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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 are likely aware that you take on too many of the daily duties. This can create the impression that the business is running you and not you running the business. If the concept of “letting go” terrifies you. You’re not alone. What if we told you that you could effectively “let go” of the worry, the stress and the inconvenience of doing everything? What if i told you that you could pass along some of the daily duties to someone else and still create a thriving business? To good to be true – right? Wrong! 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 some skills that will enable you to remain in control and at the same time empower your team to help execute your business plan. Well that might be OK for some business owners, but I can’t afford to let go. The key to breaking the cycle is realizing the difference between not being able to let go, and not being willing to let go. Most of the concepts of using a team philosophy don’t change whether you are a small business or a huge conglomerate. The trick is being able to identify the right solution for YOU and apply it in practice. Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • Your business is growing well but you know you have the potential to do better
  • You spend most of your time doing the operational tasks yourself, even though you have employees that could help
  • You have LOTS of ideas on how to grow your business, but never find the time to execute those ideas.
  • You feel like you spend more time “babysitting” your employees, than making any forward progress

If you are going to fix the problem, you need to understand the problem There are generally four (4) main reasons your current team is not meeting expectations.

  1. 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. Hiring should be the first step in creating a great team. Focusing on the cost of hiring as a single entity is short-term thinking. This decision needs to be considered in combination with the profit gains that can be achieved in the short to medium term with the right team in place. I can guarantee that the financial picture will almost always make sense with the addition of a few key players.

  • I will show you how to look at the financial impact of a new hire and calculate the new break-evens which will result from that hire.
  • I will help you flush out your marketing strategy to ensure you are bringing in new business and the positive cash flow you need to make the cost of hiring new people, a reality
  • I will help you determine your needs and identify the positions required within your organization.

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?

  1. I have a team, or I won’t hire one because they can’t do as well as I do.

The easy answer is that your team is not supposed to as well as you, for the simple fact that is is not their business. It’s yours. You are the entrepreneur and if you are like most entrepreneurs’ you are a “big ideas person“. It is likely the reason you opened your own business. Like many business owners, you may find yourself thinking about a big idea but don’t know how to get from the thinking phase to the acting on it phase. There are a multitude of excuses I’ve heard. Lack of time, or the habit of starting things but not finishing them – you may even find yourself stymied by the daily grind. The daily grind is a common excuse because it is easy to justify the daily tasks (sales, receivables, customer follow-up) and these tasks are familiar and produce the cash flow. in the meantime, your big ideas sit on the shelf waiting for some day. I want to show you a different way. Remember how we talked about letting go without giving up control? This doesn’t happen by chance, in fact there’s lot of science behind it and learned behaviours and attitudes can be changed. Each of us has a unique set of values, habits and constraints that influence our actions, thoughts and re-actions to everyday encounters. 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 still have no time! If you believe you have a good team but the business is not running as smoothly as you imagined it should – then it is time to evaluate your Systems. You know you have good systems in place when the daily operation of the business is running efficiently with minimal errors and productive activity occurs consistently and in the right order, even with key people away. Actually what this shows is you have a reliable operational system. More than anything, being present in the business gives a business owner a sense of security. Which is completely understandable and natural because of the investment you have made creating your business. Being present can give you a sense that it is safe. One of the tools you need to start using to alleviate the need to be constantly present is to have better transparency through reporting. If you have a great reporting system and your business is running smoothly then skip ahead to Key #4 – Letting go. A good reporting system allows you to have oversight on the daily business activity without being completely hands on. In every business there are key metrics that can be measured and those metrics will provide insights into the business operations. Metrics and reporting never tell you the whole story but they provide warning signals, like a temperature gauge, that tells the astute business owner where further questions need to be asked. Here’s the lowdown. With the Flippen Profile I show clients how to complete a short survey on themselves. Additionally, clients use surveys given to a host of other people in their community to find out how their actions are perceived by others. Seeing the results of the survey can be the missing link to improving or changing current behaviour – and that can be a GREAT thing! What does the Flippen Profile indicate? Over thirty leadership behavior constructs are isolated and quantified against, literally hundreds of millions of different combinations possible in the core data. This is an elaborate way of saying that the Flippen Profile ensures that each user’s unique leadership style can be identified-and the more you know YOU, the more you move past the constraints that are holding you back. You are probably wondering what this has to do with you. Good question. The answer is simple. The more you understand your motives, the easier it is to change your approach and apply these changes to your current circumstances in life – both business and personal. Applying new tactics can sometimes be awkward, I won’t lie, but the end result could make an enormous difference. The great news? Once you’ve mastered the ability to “let go” it never goes away. It will help you move towards empowering your team, showing trust and connecting with employees builds their confidence and in turn, your team will find new ways to feel connected to their job. When that is in place, then it is time to consider how you are spending your time including, time off as well as concrete time to work on your next great idea. Can’t you just feel the weight lifting off your shoulders already?

