FINALLY GET YOUR NEEDS MET AND BECOME THE BUSINESS LEADER YOU KNOW YOU CAN BE
Few business owners initially have the leadership skills to hire a team and create a culture of impact and financial success – first you experience ‘new hire turnover' – then you learn…
Some days I've wished they could've shipped me off to CEO boarding school.
Including cute pull-up socks or emblem on my sweater, saying…
“CEO IN TRAINING” (proceed with caution).
But the reality?
Especially if your business is growing fast because you're getting your people fabulous results and you've built a solid reputation…
… is that we learn baptism through fire style.
Like, fire-swamp from The Princess Bride amounts of baptism through fire initiations.
How do we set our new team members up to succeed?
And what do we need to keep in mind, as we welcome new people onto our teams to avoid new hire turnover?
Here are 5 pointers (out of the 1,001 I could give you) that proved themselves life-changing…
Realize you're not handing things over (just yet)
If I received a dollar for every time I hear a client say:
“I was supposed to offboard these tasks, but I feel my work has increased!”?
I'd be rich.
Wait, I am rich (lol). But yeah.
The biggest misunderstanding I want to get out of the way?
Is that you'll feel sweet relief the moment you sign that dotted line.
Relinquish your thoughts of never having to touch that shit again.
If anything you're going to be in it for the next few weeks or months.
While you spend hours training your new team member.
Accepting this, and walking the fine line between being honest with yourself about this person being a fit for your company yes/no and having the patience to help them find their way is key.
SOLUTION: embrace your involvement, until they're ready to take it over
Don't “test drive” new team members
Especially if you've hired people and you didn't get your needs met (and experienced new hire turnover already), you can become a little skeptical, and go like…
“I'll say yes to their suggestions for a while, and see if it pans out, if it doesn't… chop chop”.
This sounds really bad.
But I know this happens (and has happened in my own company as well).
This usually follows the “I shouldn't have to be this involved” misconception.
And it'll keep you in high turnover.
Which is one of the most costly breakdowns we can experience as business owners.
Even if they come up with a “YES, SURE, I CAN DO THAT!”, in the end, you have to take responsibility for estimating what they're ready for.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Or, if you tend to move fast, accept that your speed will create some hiccups in performance, especially initially.
SOLUTION: take responsibility for the amount of tasks and level of responsibility they're taking on
Focus on building trust and repair it where necessary
When you're a fast-growing company trying to hire yourself out of understaffing, with endless, immediate needs, breakdowns (in trust) are inevitable.
I got massively tripped up on this, “how can I ever trust them again??” question.
Until Jade Connely Duggen, my Leadership Mentor (who taught me many of the things shared in this post) mentioned:
Whenever you create intimacy, trust seems to follow suit
Things started to massively change in the culture of my team, when I owned up to being a perfectionist to the extent that I basically wanted to cancel myself whenever receiving criticism.
The whole zoom room with our amazing team members turned out to have similar feelings.
So we worked through that.
And will continue to do so.
It's moments like that, that'll give the understanding needed to grasp the importance of certain details, and explain certain choices and behaviors from everyone on the team.
Also, it's much more difficult to “just fire” someone when you know the person intimately enough to know how that's going to affect their life.
We also meet as a team for a monthly get-together where we sing for each other, recite our own poetry and say prayers. We also crack endless inappropriate jokes and tend to massively overshare.
SOLUTION: get to know your people, and allow them to get to know you
Have them shadow you and get to know your body of work
A problem many of us are facing is that the people who work inside of our companies don't know, and therefore don't truly value, the body of work and thought leadership you've developed.
And that makes it hard for them to assess what's important, what to prioritize, and pull through when things are hard.
A couple of months ago, I had a “letting you go” conversation with a team member who since then has transitioned to a different role.
But you know what she said on the call?
“I see how your work is profoundly changing the lives of these people and I want to be a part of that. So I'm staying. That's it, let's figure out a way”
Another team member said during a tough moment:
“I'm not going anywhere, you'd have to pry this job from my dead cold hands”.
When you have buy-in from both sides, and a shared mission, everything changes.
And you can try to create that by sharing your values statement, or mission statement.
But more immediate is to give them straight-up expose to your magic in action.
Have them watch you, shadow team members and acclimatize (values in action)
SOLUTION: welcome them on calls with clients, watch recordings and read your writing
Create moments that build confidence, and makes them shine
If you want this job to not be “just a job”, you want to set the stage for moments of achievement, pride in their work, and giddy joy.
My team responds really well to seeing me include them in crafting solutions. Instead of just telling them what to do, I listen to their input, take it into consideration and often take it to heart.
Acknowledgment goes a huge way too.
And cultivating practices around celebrating wins together!
As a recovering perfectionist myself, I tend to have a “no feedback is good feedback” approach.
That doesn't work for the nervous systems of the people you lead.
Positive feedback, and even feedback in general, will give them a sense of how they're doing.
I've struggled with this one enormously.
When I get angry, I become eerily quiet.
So you can understand that my “no feedback is good feedback” tendency head-on conflicts with the way that I express myself when I'm pissed.
I had to learn how to verbalize appreciation.
And I had to learn how to express myself when angry.
SOLUTION: encourage your people every day
This blog post could be endless, I could talk about instant (self) forgiveness, creating checklists to make the lives of your members easier, KPI's, having enough facetime to bond, to not take anything personally etc.
For now, I just want to do another shout out to my mentor Jade Connelly Duggan, who made our company go from “psssst don't apply to that job description, they're a mess”, to a place where people are fulfilling their potential and feeling deeply loved.