Elephant in the way?

03 May Elephant in the way?

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room shall we?  For some of us this elephant may represent stress, staffing problems, employee morale, mental and physical duress, supply chain issues, cashflow, customer experience, etc. The list could go on and on if we let it.

I believe the new term is called ‘the great resignation’ and now it has a title! All our problems can now be solved because we’ve named the problem right? I guess I’m a bit skeptical because I don’t believe, as Americans, we are resigned to how things are at the moment. America was built on the very premise of business ownership and development, and the resiliency of the melting pot we call America. The Great Depression didn’t hold us down so let’s forget about titles for a bit and think about our contributions and offerings we bring to those we serve.

The elephant, as a metaphor, is merely a ‘label’ for the problems business owners are facing. Please know I am not minimizing how big these ‘elephants’ can feel for business owners. In my experience, depending on how long we’ve waited to attend to the elephant, most of the issues can be identified, prioritized and mitigated rather quickly. Sometimes we just need some help from others, and we can’t let our egos get in the way of asking.

Our Core Values

First and foremost we are in business for ourselves. We are the masters of our universe and we feel we have something to offer to others of value. This requires us, as business owners, to develop a good set of core values for which to operate our companies. These values are the moral compass which guides and engages employees, customers and suppliers to our business. These are also the measures of success for our business. Financial success is dependent on staying true to who we are, what we got in business to do, and why we go to work everyday.

For most business owners their core values talk about helping others, working together to drive customer value, teamwork, etc. For these core values to actually work, doesn’t that require everyone to ask for help while at work? We can’t have a good customer experience if there is only one part of the ‘team’ doing the work. The customer has a part and the business has a part. We have expectations of each other and sometimes we neglect to ask what those expectations are for each other. Other time we expect our “teams” to do and “we do nothing” in the eyes of the employees. I realize this might be a new way of thinking for many, however how easy would it be if everyone who worked for our company had the same values, and the values were demonstrated by every member of the team despite titles. Talk about the elephant in the room!

I realize this might be a new way of thinking for many, however how easy would it be if everyone who worked for our company had the same values, and the values were demonstrated by every member of the team despite titles. As business owners we must LIVE our core values. They must be seen, heard, and demonstrated daily in order to align and deliver on the vision and mission of our company.

Female Led

According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) elephant herds are led by a female elephant, the Matriarch. Male elephants are not part of the herd, even male calves must leave the herd shortly after reaching puberty. The Matriarch, lead herds of 8 to 100 female elephants and their calves. When a calf is born into a herd the entire herd protects and cares for the calf. No one is left behind. The elephant it is a metaphor for the power of female business ownership.

Elephants are at their core caring, nurturing, hungry, organized, protective, gentle giants who lead others. They foster an environment of learning and survival in the toughest conditions. Isn’t that what we do as women business owners and leaders of organizations?

Elephants in our businesses are exactly what we need in order to grow personally and professionally. We have the opportunity to walk the elephant straight into an environment for which we control. We protect the elephant by navigating the obstacles and safely coming out the other side. However, sometimes we need to lean on others, outside our herd, for help. Particularly if the skills we need are not within our herd.

Asking for Help

In the past, I would see asking for help as a weakness, because society has conditioned us to think that way. However, taking a lesson from the matriarch of the herd, this is one of our inner strengths which we must lean on even more now. There are experts to help business owners and there are very simple techniques to help you afford these experts.

It doesn’t matter what issues the business is facing, sometimes raising the white flag and going outside of the herd is exactly what needs to be done. Sometimes just having an external advisor gives us the mental space and expertise to lay everything out on the table and see our way through.

If only I knew someone who could help me and my team navigate through the jungle of problems we’re facing. Could they provide relief from some of these issues in less than a week? Would this person engage the team in a creative and fun way to solve some of these problems while building skills and team cohesion? Hold please I need to make a call to learn more! https://leadingtounlock.com/contact/