Tara OrchardCareer / Business Coach, Trainer and Writer

20 years experience as a Coach for professionals / businesses leaders. Featured expert in two business magazines. Small business owner/adviser. Top social networking coach. Advised 100's of business owners/managers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and 1000's of individuals seeking to enhance performance, advance careers or businesses, make decisions and gain professional clarity.

I employ a psychologically informed process working with people from all over the world on wide-ranging professional, personal and business topics. I help people gain insights to better understand what they want and need to achieve their personal, professional and business actualization goals.

Recent Answers

Consider carefully what you need/expect from the person you are thinking of hiring and how much time and energy you are willing to invest in both the locating, training and oversight of initially.

As a growing business you must be very conscious of quality control so you have to hire well.

Ensure your reputation is solid before you expand so you attract the right people.

You could consider hiring a contract or freelancer for extra work until you are in a position to comfortably find, hire and train a new member of your team. Contractors/freelancers are also aware of their need to maintain their reputation and deliver good quality product (do not cheap out on paying).

Clearly identify the qualities and that includes traits you believe will fit in well with you and your business. Many growing small business owners have taken a real hit by hiring the wrong person and giving them to much trust and responsibility to quickly. It feels great to be able to hire and give someone a job and great to expand your business. Sometimes small steps with a plan for more is the way to go.

Different types of leadership is required at different times and for different purposes and people. As a leader an ability to recognize when you should employ different leadership approaches it an important trend. This is not about bending your leadership but about understanding how to apply it.

You often read about good and successful leaders in recent years that they practiced mindful leadership. Mindful leadership means being able to be in the moment and be conscious of all the variables, that includes your own thoughts, preferences and perceptions. Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahnamen wrote an interesting book a couple of years ago 'Thinking, Fast and Slow'. It reminds us that our thoughts, decisions and actions are influenced by many factors, but internal ones and how they perceive the world around us, are key among them. Do successful leaders become successful because they have perspective and can practice mindful leadership or do they achieve success and then gain a perspective that allows them to further develop the ability to be mindful and gain perspective? Perhaps both. But being mindful as a leader of the bigger picture and the picture in the moment should enable you to better listen and lead the people with whom you are working.

I think mindful leadership and being able to understand your preferences can be improved with self-awareness which can be gained through self-assessment. I use two tools, a personality profile tool (not because personality tools are perfect but because they open the door for self-awareness conversations) and Emotional intelligence assessment. I use tools called Typefocus and another called EQ-i 2.0. I have also worked with organizations that profile their leadership team so people can be more mindful and aware of potential differences in perspective and preference.

There are many leadership trends that work sometimes, in some places with some people. I think the best leaders (for the long term) include awareness of themselves, strengths and weaknesses and of the team around them.

Finding a good coach or partner who can help you gain perspective and see what you need to see and then use that to inform your leadership actions is always a good idea and one that is becoming more popular.

FInding people who can be potential partners is an important step, but knowing who you are looking for should be part of your strategy. Just as when you are hiring you need to look for qualities that match your needs and also matches your preferences. Working closely with a business partner should not be painful (that does not mean there cannot be clashes).

Do you know your own strengths and weaknesses - not only technical and business but personal strengths and weaknesses? In Daniel Kahneman's 2011 book 'Thinking, Face and Slow' he discusses excellent information about how people approach thinking. If you understand your own thinking and decision making processes you might want to find a partner who helps balance your strengths and your weaknesses.

I recommend personality profiling and emotional intelligence profiling to help you sort your own performance strengths and weaknesses and consider who would be a good match to balance or counter-balance.

Certainly find someone who has the skills, qualifications and connections you need, but also remember that you have to work with this person and find someone who will enable you make the best decisions and take the most effective actions.

Being entrepreneurial is often an 'always on' state but it need not consume all of your thoughts and attention. Consider these solutons

1) Take micro-breaks that involve being mindful and 'in the moment' when you are with others. Carve out time, even 5, 10, 15 minutes while 'working' and do it frequently (every hour) and focus on other important tasks and people.

2) Practice better distribution your time, attention and energy as a way not to avoid your work but to enhance your ability to focus. Reading a report while on the treadmill can be efficient, reading the report while 'watching' your child's soccer time can be draining.

3) Create your own personal app that schedules an 'alarm' once an hour that says 'time out'. Control your own schedule by prioritizing what is important, and that includes you, your healthy, family and your business and bring a little more balance to your work/life.

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