Leadership

Using Your Authority to Help Others

Everyone is an authority on something.

Even if it's obscure. Even if it's unknown. You have authority.

Authority grants you the freedom to advise, help, and correct others. It stems from insider knowledge and more experience than the next guy.

With authority, people will look you for guidance, for advice, for your opinion.

Unless you give that authority up.

The problem with authority is that others will steal it. Not to be mean. They simply want what's best for themselves and so will work hard, learn more, and position themselves as a natural replacement for all you've done.

If that happens, you become irrelevant.

Don't become irrelevant.

Share what you know, with anyone who needs your advice, freely. Don't shy away from speaking up, taking charge, showing others that you can help them with your experience and know-how.

And above all, don't stop learning. Always work hard to stay a step ahead of those who would rush to help themselves by displacing you.

Everyone is an authority on something.

Remember what you are an authority on and take steps to maintain that authority so you can help others for years to come.


About the Author

fullsizeoutput_5731.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

How to Help 93% of Your Employees Feel More Productive

How to Help 93% of Your Employees Feel More Productive

Just recently, Forbes published an article reporting that only 7% of workers feel productive during the workday. 

7 percent!!!

Just think about that for a minute... 93 out of 100 employees don't feel like they can get their work done.

And if they don’t feel like they’re getting their work done… Guess what? Let’s just say they could be doing a lot more.

What do they blame?

    Dealing with Difficult Customers and Providing Great Customer Service

    Dealing with Difficult Customers and Providing Great Customer Service

    If you're reading this, you may have dealt with angry and difficult customers too. Maybe you’re dealing with one right now?

    These customers seem to suck all your time, energy, and happiness right out of your business. They complain, make demands, and force you to spend an inordinate amount of time fixing their problems so nasty word doesn't spread about your customer service.

    It's a firefight. And since you’re the business owner, someone handed you the hose.

    Say the wrong thing, and it just adds fuel to the fire. Let it burn too long, and it spreads.

    So how do you keep it from spreading? More importantly, how do you keep the next one from starting so you can focus on building a business instead of controlling damage?

    That's what we're going to look at today. And it all starts with creating a customer focused organization, from the top down...

    Top 7 Small Business Topic Posts of the Year

    Top 7 Small Business Topic Posts of the Year

    I’m a big believer in looking back, reflecting on what has gone well, and building on that in the new year to get closer to my goals.

    When I look at Modern da Vinci, the growth we’ve seen is incredible. It’s a sign that we’re on the right track, but more importantly, it’s a sign that the small business community is as vibrant as ever.

    Here are some incredible statistics from 2016:

    • Average reading time is up 21.45% over last year.
    • Bounce rate is down 35.14%.
    • 521.74% more page views this year over 2015.
    • 850.70% increase in new visitors in 2016!

    These statistics are obviously exciting for Seth and me here at Modern da Vinci. But more so, these statistics should make you proud. Proud to be a small business owner. Proud to be part of an ongoing conversation with owners like yourself, all learning and growing together.

    We’re excited for what’s to come in 2017. We’re looking forward to growing more with you and finding new small business owners like yourself to learn from.

    But before we end 2016, it’s worth reviewing the top posts in each of the five areas for a growing, thriving small business.

    3 Meaningful, Memorable, Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

    3 Meaningful, Memorable, Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

    I know you laughed as hard as I did…

    A corporate Christmas gift, from a corporate big-wig, sent to a corporate weeny. It was a ridiculously funny scene. It was art imitating life. It hit close to home.

    It was the Christmas gift (or some version of it) we could all see ourselves receiving from a terrible boss, at a terrible company.

    27 years ago, on December 1st, Clark W. Griswold reminded the world just how bad a corporate gift could be when he received a “1-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club.”

    It was more than thoughtless, it did nothing to thank Clark for his hard work or show him that his company cared.

    Why should this matter to you?

    2 Valuable Leadership Lessons from an Ugly Presidential Election

    2 Valuable Leadership Lessons from an Ugly Presidential Election

    Like many of you, I thoroughly appreciated the thoughtfulness, rationality, and unifying nature of the recent presidential election.

