If there’s no “I” in “Team”, why am I doing all the work?
As a business owner, you know you are the best at what you do—and you also know that you likely take on too many duties to effectively run your business without feeling like your business is running you.
If the concept of “letting go” terrifies you—you’re not alone.
But what if we told you that you could effectively let go—of the worry, the stress and the inconvenience of doing everything yourself—and pass it along to someone else—and the result would be a thriving business?
Sounds pretty unreal right?
Now, what if we told you that you could “let go” while still “holding on”?
And no, we didn’t just hop a train to crazy town….
The truth is—you don’t really have to let go of anything (except anxiety) when you create a great team. You just need to learn the skills that allow you to remain in control while empowering your people to help you execute on your ideas.
Well that might be OK for some business owners, but I can’t afford to let go.
The key to breaking the cycle is learning the difference between not being able to let go, and not being willing to let go.
Most of the issues with team don’t change whether you are a small business or a huge conglomerate. It’s being able to apply the right solution for YOU that will determine your success.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Your business is growing well but you know you have the potential for more.
- You spend most of your time doing the operational stuff yourself, even though you have people to help.
- You have LOTS of ideas on where to take the business, but never find the time to execute on those ideas, and are unable to give up any of the operational stuff.
- You feel like you spend more time “babysitting” your team than making any forward progress
See—if you’re going to fix the problem you need to understand the problem.
There are generally four (4) main reasons your team (or lack thereof) is not meeting expectation:
01 I just don’t have the money to hire a team/more team members
Hiring people is an expense, there’s no doubt about it, but the reason most business owners fail to hire is because they don’t understand the changes they can make elsewhere in the business to make that hire a reality.
Focusing on the dollars it costs to hire cannot be enough of a deterrent. This decision needs to be carefully made in consideration of the profit gains that can be achieved in the short to medium term with the right team in place.
We will guarantee that the financial picture will almost always make sense with the addition of a few key players.
• We show our clients how to look at the financial impact of a new hire and calculate the new break-evens which will result.
• We will even flush out your marketing strategy to make sure you are getting the new business (and positive cash-flow) you need to make some more help a reality
We help our clients determine which needs and positions they require in their organizations which is sometimes hard to identify.
Should you use Full-time, Part-time, Temporary, Contract or Co-op help to meet your goals? What financial impact does each have on your bottom line? What about your legal obligations?
02 I have a team, or won’t hire one because they can’t do _____________ as well as I do. (fill in the blank)
The easy answer here is that they’re not supposed to.
Look, you’re an entrepreneur because you’re a big ideas person. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in business for yourself.
Like many business owners, you probably also have a hard time following through on those ideas; whether it be lack of time, or the habit of starting many things but not finishing them. As a result you are left doing the operational things like sales, receivables, customer follow-up (and doing them masterfully no doubt) which keeps the cash coming in, but doesn’t really let you grow.
Remember how we talked about letting go without giving up control?
This doesn’t happen by fluke—in fact there’s a lot of science behind it. Actually there’s a lot of complex psychometrics behind it if we’re being specific!
Each of us has a unique set of values, habits and constraints that influence our actions, thoughts and re-actions to what we encounter throughout the day.
Believe it or not, the inability to delegate, or “let go” is incredibly inherent in those with entrepreneurial personalities—and the answer to changing these habits is insanely simple.
I am profitable and I have a good team but I still have no time!
Well this leads us to the 3rd key – Systems. You know you have good systems if things are running efficiently with minimal errors and things happen consistently even with key people away. Actually what this shows is you have good operational systems.
More than anything, being present in the business gives a business owner a sense of security. Which is completely understandable and natural. I mean you’ve spent such a huge portion of your time building this great business; you want to make sure it is safe!
One of the ways you can alleviate the need to be there is to have better transparency through reporting. If you have great reporting and things truly are running smoothly then skip ahead to Key #4 – Letting go.
The reporting is key so you can have some eyes on the business without being completely hands on. In every business there are key metrics that can be measured and will give you insights into the way things are running. Metrics and reporting never tell you the whole story but they provide warning signals and a temperature gauge that tells the astute business owner where they need to ask further questions.
“Jamie, this Flippen Profile could not have happened at a better time. I have implemented
some of the Traction steps and am proud to say the outcome was very successful.
We had a difficult, sensitive situation between myself and another executive. This type of
situation typically has not gone well in the past based on my lack of using a filter :). With my
new awareness and the specific steps you gave me, I was able to sit back, listen and objectively guide us to a successful outcome. What a difference. Thank you”
Patricks Spa and Salon.
03 My Team is just not effective, but I don’t know what’s missing
You could be the greatest Captain at sea and still sit dead in the water without the right crew.
Having the right people on your ship is critical to your business strategy, but more overlooked is having the right mix of people.
This will be incredibly evident if you are relying on a small team as the mix of personalities and work-methods are somewhat amplified in this setting.
If you feel as if you’re constantly “babysitting” your employees, mediating conflicts or generally wondering why everyone just can’t do their job without the drama there are likely a few reasons.
