It’s common leadership knowledge that you can’t help someone else until you can help yourself. Topnotch roofing business leadership is a product of self-discipline, empathy, realistic vision casting, trustworthiness, adaptability, and many other hard-earned qualities.
Kirt Linington of Linear Roofing expounded on who a strong leader is and what it takes to be one. You’ll find seven of them in this read. Interestingly, there are no shortcuts! If you take the effort to learn these skills and practice them consistently, you’ll be on your way to greatness!
Where’s the Value to Me?
Helping your team get a sense of value is vital for roofing business leadership. Most people that come to work for you subconsciously think that you — the business owner — are selfish. It’s natural for employees to feel that all you’re interested in doing is driving your profits.
So when you ask someone to do something in a business, the first thing they ask themselves, subconsciously, is “Where’s the value to me?” You’re not going to struggle if you create an environment where your people can:
- Help people look after themselves,
- see where the value is to them,
- have the opportunity to grow,
- see that you care about them,
The Trust Factor of Leadership
Whether in a new business relationship, interview, or employer-employee interaction, the first question to resolve is, “Can I trust you?” Once people can feel that there’s a level of trust, they start putting their minds at ease and stop questioning everything.
In leadership, there’s something called the “Circle of Safety” or “Circle of Trust.” In this small team of leaders, everyone is open to difficult conversations for redirection. They understand that accountability, pressure, and resistance are what help the organization grow, and trying to avoid this is naive.
This idea came from work settings where promotion is based on performance. The better you perform, the higher you go; and vice-versa (whether or not the failure of performance comes from personal life struggles). So the “safety” here comes in because whenever the circle has to consider anyone’s underperformance, the person’s job or career is safe and never in jeopardy.
People that have worked hard enough and earned a place in the circle of safety, can be trusted and helped when personal challenges are threatening their productivity at work. Ultimately, the business owner and everyone on the team grow together with good job security.
Do You Have a Realistic Vision with Backing Accountability Structure?
Any company that’ll thrive must learn to always talk about the future. We recommend a minimum of 5 years of vision casting. The importance of vision casting is pretty simple: “It meets people’s unspoken need to be part of something greater than themselves.”
When you cast a real vision and execute it (you can’t be a hypocrite), your people are going to be excited. The rabbit-hole problem with many business owners is they’re chasing specific destinations (It may be as simple accounting or a perfect CRM). Mostly, they imagine that it’s a “breakthrough” that’s going to make their work easier, but that’s not true.
It’s never going to get easier! The way forward is to set up systems to keep yourself from being lazy, like casting a vision and creating accountability. They’ll ensure you follow through on the things that you say.
Remember that you don’t just cast vision on your people. You also cast it to customers, partners, suppliers, and manufacturers (think of better terms!!). When these guys feel excited about where you and your company are going, they’re more pumped to do business with you.
However, you must follow your vision with predicted results if your word will remain credible. And their confidence in your company gives them a reason to go all out for you, spreading your company’s gospel!
The Leader’s Discipline
Following through on whatever you said you’re going to do requires a lot of discipline (both personal and corporate). Burgeoning roofing companies are those that have imbibed a culture of discipline. But how does a roofing business leader create a culture that gets people to follow through on the standards that a company is selling forward?
The answer is simple — It all rests on the business owner.
As John C. Maxwell says, ‘’Everything (including the team’s discipline) rises and falls on leadership.’’ A leader with an undisciplined personal life will have no credibility and command weak influence on his team members. This is because there’s no hiding here — your people know you!! Is the leader leading a life that’s a good example to everyone else? Not the life put on screen; because over time everyone gets to know who you are.
Are You a “Dangerous” Roofing Business Owner?
People that follow you have to know that you have the potential to be a killer (to be very dangerous). If you’re not fearless, then who’s going to protect the business when there’s say a lawsuit, unhealthy competition, or any other threats to the business?
Just like the pride of lions, people need to know that they’ve got a fearless leader. People crave strong roofing business leadership that can take them and the company to unprecedented heights. Strong leadership is when people can come to you, subconsciously believing that you can elevate them to a place they never thought they could reach on their own.
You don’t have to be perfect (everyone has problems and struggles). If you care about your people, you’re fearless and focused, they’re good enough to go.
Strong Leaders Stay the Course!!
Job hopping is common with salespeople because they could be highly emotional people. The “emotion transfer” strength they use in getting people to buy, becomes a weakness when they make business or relationship decisions.
When something they don’t like happens, they find it easy to make an emotional decision to leave and start their own business, even when it’s not the best for them. Of course, the new business might thrive initially because it’s always easier, sexier, and more fun to deal with new stuff. But this is the same reason why most roofing businesses don’t go past $10 or $15 million. If any business will go past this revenue threshold, it must have some strong foundation qualities like:
- Are you a strong leader?
- Do people like and trust you enough?
- Do you have systems in the process?
- What kind of funding do you have?
- Do you manage your money and taxation right?
Strong leaders don’t dribble their way past these qualities as they know it’ll catch up!! True growth comes when you stop for the easy, quick shortcuts and work through the process. A tree can’t grow roots overnight!!! You can’t grow a strong foundation and gather enough momentum unless you stay in one place long enough.
By the way, if you stayed (when others were jumping out) and you were good, what will you eventually be? The Boss!! But most people don’t stay long enough to move through the ranks.
Managing Rapid Growth – Influence, not Control
Growth is good but always comes with a new set of challenges. The onus, therefore, lies on you, the roofing business leader, to get better by sacrificing control for influence. It could be tough switching over from directly controlling a productive team to influencing a large number of people, but there’s no better way to keep your good people while your business grows.
Furthermore, it’s good to see your company upgrade early and make necessary transformations to manage the new phase effectively. Many companies solve their growth problems by adding more and more people, but the best question to ask is, “How do I keep growing but shrinking? What are the best systems, processes, and technology you can implement, so that you don’t keep throwing people at growth?”
The additional people will eat up the company when it has to go through a slow growth time. It’s at this point that most roofing companies go out of business. At this point, they start scaling back, leaving their people the impression of trouble and confusion. Consequently, the whole company comes crumbling down.
It’s exciting to see young roofing business leaders GROW through the process. How about when a newbie with low self-esteem puts in the work and transforms into a sales/business giant? Awesome! But these can only happen when people are ready to:
- build trustworthiness,
- cast realistic vision with an accountability structure to achieve it,
- help their people see value in working with them,
- develop fearless leadership,
- maintain personal discipline,
- stay the course even when things go south, and
- evolve from control to influence.
Such leaders will be unstoppable in reaching unprecedented heights. Join us at our events (especially if you’re in the Midwest). We’re discussing everything roofing business — DRPs, ERPs, leadership, and development. It’s a good place to bring your team and have high-level people speak transformation into their knives! Join us at Hook Agency today!