Beat the Block – A Director’s View
But, after extensive research, I’ve found the world wide library of advice (good and bad) distinctly bereft of guidance on fending off ‘Director’s Block’. It may be the fact that I’ve inadvertently coined the term right now (further fact checking may be required!) but it’s something that I know more than one of my peers has had to deal with.
WTF is Director’s Block?
So it may or may not come as a surprise that when it comes to the direction of your business, the management of it and your constant strife for better, your enthusiasm tends to ebb and flow.
Two major factors have come into play for me recently, in an unexpected period of ebb. The first was the launch of Halston Group. Halston Group is something I’ve planned out, obsessed over, lost sleep over, visualised and willed into existence for the past year and now that it’s here, it’s everything I hoped it could be and more! But with the launch of my personal brainchild complete, along with it came an unexpected void, nothing new to concern my waking thoughts, no new plan to hatch. Is this empty nest syndrome? Empty brain complex? What ever it is, it’s weird.
The second factor in the recession of my usual all-guns-blazing, 100mph, pedal to the metal enthusiasm for the job is the astonishingly high level at which the senior management team at Halston Group operate. It’s been a slow process and it doesn’t happen all at once, but guess what? If you put in the time, the support, the training and the effort in with your team and most importantly the trust they deserve to get the job done, your own responsibilities really start to diminish.
Six years ago, I started what was then Halston Marketing, I was head of sales and marketing, copywriter, creative, web design, social media exec, PR strategist, accountant, account manager, HR and tea woman all wrapped into one. I’m now none of those things, and the people doing those jobs do them better than I ever did (apart from tea woman). So I found myself asking, where do I sit? What is my purpose?
Realigning My Purpose
I didn’t go to uni, spend ten years in the business and then start my own agency to look at spreadsheets all day, I needed something new to get my teeth into and remember where I belong in this company so I asked myself three questions:
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy?
- What can the company not do without me?
And from there, like a mist on the moors being lifted by the morning sun, new quarry seemed to be abundant and my enthusiasm was recharged, here’s some insight into some of the conclusions I drew:
- What am I good at? – People! – I’m a people person, I think two years in hibernation made me forget that. I’m great at relationships, getting people fired up and sharing my enthusiasm with others and soaking theirs up at any opportunity. But how do I use this in business? I’ve got a team of account managers that don’t need me sticking my nose in with existing client bonds. *Lightbulb* – Brand Awareness – How could I forget, I used to do this all the time in the early days, speaking at events, raising my profile, pounding the pavements, setting up meetings with interesting and influential people, getting off my arse and my head out of spreadsheets
- What do I enjoy? – Learning – Having the opportunity to learn in great depths, about any subject, is in my opinion, one of life’s greatest privileges. Since starting this company, we’ve had the opportunity to learn about some seriously cool subjects, from IoT and InSAR to state of the art manufacturing processes and non-destructive testing. Being aware of the latest trends in tech, the economy, business and society in general is a great advantage for any business leader, not simply in safeguarding your business against the next (now seemingly inevitable) big disruption, but in being an expert and authority in these fields, creating a supportive environment for your network and clients
- What can the company not do without me? – OK, so this is a hard one, because professionally, there’s not much this team couldn’t do without me here, process the expense claims maybe? But it dawned on me, the answers to questions one and two, put them together and you have a leader. My true purpose is and always will be to encourage, inspire and create enthusiasm for my team. To lead by example, remain curious, supportive and eager to learn. To constantly be striving for bigger and better, to be pushing the boundaries of the art of the possible and to never stop inspiring those around me to do the same.
Realigning My Aims
Fuelled by this realisation, it felt it time to realign my aims, as a professional, as a leader, as a company director and as a person. When launching a company alone seemed like the most daunting prospect on my horizon, actualising something as amazing as Halston Group seemed like Everest in comparison to the foothills I was navigating at the time. Now it’s time to think bigger, we’ve passed Everest, it’s time to think about cracking the stratosphere. Where can this thing really go?
Despite all of the woes this world has endured and are expected to continue to brave, it’s an exciting time at Halston B2B and Halston Group and I’ve never been more motivated to be at the helm.