In case you’re wondering, leaders make mistakes too. Leaders can veer off-course just like anyone, sometimes creating havoc in their wake. They’re human just like you and I, but the difference is, they chose to put themselves front and center. Whether leading a large company or institution, a middle manager leading a work team, an entrepreneur leading a small business, or a volunteer taking a lead role in a church or school, being a leader requires an individual to put themselves out there for all to see, judge and critique. When things are going good their stock rises and those following feel secure. But when that leader stumbles and brings into question their ability to lead, the grumbling begins and that feeling of security starts to crumble.

To illustrate my point allow me to use an analogy straight out of our current events: texting while driving. We all know the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving, but now we have the dangers of the distracted driver. If you own a cell phone, and if you own a car (chances are 99.99% that anyone reading this has both), then chances are you’ve encountered this phenomena. You look down for just a second to check your mobile device and, oops, you’ve crossed the line into another lane. No big deal you think. No harm no foul, so you continue the practice of using your phone while driving, only the next time you have an “oops” moment you ran into the rear-end of another car. Was that enough to change your behavior?

Just like the driver who becomes distracted while using their cell phone while driving, leaders can become distracted too. Examples of this are way to easy: our elected leaders who choose to focus on issues important to their re-election but not to the general public, coaches who choose to look the other way when known infractions are occurring, corporate executives getting huge payouts after leading their companies to the brink of failure. A distracted leader can quickly lead those for whom he’s responsible quickly off course, and there’s bound to be collateral damage.

This can be especially true of a small business leader. There are just so many potential distractions, and in many cases the leader is the owner, and the person from whom all things relate to the business emanates. The team members look to that person for direction, they look to that person for approval and feedback. They want to know that their position in the business is valuable toward making the business successful. And when it comes to security, they want to know they’ll have a paycheck next week and for as long as they remain an employee in good standing.

But when a small business leader becomes distracted and loses focus or begins focusing on different things, these same employees who look to their leader for direction often get something much different in return. I’ve actually seen this happen in a small business.

The business has had turnover in the past, especially at the general manager position, but over the last year the new manager has brought stability to the position and to the team. The business is operating much more efficiently than when I began working with

Author's Bio: 

I inherited my entrepreneurial independence from my grandfather and dad, Asa Sr. and Asa Jr., who owned and operated two independent grocery stores for over 35 years in Columbus, OH. I was born a Buckeye in Columbus, and of course chose The Ohio State University where I earned my business degree.

While I gained much of my business knowledge in the corporate world where I held positions in sales, management, marketing, and training, it was my hands-on small business experiences that shaped me for my true passion, helping others build and grow a business. Besides having a marriage of 29 years and counting, and raising two, now adult kids, my greatest achievement is the success I have found in my business by helping others achieve success in their business.

As an independent, energetic and competitve person I found the sport of triathlon as my outlet for exercise and to provide personal challenge. Having completed my first triathlon in 1986, I finally set the goal and achieved my dream of becoming an Ironman Triathlon Finisher in 2010 at the age of 49.

A very wise person once shared with me that most things in life “are a process, not an event”. Instant gratification rarely comes in business, or in life for that matter. Enjoy the process, have patience, and persevere.