- Understand that you can’t hire yourself. You are unique; and we are all different. In the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham (p53-56) descibes eloquently how we have difficulty accepting this. Our talents come so easy to us, he says, that we often think everyone sees the world as we do- and shares our talents. They don’t.
- Tell your people what’s in your head. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Then tell them again. As the owner, you are constantly thinking about what’s important to your business’s success. Meet regularly (weekly) with your key people to make sure they know what you think is important. Tell them where the company is headed and how their position is important to getting there.
- Listen to what your people have to say. If you are going to share with them what you think is important, be ready to take some feedback. It’s not about just you anymore, it’s about the team. Your people may be more in-tune with your business than you think. Listen to what they have to say. Trust them to give you honest and meaningful intel. Implement their ideas.
- Create clear goals and celebrate! Leaders define winning and then go after it. Big goals, little goals, weekly goals, daily goals. Goals make work meaningful. How do you know when to celebrate success without a clear end point? Without goals, your company is either flailing in the wind or continuously reaching for a moving target. Make sure your people know where the short-term finish lines are – and celebrate when you get there! (it makes moving on the next goal a lot more meaningful.)
- Commit to Training and Documenting. For every one free-throw in a game, how many free-throws do you think Michael Jordan took in practice? Probably a lot; and he never stopped. The best at anything are always training – big things and little things. Give your people the same opportunity. Create a training culture by turning mistakes into learning opportunities. Start documenting how you do things. Pick one topic per month, for example, “First Day of a Job.” Write down what the steps are, train your leaders, and revise as necessary with your people’s input.
- Make sure the job fits the talent. Not everyone is a star Crew Leader. And star Crew Leaders aren’t always the best painters. If an employee is not working out, review with them the systems and position they are in to make sure there is a fit. It might be time to move on, making room for others to move up. On the other side of the coin, who among your team is hiding in the shadows? The number one reason people don’t volunteer is they were not asked. Who on your team might be waiting for you to ask?
Are all the decisions in your company going thru you, like sand thru the center of an hourglass? Getting out of the “Hourglass” means bringing others into the inner circle– sharing the load. This can be a scary notion. But by including others in key activities and decisions you will be opening up possibilities for the future. Give your people the regular opportunity to stretch their wings, even if its just a little bit at a time. The result is to sharpen the talent, skills, and knowledge of your people, and slowly hand over more and more responsibility.
Have a great week!