How to Step into the Leader that You're Meant to Be w/ Courtney Badger
Whether you’re currently a solopreneur or have started hiring out certain responsibilities within your business, there’s a big difference between being a day to day manager versus piloting your business with the strategic overview of a leader.
Effective leaders shine a positive light on others and into the world around them.
In today’s post, I’m sharing some takeaways from a recent conversation I had with Courtney Badger of The Wandering Manifestor, an intuitive coach + leadership development expert who helps people scale their businesses by becoming better leaders.
If you’d like to listen to this fun conversation full of practical insights, check out Episode 84 of the Breakthrough Babe podcast, then read on to find out how to cultivate the four pillars of an empowered digital leader so you can begin to live a life of purpose, freedom, abundance, and joy!
About Courtney Badger
Gifted, intuitive, and a true IRL friend, I first met Courtney after I discovered she lived literally 5 minutes away from me in Charlotte. It turns out, we had both set the intention to bring more female entrepreneur friends into our lives right around the same time. In short - we manifested this friendship!
Courtney has an extensive background working for Fortune 500 companies and helping develop leaders so they can navigate challenges and opportunities from an empowered space. She majored in HR, and has a Masters in Organizational Leadership. Her entire career prior to traveling the world and becoming a coach has been shaped around supporting and developing leaders.
Since then, Courtney is also now a client of mine and a valued member in my mastermind group.
Managers VS Leaders
There is an important distinction between being a manager in your business compared to being a true leader.
Here’s how to differentiate between the two:
Managers spend their day to day working IN the business. They almost always play the role of manager/employee. They have multiple hats, tending to be the person who does everything. They usually want to know what their team is doing all the time, to the point of micro-managing and nit-picking. They're often found telling their team members what they're doing wrong instead of focusing on what they’re doing right - they don’t have a lot of trust. Managers aren’t usually interested in their team’s growth and development. They're more interested in the day to day aspects of the business, seeing things from a more granular perspective.
Leaders, on the other hand, step out of the day to day minutiae of the business to work on the vision for the business. Leaders are interested in growth and long term plans. While they may work in their business, they’re not doing so everyday. Leaders know when to step back and be willing to look at the business holistically and trust the people that they've hired. Leaders are really good at zooming out and assessing the big picture.
As a leader, you are very self-sacrificing. You're not taking a lot of credit as a leader. You are helping make other people brighter.
Do you want to be a manager or a leader in your business? It’s up to you to make that decision and execute accordingly.
What prevents a business owner/entrepreneur from stepping into that leadership role?
When we start a business, we usually do so solo, in the beginning. We often become really good at whatever it is we do, but so many of us quickly get stuck at this stage. We become day to day managers of every little detail in our business.
Then comes the realization that what got you to $100k or $200k is not going to get you to a million dollar year. But you think, If it’s not broken, I don’t need to fix it…
That’s where so many people go wrong. As your business grows, you need to be flexible and willing to shift and pivot. You also need to stop looking at your business as this little side hustle or thing that you've grown by yourself, and instead actually look at it as a real business that you own and operate as a CEO. If you want to scale to a million dollars, you need to be willing to trust yourself enough to take a step back and see what other life needs to come into your business.
Getting started in hiring/outsourcing
If you’re reading this and know you need support in areas of your business, but don’t feel ready to hire - perhaps out of fear - Courtney recommends that you start by hiring out household tasks first.
Begin by hiring a house cleaner, or a landscaping person, or get your groceries delivered. The key is to learn how to be supported on a new level, to learn how to receive, and to learn how it can be okay to buy more time for yourself. Start taking home tasks off your plate first. This is a powerful first step. It’s not only about giving yourself more time to focus as a CEO, but it’s also a practice of paying someone, and a practice of receiving support and letting go of control.
The 4 Pillars of a Digital Leader
Next, it’s time to take on the identity of someone who makes themselves ready to hire.
Courtney has coined the term, Digital Leader. The four pillars of owning your role as a digital leader are: trust, empowerment, communication, and delegation. Here’s how you can apply them to your leadership journey.
TRUST: Do you trust yourself? And do you trust the people you hired? Whether you trust them or not is a reflection of how much you trust yourself.
A part of your job as CEO is building this business, this legacy. Creating it also includes paying the people you hire well and treating them with care and respect. If you are trying to get the absolute cheapest team members, consider what your relationship with money looks like. Do you trust that when you pay the right people, the money's going to come back? Do you trust that you're going to be innovative and come up with the right ideas to have positive cash flow?
In order to be in a position to begin growing and hiring, you’ve got to have this base of trust in yourself as a digital leader. Allowing yourself time to take a step back and say, Do I fully trust myself? is an essential step in the process. It takes a lot of self trust to build a multi six figure business, and it’s important to realize that there are going to be new levels of trust required with every income level.
EMPOWERMENT: Are you empowered to make the decisions a CEO is meant to make? Empowered leaders empower their team. If you come from a disempowered place, you will have disempowered team members. If you come from a place of creating codependent team member relationships through micromanagement, you will have codependent team members who cannot make decisions on their own.
Begin by looking at your relationship with your business. Do you feel empowered in your business regardless if anybody buys that day, or if a big client cancels, or if you get a bad review?
Your self-empowerment should not be based on whether or not someone else said yes to you. If you are an empowered digital leader, you will attract empowered team members since you trust yourself enough to hire the right people.
COMMUNICATION + DELEGATION: Communication and delegation go hand in hand. You cannot properly delegate if you can’t clearly articulate what needs to get done.
It's very easy to blame someone else on your team when mistakes happen, but Digital Leaders take ownership of how they communicate. Leaders know that it’s not only how they communicate that matters, but also how people on their team best receive communication.
When you can learn how to communicate effectively to someone who works for you, you can also begin to communicate even more effectively to your clients, on your sales pages, and in all the areas of your business.
Not all business leaders start out great at communication and delegation, but they can improve on these essential skills by hiring an outside coach.
Ready to really step into that leadership role?
Remember: It's always going to be scary when you decide to put someone on your payroll, so decide if it's a level of risk that you're willing to take on.
Our two main resources in this world are time and money. Time is the only thing that’s non-renewable. If you can start to buy yourself time in the future, knowing that it will take a little bit of money now, it will come back tenfold.
Begin with the first pillar and learn to trust in yourself. Then, if you need support getting through those next steps, find yourself a support system via a coach or mastermind group.
Becoming an empowered Digital Leader doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s what’s going to take you to that next level of freedom and success you’re seeking in your business.
Find out more
Courtney’s coaching business, The Wandering Manifestor, will help you grow your business, your income, and enjoy your life. She’s available for 1:1 VIP Coaching and can be contacted on Instagram @thewanderingmanifestor, or in her Facebook group.
Courtney is also one of the members in my Breakthrough Babe Mastermind group, which currently has a couple of slots available for new applicants in 2022. You can now apply to join while spaces last!