  1. 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 team is critical to your business strategy. It is also one of the most overlooked aspects of business. An effective team must include the right mix of people and skills. This will be incredibly evident if you rely on a small team, as the mix of personalities and work-methods are most amplified in this setting. If you feel as if you are 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. Either: a) You’re not quite sure how to manage varying personalities, while achieving the goals of the business; or b) You may be holding onto dead weight Leading people can be challenging. For many business owners, engaging employees (who each have their own unique work motivations) to follow instructions and work together seems an impossible task. Leadership is online pharmacy the art of influence and effective leaders need to constantly change to meet the circumstance. Each employee has different needs, personalities and learning styles. Your leadership is key in building on each team members strengths and reducing their weaknesses. Having the skills to create an effective team goes deeper than good communication. You will be successful in team building if you foster a team that is invested in each other as well as the business. It is all too common for business owners to hold on to mediocre team members for far too long. Maybe you have 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 may be difficult sure, but they are great at sales. Sound familiar? The ugly truth about this type of employee is, that they are always a problem. No matter the amount of training, coaching or encouragement – there is a common denominator and it is usually problems with attitude – not skill. Meanwhile, you likely have an employee or two with fantastic attitude who would truly fit the role of “Rockstar”, with a little bit of training. The problem is that you have no time for training because employee “X” has taken up all your time and energy. The true tragedy in this scenario is that by holding onto employee “X”, just because they are lucrative contributors, you may have lost numerous employees who had potential – and they have moved on to someone else, maybe even one of your competitors, to find a better team. While coaching clients through staffing changes, it is often revealed after employee “X” is terminated, how much employee “X” was negatively affecting other members of your team. Staffing changes may not be the answer. In many situations all that is required is a new way to handle old problems. The results can be better, with more effective communication where the entire team is attuned to the same goal. The hard questions that need to be asked:

  • Who is the right person to challenge you about your team?
  • Who can give you an unbiased view?
  • Who doesn’t have a history with your team and can help you make clear decisions that are best for the business and your team?

In working with hundreds of businesses over the years, these questions seem to be the stumbling block for most. Being able to address these questions can help to harmonize your team strategy to your business strategy and this is where the real opportunity lies. But who will be able to help you see it?

  1. I just can’t seem to find/keep good people

Hiring can be considered by some an onerous challenge. The process can take an inordinate amount of time and the results may not be what you expected. It is likely that you’ve had to go through the process time and again and after so many times, you may think that it is just a fact of business life. You may struggle with your ability to compete with big jobs offers and company perks. Good thing for you that the true “superstar” motives are different from the average person and it is possible for small business owners to recruit great employees. Let me explain: Your choice of team, ultimately powers your organizational engine, and your challenge is to find a strong pool of candidates that already have an internal drive to succeed and that will help fuel that organizational fire, not dampen it. To get recruitment success you can’t just change the player-you have to change the way the game is played. The hiring system I coach my clients to use quickly identifies the cream of the crop and those who will not measure up to your standards. Did I mention that this process only requires about 5 hours of your time to complete? Ask me how. Most businesses rely on posting an ad and then sifting through resumes, booking numerous interviews and then making a determination from those who’ve been interviewed. This approach is not effective. One thing that business owners may not considered during the hiring process is what impact your business culture has on new employees or vice-versa. Culture? Do you not believe you have a business culture? EVERY business has a culture and it usually stems from YOU, the business owner. Your business culture encompasses your moral and ethical values, your industry, your customer/client relationships and how you manage suppliers. As a whole, these aspects create your business culture and it’s your job to ensure that your new hires are the right fit for that business culture. A letter of recommendation from a former employer can be useful but bear in mind that no two cultures are the same. An employee who performed well in their last job may not be a good fit for your team because of the difference in the business culture. If you aren’t matching your team members to your needs and values, then they will never be able to meet your expectations. So how do I find the right people? First you need to start with understanding who you want on your team. Think of your employees as your ideal customer. Find out what they want, what motivates them, what makes them happy. These are important attributes to know about your team members to have a successful working relationship. If you don’t have a job description for each position in your organization, then you don’t know who you need. 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 and other employees?
  • What critical function does this role play in 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 that could be taught to the right candidate or are they deal-breakers?)

Once you have these figured out, you can solidify the WHO:

  • Who fits the “superstar” mold you’ve set?
  • What skills do they require before entering the organization?
  • What level of education do they need to be successful?
  • How many years of experience do they need?
  • What motivations and values should they possess to fit your business culture?
  • What interpersonal traits do they need to work effectively with your current team?

OK!- I know the WHO but what about the HOW? Your company is unique – so why have you relied on generic, uninspired job ads? I coach my clients through a job advertising process that includes: what to write, where to post, and how to elicit the most qualified response. Notice I didn’t say the most responses! This next step will be customized for each clients business, but the underlying principles are similar:

  • 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 will entice a potential applicant?
  • Have you made your application instructions clear?

The What? This is where the hiring fun begins…..and yes, we did just put hiring and fun in the same sentence. Remember when I inferred that “superstars” have different motives? Over many years, I have repeatedly seen clients entice a “Superstar” employee from one of their competitors – for less money simply because of a dynamic hiring process and business culture. The key to a good process is the ability to leverage your time and produce consistent results. How you develop your hiring process is dependent on your own business culture. The hiring system I teach will help you in recruiting the right candidate using a pre-screening method to weed out those who do not meet your standards; saving you both time and money. This method ensures that those who you finally decide to interview have been pre-selected to meet the “who” and the “what” you require. It is a given that one of your challenges is time. That is why it is important to design a hiring system that is effective, minimizing your time commitment and maximizing results. Additionally, you will save money – in training costs, in wages and in lost revenue. The Final Word As a business owner – you already hold the navigational tools for your business to grow. I can help you refine and add to those tools that will help you succeed and move your business forward.