By Pamela Chatry, Premier Business Advisor and Mentor

When a momma monkey carries her baby on her back it slows her progress down. Businesses can also have many monkeys that slow success down.

In this blog series we’ll examine several ‘Business Monkeys’ (aka the myths). These are the long-standing beliefs & truths that business owners have adopted from as far back as childhood that can hold the company back.

Monkey #1: Doing = Love

Did you watch your mom cook, clean, play chauffeur, all the while holding down a job? Did you grow up believing that if you do for others all the time you are demonstrating love?

For the business owner, this ‘doing = love’ monkey has some recognizable symptoms: helping others too much, doing parts of the employees’ jobs or taking over too quickly when something is going off the rails. Of course, the owner has the best of intentions because they want to help and be nice, but face it folks, people aren’t being allowed to do their jobs. This monkey also gets in the way of efficiency as systems get disrupted and proper procedures aren’t followed.

If you’re a business owner and recognize yourself as having this monkey on your back, here are some suggestions to help get rid of it:

  1. Ensure you and your people all have up-to-date and very accurate job descriptions, along with measured performance outcomes. When everyone is doing their job, there is less necessity for you, the owner, to step in. Help employees to realize their potential by doing less for them, and encourage them to step up and contribute more.
  2. Identify if Doing = Love is a core value that is very important to you as the owner. If so, it should be included in the company values. Include the art of kindness throughout the business and create a culture of ‘kindness.’ Work with the team to find ways to acknowledge and care for one another and for your customers. As Olivia McIvor says, in her book, The Business of Kindness, 12 Habit that Build Collaborative Cultures, “Service is about looking around you every day and realizing it’s the small acts of benevolent kindness that surround you that make the difference.”
  3. Recognize that ‘doing does not necessarily mean love,’ at home or in the workplace. Employees don’t need to love you, nor do they even need to like you all the time. Remember that as the owner of the company, you don’t need to ‘do’ anything in order to gain respect and admiration. Great leaders model the change they want to see. They inspire new behaviors and thoughts.