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Five Things I Learned My Second Year in Business (2023) Part 4

This article first appeared on LinkedIn in May 2023

May 5, 2023 marks the second anniversary of registering my business, McEwen Media Consulting, and the amazing journey that followed. This past year I’ve been able to focus on McEwen Media full-time. It’s moved from side hustle to real business, with a team and everything! This week I'm sharing five lessons I’ve learned from the past year.

There have been many times in my career where I was a manager. But this is the first time I’ve had the chance to be a leader.

In August 2022, I enrolled in a coaching certification program, Khan Method Coaching. It’s run by my client Hina Khan, my coach and mentor. The leadership lessons from learning how we think and how our thoughts, feelings and actions work together has been game-changing.

As a manager, I attended countless training sessions on human behavior. I’m not unfamiliar with active listening and asking open-ended questions. But in the past, this work was used to keep people in line with the company’s goals. I never felt comfortable working that way. It was one of the many workplace paradigms I’ve happily shed.

I no longer manage people. I lead them.

A manager imposes company goals and uses them to measure success.

A leader communicates the universal values of the company.

A manager tells staff to leave personal issues at home.

A leader knows human lives are complicated. It’s normal to think of home when you’re at work, and it’s common to think of work when you’re at home.

A manager imposes deadlines.

A leader provides guidelines, giving their team enough laneway to succeed. A leader budgets time to make mistakes and learn from them. A leader checks in on progress and asks how their team feels about what they’re working on.

Every week I meet with my team, and we discuss our goals for the week. I ask “how do you want to win this week?” I give them space to declare what they want to work on. And I ask how they feel about it.

How your team feels about their work will make or break success. If your team is concerned, worried, or stressed about a project, they will carry that extra mental weight the entire time they’re working on it. These limiting beliefs will affect the decisions they make, their ability to see solutions, and even how quickly they take action.

I lead by coaching. If anyone has doubt or worry, they know they can bring it to me in that Monday meeting. And instead of weighing them down with solutions and things I would do, I offer coaching. We explore where these beliefs are coming from and work on clearing it from their mind.

At the end of the week we celebrate our wins. And without fail, my team has won their week and succeeded at their chosen tasks. All of this happens without daily check-ins or tracking their work. I know they will win the week because I’ve invested in getting them into a peak state first thing Monday morning.

A manager creates work for themselves by managing.

A leader empowers their team to succeed beyond measure.


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