    As I was reflecting on how much everyone seemed to enjoy the entire election process and subsequent goodwill it created, a remarkable idea came to me. I thought, “why don’t I write a post that brings the election back up since people clearly haven’t had enough of it?”

    Sarcasm aside, I do believe there is something useful we can learn from the election, although I’m not going to focus on anything in the political arena. Instead, I’d like to talk about leadership issues that seemed to plague the candidates throughout the process. I’m specifically referring to two key leadership attributes where both candidates demonstrated obvious and consistent weaknesses...

    Business Focus and Clarity: How to Crush it with a Mentor

    Business Focus and Clarity: How to Crush it with a Mentor

    The most successful business leaders of this world, the ones who achieve incredible success, did so with the help of others. Before they earned their success, they learned from the masters of their time. They were mentored until they had turned the best lessons from someone more skilled than themselves into their own.

    Plenty of posts out there tell you how to find a mentor, what questions to ask a mentor, etc. But none of them really share how mentors can provide us with a decisive advantage. None of them help small business owners realize that some of the problems they face (like focus, uncertainty), can be addressed by a mentor in minutes. None of them tell a story of how a mentor made a difference or changed the author’s thinking.

    In this post, I want to share with you one such story of how a mentor changed my thinking (it sucked in the moment), and why having a mentor is so critical to your success as a small business owner.  

    How to Motivate a Team by Revealing the Big Picture

    How to Motivate a Team by Revealing the Big Picture

    You have a tremendous, untapped advantage as a small business. Something that even the biggest companies can't compete with. Something that will inspire loyalty, productivity, and pride in every one of your employees.

    It’s called the “big picture.”

    Whether it’s your purpose statement, a larger project goal, or a combination of both, the big picture is the reason your employees head into work every morning. In this article, we’ll uncover why sharing the big picture is so powerful and give you strategies on how you can do this with your team.

    What Is Effective Strategic Planning for Small Business

    What Is Effective Strategic Planning for Small Business

    Having a strategy is vital for any small business. A strategy defines your plan for moving from where you are today to where you want your business to be in the future. On a more tactical level, having a clearly articulated business strategy is essential to being able to prioritize, build consensus, make decisions, and assess progress toward your goals.

    Unfortunately, the “classic” approach to strategic planning doesn’t work very well for small businesses. The traditional methods found in textbooks are designed for large organizations. Small businesses don’t need the same kind of plan that a large corporation does, and they certainly don’t need the types of plans that global corporations produce. Using the wrong methods for strategic planning can cause a lot of frustration for small business owners as well as wasted time, effort, and resources.

    So then, what is the right amount of strategic planning for a small business? What should you focus on? Who should be involved? What should the final plan look like? How much planning is too much?

    This post will give owners of small businesses a simple and effective process for performing strategic planning by taking a look at some common issues small businesses run into with strategic planning, the most important elements of planning that small business should focus on, and concrete steps to tackling strategic planning the right way.

    Two Key Things Small Business Owners Need to Do to Thrive with Brian Roberts

    Two Key Things Small Business Owners Need to Do to Thrive with Brian Roberts

    In this interview with Brian Roberts, founder and CEO of Croix Connect, we explore two things that often hold small businesses back from growing and what business owners can do to overcome them.  Brian shares his substantial experience as a business advisor, coach, and Vistage CEO Peer Advisory Group Chair to offer insights on how essential it is for business owners to embrace trust and delegation.  

    Real Life Struggles of Starting and Growing a Business

    Real Life Struggles of Starting and Growing a Business

    In this interview with Barbara Stankowski, President and CEO of AMTIS, Inc., we discuss what it takes to get a business started, the real-life challenges of what it takes to grow, the meaning of persistence and resilience, and why it’s so important to invest in developing your people.

    Five Ways to Know When Team Building is Urgent

    Five Ways to Know When Team Building is Urgent

    In the words of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, “great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” He’s right. No matter how much talent, hard work, and determination individuals can offer, teamwork is required to achieve results.

