder... but what does that mean for you as an entrepreneur? And what does it mean for the success of your business?
Nicole Wipp is on a mission to take this kind of knowledge out of theory and into the office in a way that empowers individuals at all levels, and strengthens your business as a whole. “I want to take mindset and personal development into the workplace in a way that's practical and useful... and is for everyone,” she says.
Wipp is an attorney and founder of Wipp Enterprises LLC, a Detroit-based a consulting and training firm that helps entrepreneurs create, build, and train powerful teams by bringing out the best in themselves and others. She has these tips for entrepreneurs to create environments of “everyday leadership” for all team members:
It starts at the top. Empowering workers has to start with the person who has power, says Wipp, and that's you. If you aren't willing to encourage your team members step up, it's not going to work. “It has to be looked at as an investment in your time and in your team,” she says.
Influence doesn't always mean “authority.” There are some roles that may not seem to have authority, but that doesn't meant these people can't still influence others. It's about “using the best of you in a way that works for you, and has a positive influence on those around you,” explains Wipp.
Every strength is a weakness – and vice-versa. When taken to the extreme, any personality trait – even those that have helped us get where we are – can become annoying, ineffective, or downright problematic. “They need to be properly managed,” Wipp says.
We won't necessarily immediately appreciate others' strengths. “I call it 'the idiot in the office' syndrome, says Wipp. You might want to ask, “What is wrong with you? Why would you do it that way?” But you need to take a step back and view situations objectively, recognizing that other approaches are valid, and maybe even more appropriate than yours.
While you still sets the goals, you need to let others participate in their achievement. As the leader, says Wipp, it's your job to create the company's direction. But to build the most effective organization, you have to evaluate other approaches – particularly ones that draw on others' strengths. Being open to the idea that while what you're good got you to Point A, a new set of skills and strengths might be needed to move on to your next milestone.
She explains, “As the leader you are setting the vision and goals. How you get there is where the discussion comes up.” The best leaders are the ones who know their own limitations and strengths, and invest in the strengths of their teams as well. Wipp says, “As strategically important as understanding yourself, is helping every member of your team understand themselves too.”