I asked some clients if there had been a particular sticking point they’ve encountered in their own business? Here are three:
1. I tried to hire a clone of me
Thinking that a “good employee” would be one who had the same passion, dedication, skills and enthusiasm as the owner, several people spoke of frustrating (for hirer and hiree) attempts to reproduce themselves.
NO ONE will bring the owner’s mindset to a business if they have no ownership. It works better to hire people to do tasks or functions that the owner doesn’t excel at, or like to do, or do at all! Then all that ownership energy can go towards the reasons the owner started his/her business in the first place.
2. I believed no one could do anything as well as I can, so I still did or micromanaged everything.
This owner had a ICU-worthy case of “no one can do a good job but me”, and was wasting her team’s time and talents, her own energy and marketable skills, and everyone’s peace of mind.
An epiphany came in a workshop on delegation, when she realized that her highly-refined sense of perfection was HOLDING HER COMPANY BACK–not propelling it forward, as she imagined. She went back to the shop, took a few (OK, several, over several days and weeks) deep breaths, and asked key,”good potential” employees to take over some of the operations she felt she had to control. Mirable dictu! Production increased, quality improved, feathers unruffled, and life and business got better.
3. I hired people when I didn’t know what I needed them to do
This mistake is the flip side of ‘I waited too long to hire anyone”. The realization that the owner can’t do it all can lead to hiring too fast, out of desperation, to “get the work done”. Except the owner hasn’t really thought through what they need someone else to do. So the hapless new employee shows up, for say an assitant’s job, but there is no job description, no list of duties, and not much differentiation between the boss’s job and the assistant’s job. In fact, sometimes the boss becomes the assistant’s assistant, trying to help them instead of the other way around.
First, be the boss. It is your responsibility to know and ask for what you need. Second, that means you will have to sit down (several heads are better than one here–ask your coach) and write out the roles, responsibilities and tasks the business needs, and put that into a job description. I(Warning: it may turn out to be several jobs, and you will have to pick where to start). Third, you will have to ask for and coach for the performance you need for the good of the business..
Dear readers, can you tell us how these resonate with you? And if you found a way to unstick yourself…And what other sticking points you’ve come to in your business?