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Do you lead or contribute? Utah businesses feature plenty of both

It’s an inevitability of businesses around the world, and not just in the Beehive State: There are some people who can bring more productivity, creativity and value to a company as an individual contributor than as a leader. As tough a realization as it may be for some, there are people who just aren’t effective leaders – even though they may have been put in that position.

Utah Business magazine writer Ada Pally recently wrote about this idea of leading vs. following and the ways businesses can identify the best leaders as well as what makes a particular contributor thrive in that role, sometimes in unexpected ways.

For any type of business, examining these roles – and the people filling them – should be routine. Of course, that’s in addition to the evaluation of other critical areas like productivity and finances. No matter who is at the helm of your business, convenience of tracking expenses cannot be ignored. First Utah Bank’s free business checking is just one solution we can offer to manage your money in the most effective way.

Don’t underestimate the “executor”

In her article, Pally gives another name to those who don’t lead: executor. She believes leaders are there to solve problems, organize work and maintain order. The executor gets things done and creates the end result. While they are different roles, they are both equally in need, and Pally believes that executors are often undervalued.

“Individuals in these roles are the engine and the momentum behind any company,” Pally writes. “It is these individuals who best understand inefficiencies. They deeply understand the market, a client, and the competition. They are the intellect, the innovation, and the best source of creativity.”

At the same time, Pally makes it clear that not everyone who is an executor should be a leader. “The result is organizations that are upside down when it comes to the hierarchy of needs for their companies,” she writes. “It is encouraging, if not requiring, individual contributors to step away from the value they create in hopes that they are able to expand that knowledge to others as leaders.”

Still, having your business fail to recognize how valuable contributors can be is a mistake in waiting – depending on how this crucial relationship is handled.

As Pally explains in the article: “I’ve seen companies lose their most innovative minds this way. I’ve experienced teams homogenized for the sake of seamless career pathing. I’ve commiserated with those who have made the decision to become self-employed as a result of this barrier to progress. I have also seen leaders advocate for those individuals who would benefit from a different career path and create a role that works best for them and the organization.”

Finding that important balance 

While contributors may be undervalued, Pally believes that leaders’ value can be overvalued in the same stroke. She believes that leaders are at their most valuable when they know their weaknesses and try to balance with their strengths to achieve the best results. And yet, here’s where things can go a bit haywire.

“Often, to defend or hide their weaknesses, these leaders will advocate for strong structures, career paths, and develop bureaucracy that aligns with their values,” Pally explains. “If an individual has achieved leadership, they are often blindly followed. In the worst cases, I’ve seen this result in toxic cultures, systemic homogeneity, product or customer service failures, or at worst, the overall demise of an organization.”

The solution Pally advocates for is to create the right career paths for both of these roles in a company. While Pally acknowledges that finding individual plans for everyone is impractical, she does suggest that having key branches in career paths that apply to either leaders or contributors can help those in charge make decisions.

“This is more easily executed in flat and decentralized organizational structures, but can just as effectively be resolved in larger or more rigid structures,” Pally writes. “What really matters is that existing leaders listen to their employees, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and ensure that a progression plan is one that both they and the organization will benefit from.”

Utah business can benefit from free checking

Whether you are following or leading as far as the business world goes, it’s good to find the right solution to manage your cash flow and financial positioning. First Utah Bank has an option for you. If your business averages fewer than 100 ACH checks and debits per month, free business checking can be a way to maximize your time when it comes to the important facets of running a business.

The free business checking program at First Utah Bank includes unlimited debit card transactions and deposits, and there’s no minimum balance requirement. Free mobile and internet banking is part of the package as well. First Utah Bank’s free business checking program is also insured to the legal maximum by the FDIC.

If free business checking isn’t right for where you are in your business journey, there are other options including a commercial checking account for higher transaction volumes that also gives you an earnings credit allowance based on your balances.

First Utah Bank can be your hometown solution for all of your business banking needs, giving you more time to concentrate on the big picture as well as the little details that will help it evolve. Learn more at our business checking website, or call First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.