One of the most critical components to building a company, as opposed to a solo practice, or even a business where you are managing everyone and everything, is to learn to step into your full leadership.
A primary key to that leadership is your ability to train your team so that you can confidently delegate key tasks and responsibilities that will free you up and allow your business to grow.
As a business owner, management is not the highest and best use of your time, energy, and talents. Carefully selecting support staff and then training them using a business model that emphasized leadership over management is an effective place to begin.
Most business owners train their team members using a project management style of training. Specific tasks are given, followed by specific instructions on how to do those tasks. The next logical step is for the owner to then monitor whether the tasks were done to the proper specifications.
This is not leadership. It’s project management. Using this model, the people you’ve hired will be disempowered, and you will get stuck in the role of babysitter, rather than leader.
Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple put it well when he said, “When you have really good people, you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B-grade work.”
Unless you want to be your company’s project manager, micro-managing details and always feeling stuck in the weeds, there’s an alternative methodology for training your team members that will establish your leadership and get the results you want, right from the start.
Outcome, Resources, Deadlines, and Check-Ins
When you are bringing on a new team member, instead of giving them specific tasks and specific ways to perform those tasks, and then holding them accountable to those tasks, give them outcomes, resources, deadlines, and check-ins.
Here’s how that looks:
First, identify the specific outcome the company needs.
For example, we need to publish a weekly article to our website and then send it out as a newsletter to our clients. Or, we need to send out a monthly newsletter to our clients each month. Or, we need to use this tracking software to ensure that everyone who calls our office gets a response weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
Second, give the team member the specific company resources available to meet this outcome.
In our case, using the weekly article as an example, I would let the team member know where I’ve found or curated articles in the past. Or let the team member know to ask me for the article each week. I would then give the team member a login to our website and the service we use to send out the newsletter. I would also provide a document with standards for posting the weekly article and sending out the newsletter.
Third, give the team member a deadline.
Let your new team member know specifically when he or she is expected to have this outcome completely handled without any input from you. Then, let your team member begin, with you working in parallel, also completing the task yourself as a transition period, and set a deadline date for the team member to take it over completely.
Finally, schedule periodic check-ins between the time that the outcome is given and the deadline date.
This allows the team member to communicate challenges and identify any missing information.
This method allows your new team member to get in there and just start figuring it out, and make some mistakes (which is a key part of learning) while also having the support necessary to fill in any gaps in the training or resources.
Still not clear? Imagine you are trying to teach someone to tie their shoes. You could explain it for hours and hours. You could even show them how to do it. But until they get their hands on the laces,play around with them and make mistakes, they won’t ask for help – and they won’t learn to tie their shoes.
Make a shift today from the project management style of training and into the leadership style of training and watch your business expand. As your Business Attorney, we can help you to make decisions around your hiring process and ensure you are bringing A-level people to your team, to allowing this effective leadership style to be effortless.
This article is a service of Gratia P. Schoemakers, Business Attorney. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.