A. You’re not quite sure how to manage varying personalities while still achieving the goals of the business; or
B. You may be holding onto dead weight
Leading people is tough. For many business owners, effectively engaging people who each have their own unique work motivations to outperform your standards and work together seems like an impossible task
World-renowned for its relationship insights, the DiSC tool brings together the unique eccentricities of your team and explains—in plain language—what motivates each member of your team, their like and dislikes, how they act under pressure and most importantly—how you can effectively manage those relationships for the benefit of your customers, your team—and your bottom line.
Effective leaders need to be chameleons; constantly changing their colours in relation to their surroundings. Each employee will have a different set of needs and a different requirement for how they process information.
In using the DiSC technique with our clients, we have literally seen lightbulbs go off when someone says “Well now I see why Jim and Brad often don’t see eye to eye” or “I had a conversation with Susan last week and now I know why it didn’t go so well.”
Having the skills to create an effective team goes deeper than good communication. Ensuring you foster a team that is as invested in each other as they are your business is something for which your business will reap the rewards for a long time to come.
Now on to part B…
It is an all too familiar reality that many business owners hold on to mediocre team members for far too long.
Maybe you’ve experienced it first-hand. The one employee who seems to be the common denominator in each problem situation you encounter at work. We’ll call them “ Employee X” But to let them go? Well they’re difficult sure, but they’re our best __________ (chef, salesperson, installer etc…you fill in the blank)
The ugly truth about this type of employee is that they are always a problem. No matter the amount of training, coaching, encouragement the problems are all the same, and they are generally problems with attitude not skill.
Meanwhile you likely have an employee or two with a fantastic attitude who would truly fit the role of Rockstar with a little bit of training. The problem is that you have no time to train them to be their best because “Employee X” is literally sucking your time and energy.
The true tragedy in this scenario is that by holding onto “Employee X” long after is reasonable just because they are lucrative contributors, you may lose numerous employees who had that Superstar potential—and moved on to someone else (maybe even your competitors) in order to reach that potential.
The Terri Situation.
04 I just can’t seem to find/keep good people
Hiring is onerous, it takes forever and you never seem to get the results you want—but that’s just the way it goes—right? You can’t afford to compete with big job offers and fancy extras.
Good thing for you true Superstars care more about your business than your money.
Let us explain:
Your choice of team powers your organizational engine and your challenge, is to build a strong pool of candidates that will fuel that organizational fire, not dampen it.
To get recruitment success you can’t just change the player—you’ve got to change the way the game is played.
The hiring system we use with our clients will let the cream rise to the top, let the “duds” deselect themselves from the process and will ensure that only those with Superstar material will enter your business as members of your team.
Oh—and it only requires about 5 hours of your time to complete. Truly.
Where most businesses go wrong is that they post an ad, sift through resumes, interview a bunch and hire the least blasé of the pack.
What is never considered is the impact that your culture has on the new employee or vice-versa. What’s that you say? You don’t have a culture per se?
EVERY business has a culture and it usually stems from YOU, the business owner. Your moral and ethical compasses, your industry, and the approach you use to your customers, suppliers and products—they don’t just form your culture, they are your culture and it’s your job to ensure that the people you pick are the right fit for your business.
It doesn’t matter how good an employee was at their last job. No two cultures are the same. If you aren’t matching your team members to your needs and values then they will never be able to play at a level you require, certainly not for the long-term.
So how do I find the right people?
Well first you need to start with knowing who it is you are looking for. Think of your employees as your Ideal Customer. Find out what they want, what motivates them, what makes them happy and most importantly keeps your relationship successful.
If you don’t have a job description for each position in your organization, then you don’t know who you’re looking for.
The goal is to be crystal clear on the ‘what’ and then apply the ‘who’.
Some things to consider:
• What is this person’s role?
• How will they interact with customers, suppliers, other employees
• What critical function does this role play to my organization?
• What job skills are absolutely essential for success
• How will I measure that success
• What potential does this role have down the line, if any?
• What does the ideal candidate’s attitude look like?
• Is attitude more important than skill in this role? (are there skills required that could be taught to the right candidate or are they deal-breakers?)
Once you figure that out, you can solidify the ‘who”:
• Who fits the Superstar mold you’ve set?
• What is their background?
• What skills do they require before entering your organization?
• What level of education do they need to be successful?
• How many years of experience do they need?
• What motivations and values do they need to have to fit the culture of your organization?
• What interpersonal traits do they need to work effectively within your current team?
“Our new sales rep just started today… OH MY, this is what a real salesperson is like!!!! I am so happy I could cry! Thank you so much for pushing us to change, and advertising in such a way to find a “real salesperson”. The future is looking good thanks to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you”
Owner – Graphic Mart
OK—I know the WHO but what about the HOW?
Your company is unique—so why are your job ads so generic?
Our hiring system brings clients through each step of the ad process—from what to write, to where to post and how to elicit the most qualified response (notice I didn’t say the highest number of responses?!)
Now—this will be a bit different for each organization but the underlying principles are the same:
• Does your ad grab the attention of the reader?
• Does it highlight what’s unique about you and your business?
• What elements have you included that make someone want to apply?
• Have you made your application instructions clear?
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