If an alien entered your world, mentally whipped you and started demanding foreign prompts, how would you feel?
Out of this world.
As someone leading a team, you’re dealing with humans.
We often forget this. Don’t act like you haven’t!
I was recently at a business conference, and during lunch, I received a few questions regarding hiring and motivation.
I’ve made many of these mistakes which I’ll share with you now.
A peek into Glassdoor and the ugly truth of my leadership past. If you’re not going to lead, then step aside.
My termination procedure was all wrong. I would wait until the steam was boiling inside my body, and steaming from my head.
Bad news. I’m letting you go today. Here’s why…”
At one point I was managing everyone. Everything came to me.
It was a disaster.
I not only had the wrong management structure, but I was always tense.
This was not living our core value of building a team-oriented approach, to be our team members wings when they need them the most.
We’ve changed this dramatically over the years.
If you’re going to lead, then lead. Be an amazing coach. If not, step aside, as I did.
Put the right people in the right seats so you can do your j-o-b.
I now directly manage my executive team. Duh, a CEO responsibility. Their AMAZING so I spend a TON of time on brand, marketing and strategy.
A vital focus for me.
How you hire matters. Not everyone gets your values.
It’s not about who you hire. It’s about how you hire.
How you recruit will lead you to hire the right people 80% of the time. Sorry, it’ll never be 100%.
You’ll always see true colors appear as people begin to work.
If you have a specific culture and values, you’d be silly not to hire based on these merits.
For example, one of our values is building a team-oriented approach. So we look for areas in the interview process that demonstrate this.
Turn micromanagement into coaching.
Everyone hates micromanagement.
They say it’s a “bad thing.”
Sure, a boss breathing down your neck and not letting you breath is a bad thing.
I get that.
But on the contrary, if you have a sink or swim mentality, which is ineffective at scale, you’ll see more sinking than swimming.
I have the track record to prove it.
You need a good medium.
The medium is consistent coaching over time.
You don’t enter a game without a coach. The same goes for your career and your team.
Coaches provide planning, training, feedback, correction, and accountability.
Now go coach your team.
Communication is the backbone of your managerial success.
If you can’t communicate, then you can’t manage. Period.
Leading people is all about communication.
You and your team are human after all.
If you’re weak at any of these three areas, go savvy up your skills, they all matter.
Develop your team and be sure they’re rowing in the same direction.
Your team needs constant development. Development as it pertains to the current job but also skills they want in the future.
Don’t let their career become stagnant.
Sure, someone may want to do data entry for 30 years but give them something more.
In 30 years, they’ll thank you.
There are people on our Skylink team who started out as an assistant or support role.
Now they’re leading teams or on a path to lead a team…possibly a division.
It’s also incredibly important that your team is all moving in the right direction.
- Do they know the vision of the company?
- Do they know the mission?
- Do they know the values?
- Do they know your near term goals and how they’ll help get the company there?
It’s not always going to work out. Terminate with integrity.
I’ve had to fire more people than I’d like to admit.
No, this isn’t a badge of honor. I’m not proud knowing what I know today, but it’s taught me a lot so I can avoid it in the future.
There are times when you made a bad hire, the fit wasn’t right, or you just have to part ways for whatever reason.
Do it with integrity.
They should know things aren’t going well.
I’ve told everyone on my team, if it’s not a good fit, we’ll give them some time during work to go job searching, that way they’re not out on their ass unexpectedly.
This is just a nice human gesture. Remember, we’re all human.
Will this happen every time?
Of course not.
The fact about leading is, there will always be issues. Everyone is different. Everyone want’s and needs different things.
Lead and coach them as humans. As you would want to be lead and coached.
Do that, and you’ll have a kickass team.