We’re all familiar with the saying, “It can be lonely at the top.” But does it have to be?
Teamshares network company presidents enjoy tremendous personal growth and have direct impact on narrowing the wealth gap in America. At the same time, being a president can be an emotionally and mentally demanding role.
Teamshares will help a network of 10,000 small businesses become employee-owned. To do that, we hire and train talented presidents to lead these companies forward.
Teamshares network company presidents can leverage the support of big business resources through Teamshares, continued professional development within the Teamshares Leadership Accelerator, and a president community which includes industry and regional peers.
These collective resources make leading a small business more supported than in any other capacity.
This post will discuss what holistic support means for Teamshares network presidents and offer insights on preventing burnout while leading a small business.
Why do leaders need support?
Every small business has its own unique identity, therefore every small business leader has their own unique experience. From human resources to business development, operations to finance, culture building to strategy, leading a small business is multifaceted, challenging, and rewarding.
Even in their best moments, leaders need support, particularly when starting off. For the first 3 to 4 months, leading a small business can feel like drinking from a fire hose and the concept of work-life balance can feel unattainable.
Leaders need to ramp up industry knowledge about the business, understand the best levers to pull for impact, and grasp financials while determining reliability. Plus, they carry the emotional weight of building trust and accountability with employees.
Typically, the president of a small business has to navigate challenges of prioritization and execution alone.
Teamshares is changing the future of small business leadership. We’re doing so by providing a built-in network of peers, coaches, technology, and resources to support small business presidents in the journey of entrepreneurship and employee ownership.
Brandi M., a Teamshares network company president, affirms the importance of Teamshares support in her advice to new leaders, “You have a great network to lean on who help level set what is realistic and establish reasonable expectations.”
Being a leader requires individuals to take challenges head-on, so support is critical to combat isolation and burnout and, ultimately, to lead empathetically and positively.
Practical support vs. holistic support
Practical support and holistic support both have the same goal: providing assistance to alleviate stress and create a more successful experience. But there are a few key differences.
Practical support provides systems and structures for immediate success. Holistic support includes practical support plus support that address broader aspects of an individual, including their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs.
Teamshares network company presidents have the opportunity to lead a small business with the practical support and backing of big business resources, and an additional focus on their holistic experience.
Integrating holistic support into the Teamshares leadership experience
Teamshares offers small business presidents the opportunity to lead and grow using a holistic support approach.
We offer the following foundational programs to support Teamshares network company presidents through specific holistic areas of focus:
With Teamshares network companies across the country, we’re building a community and collection of resources within the president network.
The Teamshares Leadership Accelerator is the first opportunity that network company presidents have to engage with one another. This four-week intensive program is a hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous in-person and remote learning and focuses on the following:
- Learning the foundations of small business finance
- Mastering leadership skills and collaborating on a project for an existing network company
- Building a strong and supportive cohort of peer leaders
Upon graduation, presidents gain access to the larger president network and other Teamshares resources, including an assigned senior peer mentor and daily connection in our president Slack community.
Network company presidents also connect in person at regional gatherings, and at the annual President Summit.
This week-long community gathering is an initiative that encourages ongoing collaboration, conversation, growth, and fun across the network of peer leaders and the Teamshares Inc. leadership team.
Finally, Teamshares offers network companies exclusive products and services, customized to the unique needs of small businesses, that help presidents inform employee owners about the success of their respective businesses. TeamsharesOS is one example.
Teamshares OS is the open book management platform used to power employee ownership across the entire Teamshares network with financial transparency and communication tools that further the mission of making employee ownership the future of small business.
Because we believe in a continuous learning approach, we often act as thought partners to network company presidents.
To create an open space for communication, Teamshares hosts regular office hours with subject matter experts for network company presidents to discuss financial, marketing, and operational roadblocks and solutions.
Every network company is different and has its own set of challenges. The collaborative nature of the president network allows leaders to share information and help one another overcome hurdles that many small business leaders would normally have to tackle alone.
The Teamshares president peer network helps combat the loneliness that usually accompanies being the leader of a small business.
Everyone is connected virtually and in-person, starting with the Teamshares Leadership Accelerator program and transitioning into the larger president community with a variety of gatherings and learning opportunities.
To help members form stronger connections within the peer network, there are also distinct regional and industry groups:
- Regional groups offer an opportunity to connect with peers in similar geographic areas, creating an additional opportunity for in-person meet-ups.
- Industry groups encourage peers in similar industries to share best practices and relevant knowledge. These groups often collaborate virtually on a cadence they collectively set. Industry groups also connect in-person with break-out opportunities at the annual President Summit.
The Teamshares recruiting philosophy is to place a president from a generalist background, valuing a people-first leadership approach more than industry or institutional knowledge.
This is because presidents with a learner’s mindset can leverage the peer network for industry-specific knowledge, while true empathy and a growth mindset are more often innate skills.
While leading a small business is ultimately rewarding, it doesn’t make hard times less difficult.
Teamshares supports network company presidents emotionally in three key ways:
- Peer-to-peer mentorship program: All presidents participate in the peer-to-peer mentorship program, which connects a senior peer president to a new peer president.
Oftentimes, the senior peer has experienced similar emotional challenges as their mentee, they’re able to actively listen, offer advice based on experience, and normalize a sometimes emotional rollercoaster of leadership.
- A subscription to BetterHelp: While senior peer mentors are an excellent sounding board for more junior talent, experienced presidents need support, too. We recognize that everyone is more than their work and that people bring their whole selves to their job.
BetterHelp is a platform that matches individuals with licensed therapists. Speaking with a professional about stressors from all aspects of life help alleviate stress in the workplace.
We believe that therapy is a form of long-term stress management and it should be used whether or not someone is actively in a crisis, and we’ve witnessed the benefits, as described by presidents, in the network.
- Generous time off: Rest is required for action. Presidents must lead by example and show employee owners that it’s necessary and okay to rest.
Teamshares offers presidents paid time off above industry standard, and intentionally does not allow rollover in an effort to encourage truly taking time off to relax and recover.
Additionally, Teamshares communicates with network company presidents within working business hours across all mainland United States time zones so presidents are empowered to turn off technology and truly step away from the job after hours.
While Teamshares equips all network company presidents with holistic support tools, it’s up to each individual to determine how best to use them.
The most important thing for Teamshares network company presidents to know is that they’re not alone and there is always someone who is there to support them.
The impact of leadership on personal growth
Leading a small business is a life-changing experience in more ways than one.
Teamshares offers presidents this unique opportunity with a world-class, built-in support network and a host of benefits they may not have access to on a different entrepreneurial journey.
Leading a Teamshares network company as president allows individuals to be a part of a bigger picture that impacts not only their own personal and professional development, but also the development of a local community and economy.
Employee ownership has the potential to change lives now, and for future generations.
Apply to become a small business president of an employee-owned company near you.
Running an employee-owned business requires collaborative leadership. The most successful leaders and teams are those that are taken care of holistically.
Holistic support offers both the broad and specific systems and structures that help an individual achieve success. A successful leader proactively seeks support, uses the tools provided to them, and brings the same system of holistic support to their teams.
If you get excited by challenges, are driven by collaboration, and want to continue growing as a leader with the support of a humble and action-oriented community, apply to become a president within the Teamshares president network.