As we approach the holiday season I am currently 1 week through a 3 week vacation. Along with it being my first extended holiday in the last 24 years, it is really the first time I’ve let my team fully run the ship without at least some guidance from afar.
The timing was right. They all have confidence in their abilities and so do I. It is a necessary step in the sustainability of my company to have it run without me. What are the gaps they need to fill? What lessons can I learn from the exercise?
1- No two people will ever approach solving a problem or answering a question the same way. As an owner or manager, we have to accept that things will not get done the way we would do it and that’s okay.
2- Necessity is the mother of invention. People respond to pressure and deadlines. If we’re not there to deal with a situation, the need to resolve it will create a champion with a solution. The more it happens the better your team will be at the daily problem solving that arises.
3- For the most part, I have a young team. Most are the age I was when I started my business. And they are all more capable in their respective duties than I was at their age. That is the fact I focused on to let go of the reins to this extent and feel comfortable doing so. Kind of a sink or swim, what’s the worst that could happen scenario.
4- As managers, how can we effectively accomplish that task when we are caught up fully in the day to day? We may be the best problem solvers due to our experience level but what could we accomplish if we applied those same talents to investigating new products, processes and opportunities?
5- I had my grandson here the first week of our holiday. He’s just shy of two and his key mission in life is to demand your undivided attention. If there is trouble he will find it. Babysitting is a key element of business too. Bringing on a new account or starting a new project can be all consuming. Find the equivalent of daycare for these types of business situations. Babysitting is okay on occasion, but don’t make a career of it, as you will accomplish nothing else.
When I’m back, one of the first things I’ll do is assess what the gaps were, if any, in my absence. That will be the first blog of 2012.
Have a great holiday season everyone!
Lee’s Quote for the Day
“Say it can’t be done and that’s what will happen. Saying it can be done requires constant focus, self-belief, and tenacity. In other words, it’s much easier to talk ourselves out of it, than talk ourselves into it.”
I have a button. When it’s pressed alarms go off, temperatures rise and composure slips away. If I am told to do something that I believe is fundamentally wrong, I have a pretty hard time with it. I fight back, sometimes kicking and screaming. I take it personal. I’m learning to be more diplomatic and in the end, stand up for what I believe in without alienating my client in the process.
Like most things, experience is the best teacher, followed closely or in tandem with trusting your instincts. Most people have a hard time accepting a thought or idea that is fresh, as there is no physical reference for them to gauge whether it is good or bad. Most people are reference thinkers. If it hasn’t been done before, they are sceptical and most revert to the safer, less daring approach. The opposite is usually what is required, so you do need to be a bit stubborn to be in a business where you are creating customized solutions.
No matter what profession you’re in, you need the confidence in your abilities to do the right thing for your client, especially when they are struggling with a direction. It’s our job to guide them. When you spend a lot of your energy developing a solution, its human nature to get a bit defensive when someone challenges you and wants to send you in a totally new direction you can’t get behind. What I’ve learned over the years follows:
Lee’s Quote for the Day
“Gaining your customer’s trust is the most valuable aspect of any business relationship. It may seem a bit like climbing Mount Everest, but when you finally get there, it’s worth every step of the journey”