    But if teams are essential to success, why do so many leaders and organizations spend little to no time working on them?  Why do they leave team development to chance?

    The goal of this post is to provide leaders and managers with a specific strategy for assessing the teams they have today.  We’ll provide a framework to evaluate teams across critical the aspects of Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results.  In each of these areas, we offer context and questions to help leaders determine if their teams are healthy or if they need some urgent help.  We also suggest specific steps you can take in each area to turn things around. 

    Sign up as a free member of Modern da Vinci to receive future posts via email offering tips on how to Build Winning Teams from Scratch and how to Coach Your Teams to Success.  

    How to Prepare for (and Not Worry) When Your Best Employee Quits

    How to Prepare for (and Not Worry) When Your Best Employee Quits

    Losing critical employees can be a huge source of concern for any business owner. Whether your star employees quit or simply go on vacation, business continuity is a must. This article reviews a simple method for maintaining your best employees’ expertise even if someone leaves your company.

    In addition to removing “single points of failure” in your organization, this process can be used to onboard new hires and create a transition plan for employees moving from one set of responsibilities to another.

    Your employees can feel free to go on vacation while, at the same time, be in a position to delegate their complex work to promising employees and receive different perspectives on new creative ways to solve problems.

    How Powerful Questions Can Enhance Your Leadership

    How Powerful Questions Can Enhance Your Leadership

    As a leader, you are expected to have answers. Whether it’s a team member asking how to get a project back on track, a customer asking for more service, or a boss demanding better results, there is pressure to provide quick, definitive responses. 

    The drive to find the “right answer” and to do so expeditiously may be well intentioned but comes with considerable risk. What if your response fails to address the issue you are trying to solve? Or more importantly, what if you are spending all of your time and energy finding an answer to the wrong question?

    Taking a step back from a problem and further assessing it through questioning can provide powerful insight. In addition to helping re-frame a problem and sharpen focus, asking powerful questions can foster breakthrough thinking and yield many critical benefits.

      Listen Up! How to Improve Your Listening Skills

      Listen Up! How to Improve Your Listening Skills

      Listening is the foundation for developing lasting relationships, building trust, preventing conflict, and influencing others. When you really listen, you show the other person that you care what they think and that they are worthy of your full attention.

      No one is going to be a perfect listener 100% of the time and shedding old listening habits isn’t always easy. However, it’s entirely possible to improve your listening skills using the approach outlined herein.

      Using Coaching Skills to Enhance Your Leadership

      Using Coaching Skills to Enhance Your Leadership

      There is no one perfect script or style for leadership. However, research has shown that there are distinct leadership styles, each of which has a unique impact on an organization’s climate and results. This makes it worthwhile to assess various leadership styles to determine their situational effectiveness and what conditions must be in place for success.

      In this post, we explore a coaching approach to leadership - one that focuses on investing in the long-term development of others.

      From Ignorance to Mastery: How Adults Learn

      From Ignorance to Mastery: How Adults Learn

      Becoming a better team member, manager, or leader is a learning process. Through continuous learning we grow our knowledge and skills, build our capacity to take on new challenges, and push closer to achieving our potential. If you are curious about how you can improve or how to foster growth in others, it is important to understand how learning works, specifically for adults.

      The truth is that learning is a journey. Reflecting on where you are in the learning process will help you prioritize what is important, more accurately gauge your progress, and shed light on the struggles that often accompany personal growth and professional development.

      Fortunately, we have a simple four-stage model to help illustrate this.

      Effective Feedback Made Simple

      Effective Feedback Made Simple

      Feedback is one of the most helpful and important things we all need to learn, grow, and improve. Furthermore, delivering skillful feedback can serve you well in all aspects of life. And yet in working with businesses and coaching clients, I hear time and time again how uncomfortable people are with the idea of giving feedback.  I see the negative consequences of organizations and teams who avoid feedback – conflict, frustration, and stagnation.

      If giving great feedback is an important skill for business leadership and performance, what is it that makes people so apprehensive about it?  Let’s break it down and then look at some simple strategies for delivering effective feedback.