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If owning your business is not as fun as you want it to be, or if you are not as productive as you want to be, look around you. Have you assembled the right team of leaders — those that report directly to you? 

A superior leader on your team should make your life easier and more fun.

(Photo: AzmanL / E+/ Getty Images)

(Photo: AzmanL / E+/ Getty Images / Getty Images Plus)

This is true for all your direct reports, whether this person is a division leader, office manager or second-in-command.

The sign of a good leader (one that you have hired, promoted, or developed) should be improving their area of operation. 

But is that enough? 

Is your direct report doing the job?

Interestingly, many owners are on the fence about how some key people perform in their roles.

Maybe the person is new to the job, or the team underneath them is new, or the company has grown by leaps and bounds and your systems have not kept up. 

In your mind, there may be extenuating circumstances. Still, you wonder if you have the right person in that position?

For this reason, I am supplying you with a “reverse” set of criteria to help you take a fresh look at your direct reports by looking closer at yourself.

Evaluate your team

Ask yourself these 5 questions regarding each leader on your team:

  1. Do you feel more (or less) confident trusting them to free yourself to chase new opportunities?
  2. Is this person taking tasks and responsibilities off your plate (or putting more on your plate)?
  3. Are you able to focus on the bigger picture (or are you sucked back into the present-day issues)?
  4. When you interact with this person, does it help you sharpen your own ideas (or do things become more cloudy)?
  5. Do you find yourself with more free time on your hands (or are you spending too much time pulled into the orbit of their duties)?

Your challenge

As you grow your inner circle––add leaders who not only make their own areas more productive but also make you a better leader.

A good direct report gets their own job done, a great one will also manage “up,” ensuring their relationship with you is just as productive.

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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